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External hard drive refuses to eject with safely remove hardware

I just made myself an external hard drive using http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Enclosure-SuperSpeed-Connection-HD-250TN-U3/dp/B004L9JZ9S and http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Scorpio-Internal-2-5-Inch/dp/B004I9J5OG . 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?
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  1. 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.
  2. Either way, the fact that Safely Remove Hardware refuses to work means that there is still a program using the drive.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hawkeye22 said:
    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.


    Might help if we knew what the hell you're recommending?
  6. Putting the computer to sleep is one very tedious & not always possible solution. I greatly appreciate the comments above about checking in the device manager to see if the device needs to be safely removed as I never knew this was an option before. I broke my first flash drive by not using safely remove & have put the computer to sleep ever since when I need to eject anything that won't work properly.

    Thanks
  7. I was recommending that you close any programs that are holding files open as you can't eject a drive if it has files in use. The resource monitor will show which files are in use, possibly suggesting which application has the file open.
  8. I had the same problem. I solved it by uninstalling SpeedDisk. From that moment everything is working fine and I have no problem by removing any device from the system. Try to stop or uninstall any disk management program or anti-viruses program.
    Regards!
  9. The usage of the Resource Monitor helped me, except that while it showed me which process was holding on, there isn't a way to directly kill it from that window. So I thought I would explain from the start.
    1) Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up the Windows Task Manager
    2) Go to the Performance tab
    3) Click Resource Monitor ...
    4) Click the Disk Bar
    5) Sort by File.
    In my case the drive name was not listed, it was \somename and since I didn't have any other drives hooked up to my machine, I went with it.
    Then:
    1) I found the PID that was using that \somename item
    2) Opened a command prompt as administrator
    3) typed taskkill /F /PID <actual number>
    Once it was killed, I tried the eject again and it worked.
  10. what phil22 said X2

    I've got a number of seagate 2 TB 2.5" external HDDs i use for movie video storage, that 2 out of 3 times, the "safely remove" app fails, indicating the drive is in use by a program, even though i've finished copying a file to it and it's light is not showing activity.

    I just unplug them - have done that for a couple of years now and have yet to loose a drive or find a movie file corrupted. If it worries you, then either put computer to sleep for a second, unplug and then wake it back up, or wait until you've turned the computer off.

    fwiw
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