"Problem ejecting USB mass storage device"


J

Jeff Layman

Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"

I see this message far too often. Sometimes, it's a simple matter - the
last thing I used a File Manager for before closing it was to examine
the files on a memory stick or external hard disk. I just open it
again, and look at the files on something else, such as the internal HD.
Then the USB device can be ejected.

Sometimes that doesn't work, and nothing else does, and I just pull the
plug. Doesn't seem to do any damage.

Is there anywhere (eg Administrative Tools) where you can find out what
Win7 /thinks/ is still using the USB device? Seems a bit of a pointless
message otherwise.
 
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D

Dave-UK

Jeff Layman said:
Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"

I see this message far too often. Sometimes, it's a simple matter - the
last thing I used a File Manager for before closing it was to examine
the files on a memory stick or external hard disk. I just open it
again, and look at the files on something else, such as the internal HD.
Then the USB device can be ejected.

Sometimes that doesn't work, and nothing else does, and I just pull the
plug. Doesn't seem to do any damage.

Is there anywhere (eg Administrative Tools) where you can find out what
Win7 /thinks/ is still using the USB device? Seems a bit of a pointless
message otherwise.
Sysinternals Process Explorer seems to be one method:
http://www.softwaretalk.info/can-windows-tell-me-what-is-using-my-usb-drive.htm
 
M

Mike Barnes

Jeff Layman said:
Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"
Great, isn't it? No attempt to indicate *which* program is using the
device.
 
D

Dave-UK

Jeff Layman said:
Thanks. I have Process Explorer - just didn't think of using it! I
assumed that Task Manager would have been of use. How silly of me...
If you do find out it would be interesting to know what causes this
as I never get any messages like that, either with thumb drives or
external usb drives.
 
M

Metspitzer

Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"

I see this message far too often. Sometimes, it's a simple matter - the
last thing I used a File Manager for before closing it was to examine
the files on a memory stick or external hard disk. I just open it
again, and look at the files on something else, such as the internal HD.
Then the USB device can be ejected.

Sometimes that doesn't work, and nothing else does, and I just pull the
plug. Doesn't seem to do any damage.

Is there anywhere (eg Administrative Tools) where you can find out what
Win7 /thinks/ is still using the USB device? Seems a bit of a pointless
message otherwise.
Win XP would not eject the device if I had Windows Explorer open.
Close everything that lists the drive and try to eject it.
 
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D

Doug Chadduck

Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"

I see this message far too often. Sometimes, it's a simple matter - the
last thing I used a File Manager for before closing it was to examine
the files on a memory stick or external hard disk. I just open it
again, and look at the files on something else, such as the internal HD.
Then the USB device can be ejected.

Sometimes that doesn't work, and nothing else does, and I just pull the
plug. Doesn't seem to do any damage.

Is there anywhere (eg Administrative Tools) where you can find out what
Win7 /thinks/ is still using the USB device? Seems a bit of a pointless
message otherwise.
I periodically get the same type of message when I try to delete a
folder or move it to another drive. I have to reboot to shut off
whatever program is still using something in that folder. Task Manager
shows nothing.
 
M

Mike Barnes

Doug Chadduck said:
I periodically get the same type of message when I try to delete a
folder or move it to another drive. I have to reboot to shut off
whatever program is still using something in that folder. Task Manager
shows nothing.
IKWYM and I sometimes get the same thing. Curiously, I can move the
folder somewhere else on the same drive, and then I can then do what I
want with it and no reboot is required. That makes no sense, but it
works...
 
R

Roger Mills

Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"

I see this message far too often. Sometimes, it's a simple matter - the
last thing I used a File Manager for before closing it was to examine
the files on a memory stick or external hard disk. I just open it again,
and look at the files on something else, such as the internal HD. Then
the USB device can be ejected.

Sometimes that doesn't work, and nothing else does, and I just pull the
plug. Doesn't seem to do any damage.

Is there anywhere (eg Administrative Tools) where you can find out what
Win7 /thinks/ is still using the USB device? Seems a bit of a pointless
message otherwise.
Google for a free program called "Unlocker" and install that. Then, when
you right click on your USB device in Windows Explorer (etc), Unlocker
will appear in the context menu. Click on that, and it will show you
what is locking the device.

Click on "Unlock All" and you will then be able to "Safely remove . . ."
--
Cheers,
Roger
____________
Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
checked.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"

I see this message far too often. Sometimes, it's a simple matter - the
last thing I used a File Manager for before closing it was to examine
the files on a memory stick or external hard disk. I just open it
again, and look at the files on something else, such as the internal HD.
Then the USB device can be ejected.

Sometimes that doesn't work, and nothing else does, and I just pull the
plug. Doesn't seem to do any damage.

Is there anywhere (eg Administrative Tools) where you can find out what
Win7 /thinks/ is still using the USB device? Seems a bit of a pointless
message otherwise.
There are program meant to help you with that. Roger Mills in this
thread mentions Unlocker; there are others.

None of them has ever worked for me.

I use both Macrium Reflect and EaseUS Todo as backup routines. After I
run Todo, no trick fixes the problem, except restarting the computer or
turning it off.

I never have the problem with Macrium.

Oddly enough, I find it frustrating.
 
J

Jeff Layman

There are program meant to help you with that. Roger Mills in this
thread mentions Unlocker; there are others.

None of them has ever worked for me.

I use both Macrium Reflect and EaseUS Todo as backup routines. After I
run Todo, no trick fixes the problem, except restarting the computer or
turning it off.

I never have the problem with Macrium.

