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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    USB stick will not safely remove

    I use a few different USB devices and always use the safely remove hotplug app before unplugging. My Windows XPSP3 and Vista machines have both started to refuse to safely remove some of my USB sticks, saying they are in use. When this happens I have closed all running programs and used Task Manager to get rid of everything else but Windows still won't let go. I have to resort to restarting the pcs. Disc caching is disabled on the sticks. Any ideas?
    Thanks.

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  3. #3
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi pthov,
    did you customise any of the folders on your devices?
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  4. #4
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    Hello all the way to Jolly Old. To remove safely, any USB device, you have to make sure that there is no access to it, all dialog are closed ! Even at times, the programme that was accessing it. Then, if you still have not this Safely Remove dialog, you can pull it out if you know for sure that it is "dormant" . I have done it.
    It amazes me that even after using Task Manager, it is still reluctant to let go. Oh, well ! JP.

  5. #5
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    When this has happened to me in the past in a public location (not my PC, so I can't power down)

    FIRST TRY ALL OTHER OPTIONS-> BE 100% POSITIVE NO ACTIVITY IS OCCURRING TO ACCESS THE DRIVE!!!

    Open Device Manager (first problem, most public machines lock you out of here)
    Locate the USB device in question
    Disable it

    pull out your device after the machine indicates it is removed


    Next time, do not attach your USB drive before the machine is completely booted up- this solved 99% of the problem for me.

    If my method is wrong, someone will correct me.

  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    All my USB Flash Drives have a small light (LED) on them. The light tells me that the drive is active.
    When the light goes out, I just give the drive a yank! Been doing it that way for years with narry a problem.

    Cheers mates!
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    All my USB Flash Drives have a small light (LED) on them. The light tells me that the drive is active.
    When the light goes out, I just give the drive a yank! Been doing it that way for years with narry a problem.
    Keep doing that and one day you will find out the hard way why you're not supposed to do so - especially if you've been using Word to edit any files on the USB drive.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  8. #8
    2 Star Lounger
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    Hey Doc!

    But what about the USB drives whose lights' never fully turn off???

    Mine, for example, pulses all the time and never turns off fully.

  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Then it is active. De-activate it with the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon.

    Or, you can try this,,,,, find the FD in "My Computer", right click on it and then click "Eject".

    I have a dozen or more Flash Drives, and they all turn OFF when told to.
    A pulsating flash drive, sounds a lot like a "SanDisk" ???
    My other brands of FD's don't do that.

    I just plugged in one of my own SanDisk flash drives, and once the directory has been read by Windows Explorer, it does just sit there and pulsate. That's kind'a spooky, actually. Like it's breathing!

    Eject' did not make it stop 'breathing' but the "Safely Remove Hardware" thingy DID!

    Sorry about your bad luck!

    Last edited by DrWho; 2013-05-13 at 13:53.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  10. #10
    2 Star Lounger
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    Yep, SanDisk.

    Eject doesn't effect the light; 'Safely Remove Hardware' doesn't change it; in my experience, all I can do to stop the light is Device Manager-> Disable this effectively removes power from the device, thus killing the light.

    I appreciate this discussion immensely, as now methinks I will steer clear of SanDisk in the future (the light has a purpose, the breathing thing doesn't mean safe to pull).

  11. #11
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I use SanDisk exclusively. The breathing thing just means that it is receiving power through the USB port. When it is being read or written to, it blinks rapidly. I've never had an issue with either "Safely remove" from the taskbar (or tray) or "Eject" from within Windows Explorer. They can also be ejected from Disk Management.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  12. #12
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    It happens to me too...
    Most of the time because of viruses.

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