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External hard drive refuses to eject with safely remove hardware

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November 4, 2012 5:27:44 PM

I just made myself an external hard drive using http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Enclosure-SuperSpeed-Connecti... and http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Scorpio-Internal-... . It works fine, but when it comes time to unplug it, I get an error using Safely Remove Hardware, that the device is still in use by one or more programs, even when I close all my open programs. Any solution?
a c 79 G Storage
November 5, 2012 12:29:05 PM

There are two "Removal Policies" for external storage devices on Windows:

(a) Quick Removal (there is no need to use the Safely Remove Hardware icon).

(b) Better Peformance (you must use the Safely Remove Hardware icon)

The default setting is (a) so unless you've changed it to (b), there is no need to use the Safely Remove Hardware icon. Just make sure the drive's "busy" light is not flashing before you unplug it. I''ve been doing that with my external drives for several years on the default setting, with no ill-effect on the drive.

If you want to check the setting of the Removal Policy for a specific external drive for your own peace of mind, open Device Manager.
Double-click the relevant external drive by name under "Disk drives", then click the "Policies" tab.
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November 30, 2012 11:50:02 PM

Either way, the fact that Safely Remove Hardware refuses to work means that there is still a program using the drive.
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June 10, 2013 3:18:59 AM

Well, that's annoying, so screw that. Programs should stop automatically accessing a drive that has nothing to do with their functioning. I fucking hate programmers, they're so lazy.
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a c 383 G Storage
June 10, 2013 5:35:49 AM

fb39ca4 said:
Either way, the fact that Safely Remove Hardware refuses to work means that there is still a program using the drive.


Use the windows resource monitor (drives tab) to see which programs are holding open files on that drive and shut them down if you can.
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