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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've been getting the message "Problem ejecting USB mass storage device - Cannot be stopped because a program is still accessing it" when I try to remove mass storage devices after use (Seagate Freeagent Go 320G, Hitachi 500G, Sandisk Microcruzer disk on key) - this happens sporadically, and at different USBs on the computer. I don't know how to identify what programs might be using the decvices. How can I resolve this problem? What is the best way to remove the devices in this case? Thanks in advance for your help! -- E.
 

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USB hdd's (Seagate Freeagent Go 320G, Hitachi 500G) will not should down using the normal Windows app but the USB thumb drive should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure I understand your answer... Should I just yank the plugs of the 2 external drives out of the computer USB ports even though the device manager says they're still being accessed? Is there a risk of data loss, corruption, or device damage if I do that? Thanks... E.
 

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The best way is to shut down the PC before disconnecting any USB device that won't shutdown through Windows.
I have the BAD habit, and I do NOT recommend it, of disconnecting USB devices while the PC is powered up.
So far, I've not done any damage to external HDD's --purchased or custom built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi - ok - That's a big help. (and sorry - I'm new here and didn't see the blue text: my computer is an Intel Core2 Duo, E8400 3GHz, running on Windows XP Professional, 2002, ver 5.1) :pray: Thanks very much for your help
 

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Have you disabled the Recycle Bin and System Restore monitoring on the USB drives? THat can sometimes keep them "in use".
Or anything like Norton's Protected recycle bin.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Jerry - thanks for your reply. Had to do some research on the web to figure out what you were talking about and how to go about it... (thanks for helping me learn something new!). From what I see, neither external drive appears in the system restore status window - only the C drive appears (status: monitoring). In the disk management window, each external hard drive is configured as "Optimized for Quick removal" where write caching is disabled so that the device can be removed without the 'safe removal' icon... I have no idea what to do regarding the recycle bin?? I guess as long as I can remove them by shutting down the PC if needed, and there is no risk in this, I'm ok...
 

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Guess I could have posted some instructions, but at 4 AM I just didn't think of it.:sleep:

This would only apply to the External hard drives I believe. USB Flash drives are seen as Removable Media devices and shouldn't be monitored by System Restore or the Recycle bin..
With my 500 GB external, I have to disable the Recycle bin to be able to remove it.
And it's a good idea to disable System Restore on externals, even if it doesn't interfere with removing them. More Info on why

The externals should appear in the System Restore settings. It should list them and say Turned Off. They must be connected and powered on to appear so you can change the settings.
Once you've turned off System Restore on the drives, reboot, and see if you can safely remove them.

If this doesn't let you use the Safely Remove dialog to remove them, then check the Recycle Bin settings:

For the Recycle Bin, right click the Recycle Bin and click Properties.
On the Global tab, select the Configure drives independently setting.
Then click each drive letter tab for the externals and check the box for
Do not move files to the Recycle Bin.
Again, reboot, and see if you can now remove the devices.

Just have to decide if the protection of the Recycle Bin outweighs the inconvenience of having to shut down to disconnect the drive.

HTH

Jerry
 

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I have 4 PC's (all custom built) and no USB devices (prebuilt & custom built external Hdd's) show in System Restore or the Recycle Bin on any of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You've both been very helpful... On my PC, the USB devices do not show in the System Restore when plugged in and turned on - however, they DO appear in the Recycle Bin properties window! In fact, I just plugged in the Seagate drive, and then tried to remove it with the safe removal icon, and got the same 'device is being accessed now - try again later' message... went to the Recycle bin and did as Jerry said above - and then tried to remove it 'safely' - and it worked! Now I have 2 options - the recycle bin disconnect, and if that fails, the reboot. Thanks very much!!
 

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For future reference and out of curiosity: Is your PC a pre-built?
Do the Hitachi 500G & Sandisk Microcruzer disk on key show in Recycle Bin?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pre-built? Ummmmm... ??? I don't think so... I ordered it to spec, and then it was put together for me - is that what you mean? I didn't buy it off the shelf. Both the Hitachi 500G and the Seagate 320G show up in the recycle bin, but the Sandisk cruzer doesn't.
 

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Prebuilt refers to a manufactured PC(Dell HP etc.)
Thanks for the reply.
 

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Just bought a Seagate 500GB external hd two days ago.First time I used it ,safely remove hardware worked fine(Windows XP).Last night and again today I got an error message-cant remove please try again later.
I Googled the problem and found advice on another forum to go to device manager>disc drives>properties and set policy to "optimize for removal".It appears seagate drive had already set this policy(I myself not having had occasion to visit this particular tab before).The information alongside the option says that you can safely remove hardware without using the icon in your taskbar as write caching is disabled-all files are written to the external drive immediately.
It appears to have worked for me both times as I checked out the files written to the Seagate via my Western digital mediaplayer and the avi's seem to be ok.
 
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