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Unable to "safely disconnect hardware" (external HD)


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#1 MyCompterSucks

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 04:54 AM

I have my old laptop's hard drive in a USB enclosure and connected to my new laptop through a USB cable. The problem I'm having is that I can't properly unplug the HD. There is a small icon on the lower right corner of the screen whenever the HD is plugged in that says: "safely remove hardware" but when I try to disconnect my external HD by clicking the icon and following the steps I get a message that says something like: "Unable to disconnect the hardware because it's been used by another program". But no other program/folder/files from that HD is open when I'm trying to disconnect it. So I keep having to just unplug the usb cable and I'm afraid I might damage/corrupt something. Also the HD enclosure has a switch button for 2 settings "USB" & "e-SATA" where should I have it set to? Any advice? Thanks

Edited by MyCompterSucks, 12 December 2008 - 04:58 AM.


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#2 MilesAhead

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 12:49 PM

One thing you can do is go into explorer and right click your drive then select Properties.
Look in the Hardware tab. Select your drive again and select Properties then select the Policies Tab. If it says "Optimize for performance" then it treats it like a permanent drive. That's how I have my external set up plus I set it not to spin down. If that's the case you can change it to Optimize for Quick Removal.

If it's already set at quick removal you might look and see if something is scanning the drive. For instance stuff like WMP has a habit of wanting to catalog all your media files. Or it could be mobsync.exe. I use an autokill program to kill those off as fast as they pop up!!

Let us know what you find.

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#3 usasma

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:20 AM

This happens most often when there's monitoring software working in the background.

To figure out which software it is you'll have to open Task Manager to the Processes tab and selectively close processes until you're able to remove the drive successfully. It's a bit tedious, but once you find it you may be able to locate a fix or an alternate piece of software that does the job properly.
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#4 MyCompterSucks

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:14 PM

It was actually selected for quick removal. I guess it's ok for me to just unplug the cable w/out having to click on that icon to remove it.

But I also noticed that my other external drive is NOT selected for "quick removal". Why would one HD be automatically selected and not the other? I tried to change it for the one that is not but the button to select "quick removal" is disabled. (faded)

#5 usasma

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 03:10 PM

Each has a different default setting. Also, just because it's optimized for quick removal doesn't guarantee that there won't be corruption - it just lessens the chances.
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#6 MilesAhead

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 09:47 PM

Each has a different default setting. Also, just because it's optimized for quick removal doesn't guarantee that there won't be corruption - it just lessens the chances.


Right. A good little tool to have is sync.exe. You can download it from
www.Sysinternals.com

Basically all it does is Lock the drive causing the buffered data to be
flushed to disk. If your external drive is J: you'd flush it with
sync J (without the colon)
at the command prompt

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