Comp will not let me remove thumb drive

By Cremaster ยท 4 replies
Jan 31, 2011
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  1. XP
    I keep getting the message that windows can not let me disconect my usb thumb drive because it is being used by another program.

    Is there a setting to fix this?
  2. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Just pull it out?
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    That's a NO NO. Removing a USB drive without Safely Removing Hardware icon can corrupt the stuff on the drive.


    That usually means you still have something open using the contents of a folder on the drive (e.g. do you still have a file Explorer window open looking at it)

    Usually try closing stuff. Or you can try OpenFilesView tool to see what might have it open.

    Otherwise, you're best to shutdown the computer before removing the drive to be sure you won't corrupt it
  4. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    It's very rare that you can corrupt something. I'm yet to ever experience it with any of my SD readers, flash drives, ipods or phones.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    It doesn't happen often. And if one is careful, they can even try to reduce the odds less... But fact is, unless the device is "STOPPED" there's no guarantee that Windows won't be WRITING to the drive at the moment you unexpectedly remove it.

    If Windows was in the middle of updating Filesystem info... it can now be corrupt and next time you plug in the drive, Windows says its unformatted cuz the filesystem is corrupt so Windows thinks there's none.

    As examples, ever notice how many people in these forums need help because they plug in their usb drive and windows doesn't see any files? and doesn't think their drive is partitioned? Removing the drive unexpectedly is (my guess) 80%+ likely to be the cause of those problems when nothing else seems to be wroing

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