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All too regularly, when I try to safely remove my USB external hard drive I get the dreaded message that a file or process is still accessing it. I know that there are huge numbers of posts on many different forums about this problem, and I have spent hours trawling through these, and have reached a dead end.

I have done the following things to try to sort this out:

  1. Stopped file indexing on the external drive.
  2. Run Filemon - it does not show anything accessing the external drive.
  3. Run Process Explorer - used the "Find" function, and searched E:/ - does not show anything accessing the external drive.
  4. Run a utiltity called "USB Safely Remove". This says that it can't find any processes accessing the external drive, but that it still can't stop it. It suggests that there may be another user with greater privileges than me accessing the drive. However, the PC is a one user only machine, and I only have one user identity on it - me as the Administrator.

I have seen posts suggesting a program called "Unhooker" but I can't find any info about where to get this software. The only thing I can find is something called "Rootkit Unhooker" and I am very reluctant to download any software originating in Rumania (is this unjustified prejudice???) I have also found one review suggesting that this software is dangerous.

Can anyone suggest anything more I can do to track down what is getting in the way of closing the drive?

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Last Post by caperjack
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for me when this happens i just go to start and log off ,then log back in and it will then let me shut it down .I don't know of any software program to fix it sorry

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go into my computer -> right click drive -> properties -> hardware tab
select drive in hardware tab -> click properties -> policies tab

set it to be optimised for quick removal. Disable any write-caching etc...

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Thanks for your suggestions. The drive is already optimised for quick removal, with write-caching disabled. I will certainly try the idea of logging off and then logging back on.

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Thanks for your suggestions. The drive is already optimised for quick removal, with write-caching disabled. .

yup, so is the one that i have the problem with .mine is actually a usb external case with laptop drive in it ,no swapfile on it

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