Oddly enough, I find it frustrating.
Funny you should mention EaseUs Todo. That's what I was using when the
external disk I had imaged to decided it didn't want to be disconnected.
Haven't had a problem with it before (and it's not a new version).

As I mentioned, when a USB device sticks, I just pull the plug anyway.
Never had a problem doing that. Try it next time it happens to you.
 
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J

Jeff Layman

Google for a free program called "Unlocker" and install that. Then, when
you right click on your USB device in Windows Explorer (etc), Unlocker
will appear in the context menu. Click on that, and it will show you
what is locking the device.

Click on "Unlock All" and you will then be able to "Safely remove . . ."
Thanks. I used to have Unlocker, but now use UnLock IT. I never thought
of unlocking a drive, just a file. I'll try it next time it happens.
 
V

VanguardLH

Jeff Layman said:
Win7HPx64.

"Windows can't stop your "XXXXX USB device" because a program is still
using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then
try again later"

I see this message far too often. Sometimes, it's a simple matter - the
last thing I used a File Manager for before closing it was to examine
the files on a memory stick or external hard disk. I just open it
again, and look at the files on something else, such as the internal HD.
Then the USB device can be ejected.

Sometimes that doesn't work, and nothing else does, and I just pull the
plug. Doesn't seem to do any damage.

Is there anywhere (eg Administrative Tools) where you can find out what
Win7 /thinks/ is still using the USB device? Seems a bit of a pointless
message otherwise.
You mention ejecting the USB drive. You never mentioned trying to first
stop it.

Do you stop the USB drive /BEFORE/ you try to eject it?

Did you choose to include your USB drive in Windows Search service
(which means the searchindexer.exe process might be accessing that
drive)? If so, do you need to index the files (and perhaps their
content) on that drive? If you only need to index the files on that
drive, don't have Windows Search indexing on the contents of those
files.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/28450/what-is-searchindexer.exe-and-why-is-it-running/
Advanced Tip: Make Windows Search Index Only Filenames
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

As I mentioned, when a USB device sticks, I just pull the plug anyway.
Never had a problem doing that. Try it next time it happens to you.
No thanks. I'm (usually) too paranoid.

What I decided to do about EaseUS's propensity to lock the drive was to
uninstall it. That was earlier this month, but I didn't mention it in my
first post.

I'll also look at UnLock IT that Jeff Layman mentioned in this thread. I
guess I'll have to reinstall EaseUS to try it :)
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

No thanks. I'm (usually) too paranoid.

What I decided to do about EaseUS's propensity to lock the drive was to
uninstall it. That was earlier this month, but I didn't mention it in my
first post.

I'll also look at UnLock IT that Jeff Layman mentioned in this thread. I
guess I'll have to reinstall EaseUS to try it :)
I had to laugh at the last sentence I wrote above. I'll bet you know who
Jeff layman is :)
 
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C

charlie

I had to laugh at the last sentence I wrote above. I'll bet you know who
Jeff layman is :)
Recently, I did have problems with USB memory sticks similar to those in
this thread.
When all was said and done.
On a multiple file bulk write by a vendor, the last file might not be
complete as to data in the file, or table entries for the file.
On initial plug in to a USB port, Win 7 might offer to "repair" the
memory stick.

What seemed to be the cause?
The stick was written with XP, and pulled when XP showed the write was
complete without going thru the safe to remove process.

If I remember correctly, there are HD related "speed up" options that
might have been in effect. Directly or indirectly, these may have been
involved.

Normally, when I have USB memory stick problems, it's either a flaky
memory stick, or poor connections to the USB port.
 
J

Jeff Layman

You mention ejecting the USB drive. You never mentioned trying to first
stop it.

Do you stop the USB drive /BEFORE/ you try to eject it?
No. Just googled how to do that. I'll try it, but I'm not convinced it
will work as if Windows itself can't stop it automatically, I'm not sure
I will be able to do any better.
Did you choose to include your USB drive in Windows Search service
(which means the searchindexer.exe process might be accessing that
drive)? If so, do you need to index the files (and perhaps their
content) on that drive? If you only need to index the files on that
drive, don't have Windows Search indexing on the contents of those
files.
I turned off Windows Search the day I got Win7. The service has also
been disabled, so there is no chance of it trying to access the USB drive.
 
J

Jeff Layman

I had to laugh at the last sentence I wrote above. I'll bet you know who
Jeff layman is :)
Not sure, but he keeps signing the emails I send... :)
 
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G

Gene Wirchenko

[snip]
Recently, I did have problems with USB memory sticks similar to those in
this thread.
When all was said and done.
On a multiple file bulk write by a vendor, the last file might not be
complete as to data in the file, or table entries for the file.
On initial plug in to a USB port, Win 7 might offer to "repair" the
memory stick.

What seemed to be the cause?
The stick was written with XP, and pulled when XP showed the write was
complete without going thru the safe to remove process.

If I remember correctly, there are HD related "speed up" options that
might have been in effect. Directly or indirectly, these may have been
involved.

Normally, when I have USB memory stick problems, it's either a flaky
memory stick, or poor connections to the USB port.
I have had (and posted about) problems with memory sticks.
Usually, I copy XP to 7 and only occasionally the other way around. I
am very careful about unmounting. I still see the problem from time
to time. The trouble is in clusters. It will be fine, fine, fine,
and suddenly, many times, I see the repair offer. There is rarely any
problem detected.

At the suggestion of technical support for my memory stick, I
reformatted. That did not cure the problem.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
 

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