permission to disconnect external drive


M

micky

I have an external hard drive connected by USB. After I use it, I try
to disconnect it and I usually get the mesage "cannot be stopped right
now. Try again later. "

How do I get around this?

I know there are issues of Write-Behind or whatever that might mean a
file hasn't been fully written when one might think so, but it's been 30
hours. Surely it's done by now! Can I just turn off the caddy or
unplug the drive and be done with it? How long would you wait?


I've learned that if windows explorer had the drive or any file in it
highlighted, that will cause the message. Sometimes I change the
drive highlighted, but other times I've had to close WE.

I've learned that if any program has used the drive, the program
probably has to be closed to free the drive. I've closed DOS boxes
which once accessed the external drive, and iirc that's worked
sometimes.

But yesterday I closed everything that had ever had anything to do with
drive E, and it still objects to my closing it. Only Agent, Eudora,
and Solitaire were still open, and the data for the first two is on
drive D:


Then I listened to Diane Rehm today and they were talking about
ransomware.

More to my point they were talking about viruses that encrypt files.

And they pointed out that any backup drive connected to the computer
would also be attacked. So that's one more reason I want to disconnect
it.

Thanks.
 
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M

micky

But yesterday I closed everything that had ever had anything to do with
drive E, and it still objects to my closing it. Only Agent, Eudora,
and Solitaire were still open, and the data for the first two is on
drive D:

AVG was still running. And it did access either the drive or the RAM
used to copy to the drive, because I was using drive E to back-up drive
D.

But I've never had to close AVG before, and I don't want to.
 
P

Paul

micky said:
I have an external hard drive connected by USB. After I use it, I try
to disconnect it and I usually get the mesage "cannot be stopped right
now. Try again later. "

How do I get around this?

I know there are issues of Write-Behind or whatever that might mean a
file hasn't been fully written when one might think so, but it's been 30
hours. Surely it's done by now! Can I just turn off the caddy or
unplug the drive and be done with it? How long would you wait?


I've learned that if windows explorer had the drive or any file in it
highlighted, that will cause the message. Sometimes I change the
drive highlighted, but other times I've had to close WE.

I've learned that if any program has used the drive, the program
probably has to be closed to free the drive. I've closed DOS boxes
which once accessed the external drive, and iirc that's worked
sometimes.

But yesterday I closed everything that had ever had anything to do with
drive E, and it still objects to my closing it. Only Agent, Eudora,
and Solitaire were still open, and the data for the first two is on
drive D:


Then I listened to Diane Rehm today and they were talking about
ransomware.

More to my point they were talking about viruses that encrypt files.

And they pointed out that any backup drive connected to the computer
would also be attacked. So that's one more reason I want to disconnect
it.

Thanks.

Download a copy of Handle.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896655

In a command prompt window, run Handle, but give it a
drive letter. Now, I have a copy of GIMP image editor,
and I have it set to keep temporary files on my
drive F:. So I'm using my GIMP image editor, to
make an example of a "busy file".

This is what I see when I check for Handles involving
drive F:

handle F:

http://i61.tinypic.com/t0gb35.gif

What you see in that window, is the change in output
that results when I start the GIMP image editor. I cannot
"eject" drive F:, because GIMP is making it busy. I
must exit the GIMP program, in order for that
busy handle to disappear.

*******

So your procedure would be:

1) Close Disk Management.
Close any open File Explorer window. They can cause
a "handle" to the USB drive.

Attempt to Eject or Safely Remove using the icon at
the bottom of the screen.

If still busy, you can

2) Use the handle.exe program, and check the
partition for busy handles.

Don't just run "handle" with no arguments, because it
produces a ton of output. By doing

handle F:

I'm limiting output to things associated with drive F:.

Note that Handle can also be used to determine what
process is using a COM port. Or, with a little work,
it can be used to track down what program is using
your web cam. A very nice program, with a little
preparatory work by the user to get the most from it.
I can easily waste half a day figuring out a new
usage...

HTH,
Paul
 
M

micky

Download a copy of Handle.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896655

In a command prompt window, run Handle, but give it a
drive letter. Now, I have a copy of GIMP image editor,
and I have it set to keep temporary files on my
drive F:. So I'm using my GIMP image editor, to
make an example of a "busy file".

