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  1. #1
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    Don't Remove USB Device

    I get this notice when I try and unplug my USB backup drives.
    USB Eject.JPG
    It tells me that something is using it and don't remove the device. I have had times, and, of course, it isn't consistent, when I have closed every program that I had open, not just the ones that might be using it, and it still won't let me unplug it. Can anyone tell me how to figure out what is holding my drive hostage? Thank you.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    donebb,

    I've had a similar problem and I don't think it is a problem with a program having a file hostage but rather the device is not responding properly to Windows' command to shutdown/disconnect. What I do in situations like this is to simply shutdown the computer then unplug the device just to be sure.

    HTH
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  3. #3
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    Hello, bb.

    I have seen this too and quite often. My solution was to go to the "My computor" and to click on the device, right click, and select Eject. At times, it worked !

    If not, I made sure that it was not physically being used and then pulled it from the USB port. Make sure ! I have not been bitten by damaged files this way, yet !

    Report it to Start -> All Apps -> Feedback Hub. This is fun !

    All fine wishes. Jean.

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    If you've accessed a file on the USB stick with, say Word, the application may not release its hold on temporary files, etc. there until you close the app. If you ignore the warning to risk corrupting data. You'll also get the same message if you have the USB stick opened in Windows Explorer, for example.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Hello, bb.
    One more titbit of smart ! All of my USB cards have an LED that glows when active. If I do not see any LED activity for a while, it is not being accessed thus I can pull it. Are yours so equipped ?

    All fine wishes. Jean.
    Last edited by handcuff36; 2016-04-03 at 20:19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by handcuff36 View Post
    This is obviously a bug and need not be worried about.
    This is NOT a bug and one ignores it at their peril. Advising people to ignore it breaches Forum Rule #8: http://windowssecrets.com/forums/faq...gerousmaterial
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Hello.

    >>> If you've accessed a file on the USB stick with, say Word, the application may not release its hold on temporary files <<<

    Can you be a little more specific in this regard ? How can one cure this situation ?

    All fine wishes. Jean.

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    This happens to me as well. As others have noted, you have had a file open on the device and even though you have closed the program that had it open, Windows seems to fail to recognize that.

    I'm not sure what the best answer for this is. I've tried repeatedly ejecting it and it keeps telling me that the device is in use. Shutting down the computer works, but that's a pretty drastic solution.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Hello, gsmith.

    >>> Shutting down the computer works <<<

    Drastic is the proper word. I am sure that a very good person will come up with a logical reply if possible.

    Thanks for your reply. Did you try the "eject" way ? After installing Insider 14295, I have not seen it anymore.

    All fine wishes. Jean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by handcuff36 View Post
    After installing Insider 14295, I have not seen it anymore.
    It's possible that MS has fixed this. It's a problem that has been around since at least Win7. Although I think that it's more likely to be a problem with some programs than with others.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by handcuff36 View Post
    >>> If you've accessed a file on the USB stick with, say Word, the application may not release its hold on temporary files <<<

    Can you be a little more specific in this regard ? How can one cure this situation ?
    The simplest way is to close the application concerned. That will cause it to release all files. Some applications will do that when you close whatever files you had open, but not all behave like that. There is no need to exit Windows as has been suggested.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Quote Originally Posted by macropod View Post
    The simplest way is to close the application concerned.
    Paul, this even happens when all programs have been closed.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donebb
    Can anyone tell me how to figure out what is holding my drive hostage? Thank you.
    Check whether it's Windows Explorer itself holding the USB drive(s) open.

    Copy/paste the following into Notepad then save the file as something like restart explorer.bat (not restart explorer.bat.txt):

    Code:
    @echo off
    echo.
    echo.
    echo Step 1 - Closing Explorer...
    echo.
    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
    echo.
    echo.
    echo Step 2 - Starting Explorer again...
    start explorer.exe
    echo.
    echo Finished - Explorer is running.
    echo.
    echo.
    echo Close this dialog and try ejecting the USB Mass Storage Device again.
    echo.
    echo.
    pause
    Double-click on the saved restart explorer.bat file to run it and report back what happens.

    Hope this helps...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    Paul, this even happens when all programs have been closed.
    Even having the USB drive open in Windows Explorer will produce the warning. It's also possible Windows is keeping it open because it's been configured to use USB sticks for ReadyBoost.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  15. #15
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    There are certainly some (badly written) programs which grab files and folders and fail to let them go even when closed. PaintShop Pro is one of them. I seem to remember that there was a similar issue with files that appeared in some programs' "recently used" file lists but that was back in XP days.
    Anyway, you might try starting your PC with the USB drive inserted, then trying to eject it without doing anything else. That should give a little extra diagnostic information as to the possible culprit.

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