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USB Hard Drives Perpetually Locked


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#1 Kerashi

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 10:22 PM

This is a problem that has bothered me a long time, and as yet I have been unable to find a solution. After shutting everything that could conceivably be causing the problem down, Event Viewer now says that "System" at PID 4 is preventing any of my USB 3.0 hard drives from ejecting. Now this is strange, because it should not be doing this. I have no applications open, no file explorer windows open, and I closed out every background task that I could. I do not believe I have a virus. MalwareBytes shows up clean, and there has been no indication of anything wrong. This issue also occurred in Windows 8.1, and I didn't solve it there either. I'd like to think that I am fairly tech savvy, but this issue has followed me for years and I'm ready for a solution.

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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 10:44 PM

See if disabling your AV allows you to eject. If it still fails see this post. Process Explorer may give you a clue.

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/591692/safely-eject-media/?p=3828150



#3 britechguy

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 09:50 AM

Also, all USB drives are "hot swappable."  Provided you aren't actively writing data to the drive at the moment (and you'd know if you were) you do not really need to eject them.  You really can safely just "pull the plug."


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

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#4 Kerashi

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 11:57 AM

Thanks for the replies.  That's what I've been doing - simply unplugging the drive.  After invesigating with Process Explorer and Process Monitor, I thought I had the problem traced down to a program called OpenHardwareMonitor that provided data to NZXT Kraken Control, however it seems that, after disabling it and restarting, the problem persists, despite being solved when the process was simply killed.  Odd thing is that it does not do this with USB 2.0 drives, only with USB 3.0 drives, even when the 2.0 drive is plugged into the same 3.0 port.  Perhaps the most interesting answer came from the free unlocker program I downloaded.  Apparently, there is nothing using the drive, despite the message I ger when trying to eject it. 






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