This is what I see when I check for Handles involving
drive F:

handle F:

http://i61.tinypic.com/t0gb35.gif

What you see in that window, is the change in output
that results when I start the GIMP image editor. I cannot
"eject" drive F:, because GIMP is making it busy. I
must exit the GIMP program, in order for that
busy handle to disappear.
*******

So your procedure would be:

1) Close Disk Management.
Close any open File Explorer window. They can cause
a "handle" to the USB drive.

Attempt to Eject or Safely Remove using the icon at
the bottom of the screen.

If still busy, you can

2) Use the handle.exe program, and check the
partition for busy handles.

Don't just run "handle" with no arguments, because it
produces a ton of output. By doing

handle F:

Amazing. That Mark Russinovich is a pretty clever guy.
I'm limiting output to things associated with drive F:.

There are actually 3 partitions on the harddrive in quesiton, and it
turns out there are 0, 9, or 13 handles from AVG on each of them, all of
them to the virus vault on that dirve.

AVG seemed to take a week or two before it discovered these three
drives, but at some point it started scanning them, more than once,
picking out a total of about 10 files it didn't like, or maybe 22. I've
rebooted since then, but I'll bet it's been scanning anyhow, just not
finding anything to report.

There are also 2, 0, and 2 handles from svchost.exe, one each to System
Volume Information and one to \$extend\$ObjId

I disabled AVG protection for two minutes and checked again but nothing
changed.

Other than closing AVG, I don't know how to get rid of its handles, and
other than rebooting, I don't know how to get rid of svchost.exe
handles.

I don't want to reboot, and I don't want to have to reboot every time I
want to disconnect the hard drive.

Since I don't care about the files indicated on the drives,

And since the writting to the AVG vault must have been done after it
displayed AVG message boxes (except I said I'd rebooted since the last
one) which it doesn't do anymore, now may I just disconnect the
hard drive, without hurting anything? Pretty please?
Note that Handle can also be used to determine what
process is using a COM port. Or, with a little work,
it can be used to track down what program is using
your web cam. A very nice program, with a little
preparatory work by the user to get the most from it.
I can easily waste half a day figuring out a new
usage...

HTH,
Paul

Yes, it helps for this problem and I've definitely wanted something to
tell me what program was using the harddrive, at times when I thught
nothing would be using it, or nothing would be using it much. This is
great. Thanks.
 
P

Paul

micky said:
Amazing. That Mark Russinovich is a pretty clever guy.


There are actually 3 partitions on the harddrive in quesiton, and it
turns out there are 0, 9, or 13 handles from AVG on each of them, all of
them to the virus vault on that dirve.

AVG seemed to take a week or two before it discovered these three
drives, but at some point it started scanning them, more than once,
picking out a total of about 10 files it didn't like, or maybe 22. I've
rebooted since then, but I'll bet it's been scanning anyhow, just not
finding anything to report.

There are also 2, 0, and 2 handles from svchost.exe, one each to System
Volume Information and one to \$extend\$ObjId

I disabled AVG protection for two minutes and checked again but nothing
changed.

Other than closing AVG, I don't know how to get rid of its handles, and
other than rebooting, I don't know how to get rid of svchost.exe
handles.

I don't want to reboot, and I don't want to have to reboot every time I
want to disconnect the hard drive.

Since I don't care about the files indicated on the drives,

And since the writting to the AVG vault must have been done after it
displayed AVG message boxes (except I said I'd rebooted since the last
one) which it doesn't do anymore, now may I just disconnect the
hard drive, without hurting anything? Pretty please?


Yes, it helps for this problem and I've definitely wanted something to
tell me what program was using the harddrive, at times when I thught
nothing would be using it, or nothing would be using it much. This is
great. Thanks.

Does AVG have any "exclusion" settings ?

For the SVI handle, you could try disabling
System Restore on the volume in question. The only problem
with that, is when new drives are detected, the default
is to add them to the set of volumes getting System Restore
point treatment. Disabling System Restore altogether,
is about the only easy way I know of, to "tame bad habits".

On OS installs where I've left System Restore running,
I have it running only on C: and not protecting
any data-only drives.

