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Windows 7: External USB HD cannot be safely removed

17 Nov 2013   #1

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
External USB HD cannot be safely removed

Cannot safely remove ext-HD
Toshiba laptop, Win7 x32, Home Premium
Mains powered hub > Ext-USB powered HD. (Western Digital)

I am using a third party "USB Safely Remove" app because it gives me more feedback than the Windows default "Safely Remove"

External USB HD cannot be safely removed-external-hdd.png

USB Safely Remove advise this is a Windows problem

No amount of "Stop Again" or "Forced Stop" releases the USB HD.

I have searched the web for several hours without finding any recent "fixes"
Have googled = :\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLog.blf ... and found Cannot eject removable usb drive dated 2009

But I am none the wiser. Way out of my depth.

Ext-HD is my data drive on the Toshiba laptop.
NTFS format (reformatted about 3 months ago to clear the HD for use as my laptop data drive)
Would reformatting cleared some hidden files on the USB device ?

Each night I disconnect the USB-HD from the laptop. But occasionally I forget, so cold boot the lappy > safely remove the USB HD > shutdown lappy again.
Could this process antagonize windows ?

Would appreciate any help, thank you :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Normally, when you shut down Windows the operating system will stop all writing and "safely remove" any connected drive. You can disconnect the drive from the PC while it is off without any problems.

Sometimes you can 'reset' the handles (identifiers) for an external drive just by restarting Windows while the drive is attached.

Other times there can be a process or program that has been connected to the drive that will not release it. See this post for a method to clear any such problem:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #3

Windows 7 32 bit

Especially if there is a disk activity LED so it's obvious when the external has stopped writing, you can use sync.exe from SysInternals, a free program that simply flushes disk buffers. I had the same experience running docking stations and external drive. That program and the Windows built in, almost never released the drives since I had write caching enabled. If you flush the buffers of all drives on the external after activity has ceased, you should be able to unplug the drive with no issues. sync.exe simply locks the volume using a Windows API call. This causes all cachd disk data to be flushed to disk.


edit2: download link
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Nov 2013   #4
Sj Paul

Windows 7 ultimate x32bits
Windows 7 activator doesnt work

Hey guys,

I am using Windows 7 loader to activate my windows 7 ultimate 32bits installed in my acer laptop but win7 loader gives install option disabled using this one from other computer it works , I think something wrong is going on. please help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #5

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)

Thank you MilesAhead for your response, :)

I have downloaded + extracted "sysinternals" and run "sync.exe" assuming it is an install.
Just a flash of (I assume) a command window.
Have tried "Run" sync.exe -r f ... I want to remove the device in F: drive
- result alert: "Windows cannot find sync.exe"
- also tried sync -r f ... with the same resulting alert
- so I assume sync.exe is not installed
Should I run synce.exe as a command or "Run" ?

If a command ...
I imagine I will need the full-name to sync.exe [param -r or -e] [param drive letter]
eg, C:\MyPath\sync.exe -r f
I know parameters can be very fickle if the string is not strictly correct
Are parameters separated by a space or commas ?
Is my drive letter complete, ie "f", "f:" or "f:\" ... ?

Also one of your links mentions "must be run as administrator"
Would I have to login as admin OR can I ... Search=cmd > cmd.exe > RClick > Run as admin ... etc

Thank you :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I would not go thru all this trouble. A simple shutdown or reboot should fix the problem. Maybe you missed that suggestion by TVeblen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #7


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sj Paul View Post
Hey guys,

I am using Windows 7 loader to activate my windows 7 ultimate 32bits installed in my acer laptop but win7 loader gives install option disabled using this one from other computer it works , I think something wrong is going on. please help

If you are running a cracked copy of windows this site will not help you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External USB HD cannot be safely removed

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