Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Safely removing USB External Hard Disk Drive

07 Mar 2013   #11

Win7 Home Premium 64x

should be able to stop indexing by right clicking on the drive and going to properties. in there you should see something like "index for faster search results" or something similar. uncheck that box. Indexing is for the searchbar (or any search area) so you can type something in and quickly find the data because it has already been indexed. otherwise, the OS would have to scan all of the files each time you perform a search (which would take a pretty long time) :)

Clarification. By deselecting the external drive from the index, the OS will still index all other files and programs on your HDD, but will not do this for the external drive.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2013   #12

Windows 7 Home Professional 64bit

Do you mind if I request screen shots - I am not confident at all on this type of thing.

I do not know what the function of indexing is anyway. I used it mainly to search documents - will that still function?

I am very confused - and also tired of shutting down my computer and reopening it just for the purpose of killing off the External Hard Drive - which shows as a external desktop device.

Thanks for your assistance.

Attached Files
File Type: doc eject word document.doc (862.0 KB, 8 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2013   #13

Win7 Home Premium 64x

I don't have win7 in front of me to do screenshots. maybe someone else will see this and post. turning off indexing in the drive will not affect the indexing of your other files. you will still have the search functionality.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Mar 2013   #14

Windows 10x64 Build 1709

This may help with your indexing : Index Locations - Add or Remove
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2013   #15

Windows Seven Ultimate sixty four bit.

Download Process Explorer and hit CTRL+F:-

Then type the drive letter, like this:-

Boom, done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2013   #16

Windows 7 Home Professional 64bit

With process explorer can you see all the programs that are operating and kill the program?

Can I post back here and gain assistance?

I want to ensure that I am doing it correctly. I am not too sure if I should do what a person suggested that I do a clean boot.

It may be a big process to see what is accessing my external hard drive and eliminate what the issue is. First time this has happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2013   #17

Windows 10x64 Build 1709

Process explorer is a fine little application but I truly think a little much for you Melissa. (please don't get angry at me for saying that) For what you are wanting I'm sure plain old task manager will do just fine. Just put your cursor arrow on the task bar and right click. Choose Start Task Manager. A window will open with 6 tabs on it. The open/first one will be Applications. That will show you all the programs/applications thats running. Of course you can always post back here if you need anything, thats why we're here ! A clean boot is relatively simple and can do no harm if thats what you're worried about by the way though I can find nobody suggesting you do that here. If you're truly worried about this (and I have NEVER lost any data myself because of it) Then I would highly recommend you download one of the programs jumanji suggested earlier. For your peace of mind if for nothing else. Heres a snip of task manager. Theres really not a lot more to it than that.Safely removing USB External Hard Disk Drive-capture.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2013   #18

Windows 7 Pro-x64

Click on the Orb and type RESMON in the search box. Select resmon.exe. Click on the Disk tab and expand the Processes using disk by clicking on the expand button on the right. This will show you what processes are using disk down to the file level. Scan the file list for any files in use on your external drive. It could be the indexer or defrag. In any case, I wouldn't just turn it off.

Attached Thumbnails
Safely removing USB External Hard Disk Drive-resorce-monitor-disk.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2013   #19

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

As Thorsen cautioned in response #12, ONLY do this with a clear conscience. Depending on how one organizes data on an external hard drive, finding data more quickly may be more important than turning off PC to remove external hard drive.

As Melissa has already done, right-click on the external hard drive and left-click "properties". The attached screenshot is what one should get. Near the bottom with the last tick-box is what will indicate whether the external drive is indexed or not. If it is ticked, it is indexed. In my screenshot, it's unticked and therefore not indexed.

Depending on the amount of data already indexed, it may take an hour or MORE to "un-index" the drive and prevent this drive from being indexed in the future. Set aside time for it.

For argument's sake, if indexing is not the issue and ejecting safely is still a problem after un-indexing the external hard drive for you, Melissa, you can return to "properties", tick the box and return to normal indexing of this external hard drive.

Attached Images
Safely removing USB External Hard Disk Drive-indexdrive.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2013   #20

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Hum my two cents worth Melissa how about getting a USB powered 500GB external and transfer the data from that large drive (I now realise it is one of those power adaptor ones) and use it.

I know this is more expense but they will be cheaper than the 1TB and to be honest the one I had died after a month and I have never gone back to the larger extrenal drives just a collection of smaller ones so the loss is not so great. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Safely removing USB External Hard Disk Drive

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Removing Linux OS from external Hard Drive
I have acquired a 1TB Western Digital external hard drive that has a Ubuntu Linux operating system on it. The hard drive itself is, I believe, only a couple of years old and has only been used with Linux on it, from what I understand. I'd prefer to use this 1TB drive for file storage, but I can't...
Hardware & Devices
External Hard Drive not safely removable
I have a Dell Vostro 400 using onboard Intel G31/G33 graphics. When I log into admin user and try to remove my Western Digital My Passport it gives me a message that it could not be removed because a program is using it. I ran Process Explorer and the processes running on the drive were all system...
Hardware & Devices
Safely removing my external HDD is a chaotic mess.
Hello people, At the beginning of my topic, I would like to mention that this is (maybe) the first post for me, so, if I messed up with any of forums rules, just tell me. Well, let us get into the topic directly: * Problem Define: - Can not do a safely remove to my external hard drive,...
Hardware & Devices
Unable to safely remove WD External Hard Disk
Hi, Process list with "Unlocker" attached.
Hardware & Devices
unable to safely remove external hard drive
Hey guys I have a question involving an external hard drive and windows 7 libraries. I have this external hard drive (WD500GB My book) which has all my backup information (as per Windows Backup feature; great stuff) as well as all my music and movies. I really like the idea of using libraries to...
Hardware & Devices

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:02.
Twitter Facebook Google+