Seagate External HD Cannot safely remove in XP

By davidclark425 ยท 7 replies
Dec 9, 2009
  1. I have a 1tb Seagate external hard drive hooked up to a pc (usb) running win xp and when i try to "safely remove hardware" it always says "cannot stop 'generic volume' right now. please try again later".
    well I've tried again later, many times over the course of several weeks and it never works.

    it has worked just fine to "safely remove hardware" on my laptop running windows vista.

    Also, the drive is pretty new (about a month old) and I've been sharing it over the network so my housemates and i can all share movies, but Ive started to hear the clicking. I stopped sharing the drive and noticed the clicking decrease in frequency (maybe 1 or 2 times a day when I'm around whereas before it would be around 4 to 5 times a day)

    ran Seagate's software to check the health of the drive. Two of the tests checked out but it said the S.M.A.R.T. test was unavailable.

    Any ideas?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Some of these external drives you can take the casing off, and mount the Sata Hard drive, inside a Desktop computer
    Then you can run the Seatools diagnostic software fully

    This does sound like a faulty hard drive though, if its > Clicking
  3. Ronell

    Ronell TS Rookie

    Hi David,

    I think as for the safely removing problem, you should know that that is winxp, it has its own issues when it comes to process management, that was fixed in windows vista and 7, however i would advise you to think of a tool call USB Safely Remove. that should solve the problem, but remember its not free, so you have to find a way to buy your own or register it.
    As for the clicking sound, i personally don't think that what you hear is a clicking sound of a bad hard drive, but i think its just a busy kind of clicking sound, when a hard drive is over used, to transfer many files at ago, it make a loud noise that may sound like its click, u can try that on you own internal drive, copy 5/or more big files like 4GB at the same time, from one hard drive to another, the source with start making a very funny loud noise, that u might think is abnormal.
    So unless its really clicks like a mouse click, then i don't think its going bad.
    As for the S.M.A.R.T test, i think u need to run it again, when its free, when its not copying or transfering any files.Am sure its the os was too busy to give u results.

    Cheers R
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Hi Ronell again, sorry I must reply because all that you stated does not sound correct

    You do not need to purchase any program
    The clicking sound is from the Windows file system indexing files and trying to get the harddrive to write and read correctly
    Due to this the drive is in use by Windows, and likely a hard drive issue (or possibly faulty power to USB port)
    The Smart test cannot run effectively on USB connected drives

    I hope this helps
  5. Ronell

    Ronell TS Rookie

    Ok Kim, I didn't know that.
    The software that i said that is need is for only helping in the safe removal, and i gave him a link to download a free trial.He doesn't have to buy it.

    Oh and by the way i read this from the site you gave Dav "Normal Hard Drive clicking sounds".

    ... In my gaming rig I have Western Digital Raptor hard drives, which make lots of fast clicking sounds when the hard drive is being worked hard. In this case these sounds are normal sounds for my hard drives.
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I agree :)

    That's why he needs to test the hard drive internally (if possible) first with Seatools ;)
  7. davidclark425

    davidclark425 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help, will try those tips asap
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hi davidclark425

    I just wanted to clarify a point (and add a few words on it)
    Your two issues of
    .=> can't safely remove hardware and
    .=> Clicking noises from the drive
    May (or may not) be related

    Windows won't allow you to "Safely Remove" a usb device if Windows or some other process or application still has the device in use (e.g. a program might have opened a file on the device that still hasn't been closed). The fact that the removal works fine on your Vista computer helps point to a software/startup issue specific to the computer with the problem

    Some ways to find out what might be keeping the USB drive "open" (so it can't be Safely Removed)
    > You can try running OpenedFilesView and sort by filename to see if anything appears for that USB drive

    > I've also found (when i've had that problme) that some program/service startups might be keeping that device open. (e.g. if you run any automated backup software that might address that USB drive and which are automatically started when Windows boots). I'd suggest trying to boot into Safe Mode (i.e. which limits your startups) and then see if you still have the Safely Remove Hardware problem.
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