Suddenly can't safely remove external USB drives


D

Doc

Hasn't been a problem until now. The system won't let go of a couple
of USB external drives. Click the icon. hit Stop and I get a "can be
stopped try later" message.

Tried using Unlocker, still doesn't let me even when it says there are
no handles.

Running XP Pro SP3.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
 
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P

Paul

Doc said:
Hasn't been a problem until now. The system won't let go of a couple
of USB external drives. Click the icon. hit Stop and I get a "can be
stopped try later" message.

Tried using Unlocker, still doesn't let me even when it says there are
no handles.

Running XP Pro SP3.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

And in a previous posting, you were fooling around with Windows Search 4.

Any chance the two are related ?

Maybe indexing is running on the external drives ? Or something
you thought would help your search result, is now preventing safe
removal.

Paul
 
D

Doc

And in a previous posting, you were fooling around with Windows Search 4.

Any chance the two are related ?


Don't know but it wasn't doing this previously with WS4 running. I'd
actually never seen WS4 before, it must have been included in a
Windows update. At first I thought it was annoying but it really
speeds up searches exponentially faster. Finds files across 5 drives
much, much faster than it would find a file on 1 drive with the usual
windows search assistant. It's very useful to me now that I'm trying
to clean up drives, get rid of redundant files.
 
B

BillW50

Don't know but it wasn't doing this previously with WS4 running. I'd
actually never seen WS4 before, it must have been included in a
Windows update. At first I thought it was annoying but it really
speeds up searches exponentially faster. Finds files across 5 drives
much, much faster than it would find a file on 1 drive with the usual
windows search assistant. It's very useful to me now that I'm trying
to clean up drives, get rid of redundant files.

I just happened to check giveawayoftheday.com this morning and just the
tool you need is being given away.

USB Safely Remove 4.7
http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/usb-safely-remove-47/

I use both "USB Safely Remove" and "Zentimo" which are produced by the
same company. Zentimo has a bit more features like testing drive speeds,
etc. But both are very good and I can't see having Windows without
either or.
 
B

BillW50

Thanks. Hadn't heard of the site before. Tried it, still having the
same problem. svchost.exe is the process that keeps coming up as
having a lock on the drive.

I rarely have a problem with safely remove. As it is usually like
Explorer is looking at it or something. But USB Safely Remove has a
force remove feature. Have you tried that? Windows should let it go then.

Svchost.exe is part of Windows and does a lot of things. See:

What is svchost.exe?
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/What-is-svchost-exe
 
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D

Doc

I rarely have a problem with safely remove. As it is usually like
Explorer is looking at it or something. But USB Safely Remove has a
force remove feature. Have you tried that? Windows should let it go then.


Yes, tried that.

I just tried it again after a reboot and it's telling me that it can't
find any processes locking the device that it might be locked by
Windows.
 
B

BillW50


I have seen utilities, applications, etc. that monitor drives on the
system. Most of them play nicely and don't have a problem with safely
remove. But once in awhile, some of them do. So can you think of
anything you are running that might be monitoring disk space,
temperatures, etc. that isn't native to Windows? I bet it works in
safemode. eh?

Yes the forum admits your problem does pop up for some. And they say it
is a Windows bug which they are working on getting around.

And you and I know, in a case that you can't safely remove something,
powering down then remove is always safe. Although we both should check
on this, but logging off *might* be safe too. If that is ok, that is
much faster. I'm not suggesting this as a fix or anything, just a
workaround until we figure out how to fix your problem.
 
P

Paul

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D

David H. Lipman

From: "Doc said:
Hasn't been a problem until now. The system won't let go of a couple
of USB external drives. Click the icon. hit Stop and I get a "can be
stopped try later" message.

Tried using Unlocker, still doesn't let me even when it says there are
no handles.

Running XP Pro SP3.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Some utility or program is holding the drive or a file's handle open on the device.

For examples let's say the USB External Drive is "E:". Some program or utility is either
looking at "E:" or "E:\somefile" and thus the message.

You can use Sysinternal Process Explorer to find out.

Assuming "E:" for this discussion, load Process Explorer.
From the pull-down menu choose; Find --> file or handle
enter; e:

and it will show you what application is holding open the handle.
 
D

Doc

Finally had success. Apparently it was the Windows Search -
searchindexer.exe After killing that I can remove and restart it
using USB Safely remove.
 
D

David H. Lipman

From: "Doc said:
Finally had success. Apparently it was the Windows Search -
searchindexer.exe After killing that I can remove and restart it
using USB Safely remove.

How did you determine that EXE was holding the handle open ?
Did you use my Sysinternals Process Explorer suggestion ?
 
D

Doc

How did you determine that EXE was holding the handle open ?


It was basically a hunch. I'd never seen WSA 4 until recently. It must
have been part of a recent update, this isn't the first install of XP
Pro on this machine. It does make searching a lot quicker - in fact
for my current purposes of organizing some bloated drives I've let
accumulate clutter, searching for redundancies it's indispensable, but
I've noticed it seems to be all pervasive, I suppose it's constantly
checking all drives for new or moved files.

Did you use my Sysinternals Process Explorer suggestion ?


Yes, to kill the process altogether. Neither it nor USB Safely Remove
named searchindexer.exe directly as the culprit. PE came bringing up a
handle under svchost.exe when I entered G: in the "find" search. As it
happens, I first discovered Process Explorer not too long ago, to
solve the issue of folders and files that wouldn't delete. Also the
excellent companion video "The Case Of The Unexplained" by the Micro
$oft guru Mark Russinovich which I've turned into a DVD, since it
gives some good insight into the workings of Windows. I've since
learned there are several COTU talks he's given, I'll probably save
the others as well.
 
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D

David H. Lipman

From: "Doc said:
It was basically a hunch. I'd never seen WSA 4 until recently. It must
have been part of a recent update, this isn't the first install of XP
Pro on this machine. It does make searching a lot quicker - in fact
for my current purposes of organizing some bloated drives I've let
accumulate clutter, searching for redundancies it's indispensable, but
I've noticed it seems to be all pervasive, I suppose it's constantly
checking all drives for new or moved files.




Yes, to kill the process altogether. Neither it nor USB Safely Remove
named searchindexer.exe directly as the culprit. PE came bringing up a
handle under svchost.exe when I entered G: in the "find" search. As it
happens, I first discovered Process Explorer not too long ago, to
solve the issue of folders and files that wouldn't delete. Also the
excellent companion video "The Case Of The Unexplained" by the Micro
$oft guru Mark Russinovich which I've turned into a DVD, since it
gives some good insight into the workings of Windows. I've since
learned there are several COTU talks he's given, I'll probably save
the others as well.

Thanx for the update.
 

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