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Windows 7: unable to 'safely eject' my new external drive.


28 May 2012   #1
Lykho

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
unable to 'safely eject' my new external drive.

I've recently installed a USB3.0 PCI-e for a USB3.0 external drive. I'm not sure if that is part of the problem.

I cease using the drive, and wish to eject it safely, but I receive 'in use' messages...no matter how long I wait, no matter what programs I close.

I do have Windows set to the default where you apparently don't have to worry about safely ejecting. However, when I booted the drive today I received an error/improper disconnect message from the last use, and it had to scan and [apparently*] move some files, which is why I'm concerned about this drive not responding properly.

the drive is the USB3.0 Samsung 2TB expansion.
its second partition is encrypted with TrueCrypt, and I dismount it before attempting to disconnect the device.

not sure what other information might be relevant.

EDIT: after a restart, a bunch of explorer windows were re-opened -- these had been "closed" in an explorer crash while using the encrypted partition on the external drive (though the encryption program was successfully closed, suggesting that shouldn't have been the reason I couldn't disconnect safely). while closing apps in attempts to get Windows to allow a safe removal, I encountered a few instances of desktop icons not responding, and explorer needing to be restarted in task manager.

any insight would be appreciated.


*it said some were moved to a new folder it created...but this folder could not be found (there remains a discrepancy between the chkdsk report of how many files are on it and how many files right-click/properties says are on it. here's a screencap on this secondary concern, if anyone can make sense of it:



My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2012   #2
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

We have seen this issue many times over the years on this forum. It seems to affect some systems constantly and all systems occasionally.

My best guess is that it is due to poorly written software that starts a service or process and then does not release it or shut it down when you close the program. The system thinks the drive is still active because the process/service is still running.

The easiest is a work-around: restart the computer. Windows does a good job in closing the processes and services and "safely removing" the drive before it will shut down.

Otherwise you would need to track down the offending process or service and manually close it before you can safely remove. Complicating the matter in your case is the fact that the drive actually is still busy - otherwise you would not lose/shuffle data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2012   #3
alphanumeric
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

It happens to me every once in a while with my external USB hard drive. After a shutdown or reboot its fine again. It happens so seldom for me that I didn't bother trying to figure out why. You could try turning of indexing and system restore "for that drive", if enabled, and see if that improves things.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2012   #4
Lykho

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
The easiest is a work-around: restart the computer. Windows does a good job in closing the processes and services and "safely removing" the drive before it will shut down.
aaah, great. I was wondering if that was the case (if that was better or worse than simply unplugging the USB, hearing it spin down, and then pulling the power).
thanks.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
Complicating the matter in your case is the fact that the drive actually is still busy - otherwise you would not lose/shuffle data.
yea. at least, I think that's the case (it's pretty new, but I'm fairly sure that it should go into a quieter green/stand-by mode, rather than whizzing around incessantly as it was.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2012   #5
Lykho

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
It happens to me every once in a while with my external USB hard drive. After a shutdown or reboot its fine again. It happens so seldom for me that I didn't bother trying to figure out why. You could try turning of indexing and system restore "for that drive", if enabled, and see if that improves things.
I think I tried that at some point (before I started closing everything Task Manager showed) ... presumably it didn't help at the time, but I guess I'll soon find out if it will prevent this occurring in the future. (it mounts to E, which until a week or so ago was a local partition, so it's possible that indexing was enabled on it).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2012   #6
Lykho

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

update/new information:

I think it's _possible_ that I might have forgotten to plug in the right AC power cord. ...they can run purely on USB power, right? and USB3.0 has a little more power than 2.0, right? (apparently USB3.0 ports can charge devices faster?)

so, is it possible that I was only powering the device by USB and that's why it wouldn't safely eject?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2012   #7
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

An external drive that has it's own power supply should always be used with that (external) power supply.

It never occurred to me to try to use my desk externals without plugging in the A/C first. I always assumed they would not run at all without it. I will need to experiment to see what happens when you don't.

So, I assume you have now connected the drive with it's power supply connected. Any improvement?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2012   #8
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

I have a WD 400Gb ext drive with similar issues. The drive was originally formatted on an XP machine, but has since been reformatted (wipe entire with 0s) and data restored. There was an oddity when I reformatted only a portion of the drive before wiping - some parts "defaulted" to FAT32.

I tried turning off all of the background Windows crawls (indexing, WM library, etc) that I could think of, but still no eject - disk busy, wait..... and wait..... and wait - until I shut down to end whatever was accessing the drive.

There were a number of issues that I did not and still do not understand.
1) chkdsk still prompts, runs, then reports no problems
2) 30+ Gb not available - awfully large for disk overhead methinks
3) eject still a problem - regardless of removal policy

I've tried WD utilities - all report fine. Anyway, I just shut down the machine and can remove the drive w/o problem.

I'll try to track down more information and post if I find a definitive "solution". I think I'll have to move the data again and use the WD restore disk to factory condition option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2012   #9
Lykho

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
I will need to experiment to see what happens when you don't.
how much power does it provide?
isn't it considered bad for hardware longevity to run it without the right power supply?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
So, I assume you have now connected the drive with it's power supply connected. Any improvement?
it safely removed as it should, no delay, no issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2012   #10
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lykho View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
I will need to experiment to see what happens when you don't.
how much power does it provide?
isn't it considered bad for hardware longevity to run it without the right power supply?
Not sure what you mean.
How much power does the USB cable supply? The USB standard is 5v. My external's A/C power supply has a 12v - 2A output. So I can't see how it could run on just USB power.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lykho View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
So, I assume you have now connected the drive with it's power supply connected. Any improvement?
it safely removed as it should, no delay, no issue.
So the problem is solved?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 unable to 'safely eject' my new external drive.




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