Paul
 
C

Charlie+

I have an external hard drive connected by USB. After I use it, I try
to disconnect it and I usually get the mesage "cannot be stopped right
now. Try again later. "

How do I get around this?
Look for a little 45k commandline program called RemoveDrive.exe /h gets
you the switches. I keep it in the root of C drive so its easy to call
up.
Heres a link that comes up!
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/safely-remove-usb-devices-removedrive-free-commandline-tool
Not infallible but usually it works! Have a go with that ... C+
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>, Paul <[email protected]>
writes:
[]
[]
Probably vastly inferior to the above (I have great respect for anything
from SysInternals, and will get it next time I'm online!), but possibly
slightly easier to use, you might try Unlocker Assistant (free from
http://unlocker.emptyloop.com/, or was when I got it). I mainly use it
to detect what's "using" a file when I try to delete it: UA pops up then
and shows what's using the file, and also gives the option to stop that
process (though not sure I'd recommend doing that - but just using it as
a what's-using tool should be harmless). I'm not sure if it will pop up
when you try to eject a drive, though, but could be worth a try - I find
it useful for finding what's stopping me deleting a file, anyway.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

The hypothalamus is one of the most important parts of the brain, involved in
many kinds of motivation, among other functions. The hypothalamus controls the
"Four F's": fighting, fleeing, feeding, and mating. -Heard in a neuropsychology
classroom
 
M

micky

Look for a little 45k commandline program called RemoveDrive.exe /h gets
you the switches. I keep it in the root of C drive so its easy to call
up.
Heres a link that comes up!
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/safely-remove-usb-devices-removedrive-free-commandline-tool
Not infallible but usually it works! Have a go with that ... C+

I'm about to try it, but first, here's the author's webpage, so other
downloaders don't have to worry about tagalong PUPs.
http://www.uwe-sieber.de/drivetools_e.html

One download site says "No adware, No Spyware. No Viruses" but doesn't
say "No Conduit, no changing your search engine to Bing". These might
not be as bad as the first three, but I didn't want them, and I think I
got them from CNET
 
M

micky

I'm about to try it, but first, here's the author's webpage, so other
downloaders don't have to worry about tagalong PUPs.
http://www.uwe-sieber.de/drivetools_e.html

One download site says "No adware, No Spyware. No Viruses" but doesn't
say "No Conduit, no changing your search engine to Bing". These might
not be as bad as the first three, but I didn't want them, and I think I
got them from CNET

Okay. I tried it. There are actualy 3 backup parttions on this HDD, I
only tried to remove E: but it cleverly decided to remove all 3. When it
couldn't, I used an option it has to display handles. However, unlike
Handle, it didn't display any. I have some work due tomorrow. I don't
have more time for a few days.

I Sleep the computer when I'm not using it, so that stops the drive from
spinning, right?

Here's the output.

D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>removedrive e:

RemoveDrive V2.7.0 (Win32) - prepares drives for safe removal
Freeware by Uwe Sieber - www.uwe-sieber.de
Removing 'WDC WD15 EARS-32MVWB0 USB Device' (F:, G:, E:)
look for open files on volume 'E:\' or '\Device\HarddiskVolume3'
failed


D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>
D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>removedrive e: -h

RemoveDrive V2.7.0 (Win32) - prepares drives for safe removal
Freeware by Uwe Sieber - www.uwe-sieber.de
Removing 'WDC WD15 EARS-32MVWB0 USB Device' (F:, G:, E:)
checking for open handles on F:\... timeout
checking for open handles on E:\... timeout
look for open files on volume 'E:\' or '\Device\HarddiskVolume3'
failed
 
P

Paul

micky said:
Okay. I tried it. There are actualy 3 backup parttions on this HDD, I
only tried to remove E: but it cleverly decided to remove all 3. When it
couldn't, I used an option it has to display handles. However, unlike
Handle, it didn't display any. I have some work due tomorrow. I don't
have more time for a few days.

I Sleep the computer when I'm not using it, so that stops the drive from
spinning, right?

Here's the output.

D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>removedrive e:

RemoveDrive V2.7.0 (Win32) - prepares drives for safe removal
Freeware by Uwe Sieber - www.uwe-sieber.de
Removing 'WDC WD15 EARS-32MVWB0 USB Device' (F:, G:, E:)
look for open files on volume 'E:\' or '\Device\HarddiskVolume3'
failed


D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>
D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>removedrive e: -h

RemoveDrive V2.7.0 (Win32) - prepares drives for safe removal
Freeware by Uwe Sieber - www.uwe-sieber.de
Removing 'WDC WD15 EARS-32MVWB0 USB Device' (F:, G:, E:)
checking for open handles on F:\... timeout
checking for open handles on E:\... timeout
look for open files on volume 'E:\' or '\Device\HarddiskVolume3'
failed

Are you doing this from the Administrator account ?
Are we on WinXP or some other later OS ?

