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Having Trouble Ejecting External Hard Drive

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December 1, 2013 1:22:26 PM

So I recently bought a 500GB external hard drive so that I could back up my files, however, after I clicked the option to use it for backing up my system and started the backup, I got an error message and it stopped. I did not feel like solving the issue right then because it was really late, so I tried to eject the drive, which had nothing on it by the way, but instead of it ejecting right there, I got an error message saying that the device was still in use and that I needed to close all programs that were using it.

You are probably wondering why I could not have just unplugged it since there was no data on it anyway, but that is the problem. There is nothing that could possibly be using the empty hard drive. Not only that but what if the backup had been a success and I still got the error message? All two-hundred-something GB of data would be in danger.

I have looked on many forums, and every solution they suggest has either not worked or has either not worked or has been so convoluted that it does not make any sense that such a seemingly simple issue should be that complex to solve.

Thanks in advance for your hopefully easy to comprehend advice.
a c 242 G Storage
December 1, 2013 1:41:55 PM

The default removal policy for all external storage devices is set by Windows to "Quick Removal".
This means it's unnecessary to use the "safely remove hardware" utility (unless you change the removal policy).

All you need to make sure of is that the external drive's activity light is not indicating that data is either being read from it or written to it. You can then safely unplug it. I have four external hard drives and I use all of them in that way, just a visual check of the activity light before unplugging. Perfectly safe.
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December 1, 2013 9:37:21 PM

Phillip Corcoran said:
The default removal policy for all external storage devices is set by Windows to "Quick Removal".
This means it's unnecessary to use the "safely remove hardware" utility (unless you change the removal policy).

All you need to make sure of is that the external drive's activity light is not indicating that data is either being read from it or written to it. You can then safely unplug it. I have four external hard drives and I use all of them in that way, just a visual check of the activity light before unplugging. Perfectly safe.


The light on my hard drive stays on but does not blink. This is probably a dumb question but that means there is not any data transfer right?
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