There are also versions of Sysindexer, and Microsoft Messenger that lock this file. There are also other programs out there that lock it as well. But if it is an HP laptop your stuck with it.
Every program running in Windows which currently has some files kept open for writing onto a NTFS volume maintains a lock on the USN journal of that volume, exactly for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of these files and of their allocation on disk, even after a system crash or sudden loss of power (the file will be recoverable safely at reboot, thanks to the transacted actions written in the USN journal which can be replayed for completing an unterminated commit-on-close, or rolled back to the last committed state, in a consistant way).
You could then add also the Windows Update client service (for one of its log files): stop it, and the giant log file it creates will be unlocked (you'll be able to edit and truncate/delete it if you wish), as well as its associated lock on the USN journal.
They lock the thing down with something. I could never get them to tell me what they did to the OS that would cause this. I have so far seen at least 8 different HP laptops that have this issue. None of the desktops do. Doesn't matter if it is 64bit or 32bit. It seems every other manufacture this works on *except* HP vista laptops.
I am currently writing here using a personal HP Pavilion notebook (a dv7 model, with Intel Core2 Duo processor and 4GB of RAM), running Vista Home Premium 32bit, OEM version preinstalled by HP, that really does not have this issue (the same is true for my work PC, also an HP Pavilion notebook, a bit different and less powerful, but running Vista Pro, 64bit OEM...)
I have perfectly been able to use "fsutil usn deletejournal /n c:" or "fsutil usn deletejournal /d c:"
And also before doing that, "fsutil usn createjournal m=... a=..." to delete and recreate the journal with other (max size, delta alloc) sizing parameters. (And I absolutely don't need to boot in Failsafe mode to logon with the true "Administrator" account, I can do that from the normal personnal account created within the Administrators group when the Windows preinstallation was finished with my personal settings)
I really think that you are not using the administrator account with elevated privileges: if you are using Vista with LUAC enabled, you SHOULD see the LUAC confirmation prompt for administrator elevation when starting the command prompt, before the command windows even appears, before trying these commands. As long as you won't see this LUAC prompt, you can be sure that you are not using the correct Administrator account.
Note: "fsutil usn deletejournal [/n|/d] c:" does NOT really delete the USN journal (the name of the command is misleading), it just recreates it with the minimum value for the max size parameter (4 MiB) and the minimum value for the allocation delta (1 MiB), after transfering the last uncommited transactions from the previous journal to the first created delta for the newly reallocated journal. There is ALWAYS an active USN journal on ALL mounted NTFS volume (NTFS cannot work reliably without it), and it will never be empty.
In other words, it is just a short form of the "fsutil usn createjournal m=... a=... c:" command (which also does not create the journal, but just recreates it with your new sizing parameters)
Final note: I don't use, and in fact I have completely uninstalled immediately the Norton Security Suite trialware that HP installed on these notebooks. I have never wanted it and never used it. I have better antivirus protections than this known bulky/bogous/ressourcehog/costly Norton suite, if this is the cause of your problem, and it has modified the Administrator privileges or blocked some admin features (if you want to keep it, make sure to look at its advanced settings options, if there's a way to reduce its level of "protection" and it currently prohibits you to get the elevated administrator privileges from a command prompt...)
Note that without getting these elevated privileges, you won't also be able to create a working task in the Task Scheduler, in order to run MyDefrag with the local builtin SYSTEM user account (you cannot do that from the Task Scheduler GUI, but it is possible by importing an XML task file: export the created task to an XML file, change the user to SYSTEM with a text editor, then reimport your modified task: running MyDefrag as a scheduled task under SYSTEM can defragment some other files that even the Administrator with elevated privileges cannot open, such as, sometimes, some Windows Update log...)