Using Run As Administrator on cmd.exe elevates the
command prompt on the later OSes. And might help
the removedrive program read handles.

Paul
 
M

micky

Are you doing this from the Administrator account ?
Yes.

Are we on WinXP or some other later OS ?

XP - SP3.
Using Run As Administrator on cmd.exe elevates the
command prompt on the later OSes. And might help
the removedrive program read handles.

No, it's XP.


For the record, this has turned into a learning experience for me. I'm
ready to just unplug the drive, but I'll kee at this for a while to see
what I can learn.

The original link given by Charlie to RemoveDrive listed another program
that did the same thing. Maybe I'll try that, althugh I suppose they
all work in the same way.
 
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U

Uwe Sieber

micky said:
Here's the output.

D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>removedrive e:

RemoveDrive V2.7.0 (Win32) - prepares drives for safe removal
Freeware by Uwe Sieber - www.uwe-sieber.de
Removing 'WDC WD15 EARS-32MVWB0 USB Device' (F:, G:, E:)
look for open files on volume 'E:\' or '\Device\HarddiskVolume3'
failed


D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>
D:\Downloads\RemoveDrive\Win32>removedrive e: -h

RemoveDrive V2.7.0 (Win32) - prepares drives for safe removal
Freeware by Uwe Sieber - www.uwe-sieber.de
Removing 'WDC WD15 EARS-32MVWB0 USB Device' (F:, G:, E:)
checking for open handles on F:\... timeout
checking for open handles on E:\... timeout
look for open files on volume 'E:\' or '\Device\HarddiskVolume3'
failed

RemoveDrive doesn't use a driver to check the handles,
therefore it stucks when it hits a waiting synchronisation
object as a mutex. Therefore it scans handles of visible
apps only to reduce the probability to hit a waiting
object. And an invisible app is hard to close anyway...

Maybe the Process Explorer can show the nasty handle:
https://technet.microsoft.com/de-de/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
Press Ctrl+F and enter E:


If you start RemoveDrive with param -L then it loops until
success or cancellation. It offers then the option to press
the E key to dismount and eject the volume. This is made
for removable drives with a single volume, I need to check
what happens with multiple partitions...

Uwe
 
M

micky

RemoveDrive doesn't use a driver to check the handles,
therefore it stucks when it hits a waiting synchronisation
object as a mutex. Therefore it scans handles of visible
apps only to reduce the probability to hit a waiting
object. And an invisible app is hard to close anyway...

Maybe the Process Explorer can show the nasty handle:
https://technet.microsoft.com/de-de/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
Press Ctrl+F and enter E:


If you start RemoveDrive with param -L then it loops until
success or cancellation. It offers then the option to press
the E key to dismount and eject the volume. This is made
for removable drives with a single volume, I need to check
what happens with multiple partitions...

Uwe

Wow. The English expression would be "Speak of the devil" which is used
for good and bad both but mostly for good visitors. I don't know how
this translates into German , so let me change it to What a surprise***!


Thanks a lot

I did see the -L option but didn't try it. I will.

And I've got Process Explorer and I'll try that too.

***Did you just happen to be reading?
Did someone tell you your name was mentioned?
Or do you have google.groups set up to notify you if your name is
mentioned?
 
C

Charlie+

snip

Thanks a lot

I did see the -L option but didn't try it. I will.

And I've got Process Explorer and I'll try that too.
Yes Ive used the -L option and it works sometimes but can take a while,
depending on your workload I sometimes choose to reboot! I never
understood why Windows finds this so difficult when closing windows can
drop the handles instantly without causing any shutdown delay or damage
it seems! C+
 
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U

Uwe Sieber

micky said:
Wow. The English expression would be "Speak of the devil" which is used
for good and bad both but mostly for good visitors. I don't know how
this translates into German , so let me change it to What a surprise***!


Thanks a lot

I did see the -L option but didn't try it. I will.

And I've got Process Explorer and I'll try that too.

***Did you just happen to be reading?
Did someone tell you your name was mentioned?
Or do you have google.groups set up to notify you if your name is
mentioned?

I just read this group, one of the few still alive a bit...

Meanwhile I've tried what happens when pressing E
for a drive with multiple partitions and to my surprise
I already had implemented to handle this correctly :)
All volumes are tried to lock, then dismounted and
finally the media is tried to eject which usually fails
on hard drives. So RemoveDrive -L and then pressing E
is a valid workaround here.


Uwe
 

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