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Seagate External USB HDD that would not Eject and the solution


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#1 dls62

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:40 PM

A couple of days ago I purchased a brand new 1TB external USB HDD to replace a smaller one that no longer has enough capacity.

 

I connected it to my computer (running Windows 7 x64) and removed the complimentary but unwanted software, emptied the Recycle Bin, clicked on the Safely Remove Hardware icon and selected the device to eject it.  Up popped the wonderfully helpful error dialog box:

 

ProblemEject_zpsdba6c591.png

 

This was irritating because I had closed down all my running programs; however it was not the first time that Windows has thrown a wobbly and done this.  I started up my file unlocking program and found that Explorer.exe still had a couple of handles open to the drive, so I clicked the unlock button and then went back to try to eject the device.

 

I got the same error dialog and on restarting the file unlocking program found that Explorer.exe still had the drive locked.  I’m starting to think that the drive might be faulty, so I ran chkdsk – no errors.  I then started the Disk Management console to see what that showed – single volume, healthy, primary partition, active.

 

I know that the active flag signifies that the volume is bootable, but why would an external drive be shipped from the manufacturer with the active flag set?  Could it be that Windows does not like bootable HDD’s being ejected?  Anyway, using partition manager software I set the volume to inactive and was then able to eject the device normally.

 

I finish with a question:  If an external HDD with the active flag set (but without a boot loader) is connected to a computer at boot time and the boot priority in the BIOS is for removable devices before the fixed HDD, could it prevent the system from loading the OS?



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:35 PM


I finish with a question:  If an external HDD with the active flag set (but without a boot loader) is connected to a computer at boot time and the boot priority in the BIOS is for removable devices before the fixed HDD, could it prevent the system from loading the OS?

 

Depends on the system BIOS.  Generally no, because if no boot loader is found it moves onto the next device on the list.  And in most BIOS's I've seen recently you set the hard drive boot priority separately.  It would be normal for a HDD on SATA-0 to be a higher priority than a USB HDD, unless overridden.


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#3 Scoop8

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 08:51 AM

A couple of days ago I purchased a brand new 1TB external USB HDD to replace a smaller one that no longer has enough capacity.

 

I connected it to my computer (running Windows 7 x64) and removed the complimentary but unwanted software, emptied the Recycle Bin, clicked on the Safely Remove Hardware icon and selected the device to eject it.  Up popped the wonderfully helpful error dialog box:

 

ProblemEject_zpsdba6c591.png

 

This was irritating because I had closed down all my running programs; however it was not the first time that Windows has thrown a wobbly and done this.  I started up my file unlocking program and found that Explorer.exe still had a couple of handles open to the drive, so I clicked the unlock button and then went back to try to eject the device.

 

I got the same error dialog and on restarting the file unlocking program found that Explorer.exe still had the drive locked.  I’m starting to think that the drive might be faulty, so I ran chkdsk – no errors.  I then started the Disk Management console to see what that showed – single volume, healthy, primary partition, active.

 

I know that the active flag signifies that the volume is bootable, but why would an external drive be shipped from the manufacturer with the active flag set?  Could it be that Windows does not like bootable HDD’s being ejected?  Anyway, using partition manager software I set the volume to inactive and was then able to eject the device normally.

 

I finish with a question:  If an external HDD with the active flag set (but without a boot loader) is connected to a computer at boot time and the boot priority in the BIOS is for removable devices before the fixed HDD, could it prevent the system from loading the OS?

 

I've seen something a little similar with the "active" mark in Windows (7).  I haven't had the USB-ejection issue appear so far, but I have had some of my external USB HDD's mysteriously being marked as "active".

 

I used "Diskpart" (within "cmd" / Admin) to clear that flag:

 

1. <Cmd>
2. diskpart
3. list volume
4. select volume # (or letter)
5. inactive

 

 

Depends on the system BIOS.  Generally no, because if no boot loader is found it moves onto the next device on the list.  And in most BIOS's I've seen recently you set the hard drive boot priority separately.  It would be normal for a HDD on SATA-0 to be a higher priority than a USB HDD, unless overridden.

 

 

Good point. 

 

The only symptom that I've noticed with Windows 7 x64, when more than one HDD has been inadvertently marked as "active", is seeing a sluggish Windows boot.  I asked about this over at the Windows 7 forum and one of the experts posted that it can cause slow boots due to Windows seeing more than 1 drive as "active" and will look for the boot mgr in both locations.
 






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