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Unable to “safely remove” external hard drives on either of my computers

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#1 genericvolume


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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:11 PM

For some reason about 75% of the time when I have an external hard drive plugged in to either my laptop or desktop computer (both running Windows XP Professional SP3) it won’t let me safely remove the drive when I’m done with it; the error message I get on both computers when trying to remove the drive using “Safely Remove Hardware” is: The device ‘Generic volume’ cannot be stopped because a program is still accessing it. Except no programs are accessing it, not even Explorer. I’ll then have to shut the entire computer off in order to remove the drive since nothing else seems to work.

I did try the steps listed at this site but I still got the same “Generic volume” error message after closing the two threads that were accessing the external drive and Process Explorer didn’t show anything at all as accessing it once I had closed the threads that were there. If it helps, the two threads were apparently the same thing at the same location: F:\System Volume Information\EfaData\SYMEFA.DB

I googled that file/file path but didn’t really find anything that related to my problem. So could anyone here help me out? Like I said, this happens on both my laptop and my desktop computers which aren’t connected to each other in any way so in addition to wondering why I’m getting this message to begin with I’m wondering why I’m getting it on both machines.
Any info or advice would be much appreciated.

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#2 noknojon


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Posted 23 January 2011 - 12:37 AM

Hi -
Microsoft has published an article on this - It may help you, or at least worth a try -

1. Download a free utility from a third-party Web site at the following address:


2. Click Find, Find Handle or DLL in the tool menu.

• Type the drive letter of the USB device in the Handle or DLL substring textbox, and press Search Button.
• Find the process and its PID in the following box.
• In system process tree view, find the process according to the Find Handle or DLL dialog box.
• Press Ctrl + H to show Handles in Lower Pane View.
• Find the File according with the drive letter , and right click it, choose Close Handle.
Thank You -

#3 sifusylvain


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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:09 PM

I downloaded and ran the tool. THe search results were null, 0, nada.... now what?
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#4 hamluis



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Posted 25 September 2011 - 07:17 AM

That path you mentioned...is for Symantec applications, which typically run any number of scannwers/monitors on a system...depending on which Symantec application is installed/involved.

If you simply disable that application/process via Task Manager...before attempting to remove the drive...your worries may be over.


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