XP System Holds on to external USB-connected drive

By websquad
Apr 17, 2010
  1. I need (I think) a utility that will for certain allow me to unplug a USB-connected disk drive from my Windows XP/Pro platform. I have an external hard drive that seems to retain its connectivity under certain conditions, even after I've stopped all "obvious" programs (i.e., those with some announced presence in the task bar) and open up the Task Manager and made sure there were no applications running, and no processes the I think would be doing any I/O. Somewhere, something is latching on to this device and just will not let go.

    So, is there a utility? Any other suggestions?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    hmm; don't think so.

    I've seen the USB Safe Remove in the system tray report
    device busy​
    and it drives me nuts when there's no apparent 'accessor'.

    however somethimes this works:
    find the device
    and go to the lowest level (eg Mass Storange; USB DEVICE)
    highlight the last item
    and stop on it​
    if it fails, repeat; it frequently will disconnect on the second attempt

    and if all fails I use this:
    start button->shudown->hold the CTL button down and the standby becomes HIBERNATE
    click hibernate and when it goes quiet; yank the USB cable​
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Some utils and things to do to minimize this problem:

    1. See [post=753513]How to Avoid Problems with USB Storage Devices[/post]
    > Among other hints: Be sure write caching is disabled

    2. Turn off Windows Indexing
    > Either turn it off entirely (disable the service) OR
    > Turn it off for select disk volumes you would want to stop/remove

    3. Try OpenedFilesView
    > Click the Full Path column to sort by file path
    > See if anything has an open file handle on the volume you want to stop
  4. websquad

    websquad TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Outstanding comments all! I think I can proceed with this info. Thanks to both of you!
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