It was purchased on the 9th of August 2009.Within a few days,I had to perform system recovery via HP's "Recovery Manager"
because of a Trojan I downloaded from the Internet.After that,there were no significant hiccups.
Now,in 2012,I purchased a Seagate 1 Tb external HDD.It worked fine for about a week or so.Then,suddenly,I began noticing that whenever I tried to 'Safely Remove' it after right-clicking on it's icon in My Computer,it showed an error message:-
'Windows cannot stop your 'Generic volume' device because it is in use.Close any Programs or windows that might be using this device,and then try again later'.
This happened only after I transferred any file(small or large) to or from it regardless of whichever USB 2.0 port it was plugged into.After Googling it ,I tried updating the drivers for it, but windows told me that they were already up to date.After that,I opened Device Manager and saw that the devices under "Portable Devices" were all having yellow exclamation marks.I again Googled it,and according to Microsoft's web support,I uninstalled them by right clicking the icons in Device Manager and restarting my PC,which supposedly re-installed the drivers.
It worked,but only for a week.Soon I was back to square one.I called up HP's helpline(India,3rd February 2012) and they told me to perform Recovery again.Funnily,when I put down the phone,it started working properly again for a few days. So,I forgot about it.
Today,I again started getting the same error message(for the HDD as well any Pen Drive). So,I again called up HP.They asked me which OS I was using and I told them that it was Windows Vista Home Basic(SP2,the one the PC shipped with.). They told me to open the System Recovery Manager.It wouldn't open.The mouse icon spun and spun,but it did not launch.They told me that my Windows files were corrupt when Recovery Manager failed to open,a complete and clean System Recovery was the only option (after backing up my data)and if I called them up again,they would tell me to do the same.I refused the assistance offered for System Recovery,so they also said that they would call back on Monday to ask whether I had performed it or not.
Again,just as I put down the phone,Recovery Manager opened up!
So,what I want to ask is whether System Recovery really is the only option left?Are my Windows Files corrupt?Are my USB ports not functioning properly?
I am using Windows Vista Home Basic (Service Pack 2,Genuine Windows,No Updates pending) and Norton Internet Security 2012 (Full Licensed Version). HDD Health (by Panterasoft) is showing a 98% healthy reading,Seagate Dashboard shows that my External HDD is performing normally and I have 61% free space on my C: drive.Also,I don't get any error messages when starting up my PC.
You could have indexing turned on for the external hard-drive.
Once the files are copied over to the drive, and you wait maybe 5 seconds after they are completed, you don't have to mess with anything else.
You don't have any issues at all, most PC vendors say that a system restore is the way to fix it because they don't have the time, knowledge or motivation to trouble-shoot for any length. You can see if turning off search indexing on the external drive will fix the file in use message.
Also, make sure you are not using the external drive as a main file store, but rather a backup, or that you make backups of the files on that drive as well. Don't be one of those people that post "my only drive is dead with all the pictures of my dead grandmother on them!"