Can't eject external hard drive. This device is currently in use.

#1
Whenever I try to eject a certain external hard drive using the little icon in the
task window, I get a message that it is in use. I am very careful to be sure it is not in use
but still get the message. This is a data storage disc. I am not aware of any programs on it that may be running in the background. Is there a way to examine a disc to see just what is being used on it at any given time?
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#2
I could be that a page file or even a recycle bin might be using it, or some file on it is opened.

If you check Device Manager and check the properties for the drive, under the Policies tab, which box do you have checked?
 


#3
Thank you, Saltgrass,
I have caching disabled (default). I guess it doesn't matter how I turn it off then. It still would be nice to do it the right way.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#4
What type of connection does the external drive have, eSATA or USB, or firewire?
 


#5
USB connection
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#6
I do not really have an answer, but maybe you could open the folder options, view tab and uncheck hide protected system files. Maybe something would show up.

Do you know if there was any software installed on the drive that might be interfering with the process? Do you have any scheduled backups set to use the drive?
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#7
What do you use for antivirus? Some of these cause that problem. I've heard Avira, Avast, Kapersky to name a few. And some use Kapersky components.
Joe
 


#8
I have done all this stuff. Norton has a choice to not scan peripheral drives. It's on. I downloaded Process Explorer. This may be interesting, but I can't interpret it. Immediately after turning on the computer (no programs chosen to run except necessary start-up), and turning on the external drive (separate switch), there are 6 "system" programs listed on Process Explorer for the drive. They contain things like "$" and "?" and I have no idea what they mean. Probably basic necessary stuff that a hack like me shouldn't touch.
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#9
Did you try logging off then back on? Sometimes that helps.
Joe
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#10
What model is the drive. I ask because I had a flash drive that contained its own software that it installed the first time it was used. Perhaps your drive did something like that. If it did, you may need to use that same software to remove the drive.

Process Explorer can give you quite a bit of info. If you right click, or maybe mouse over some of the items, it will show what is being run and why. You could list the processes started up, or use the snipping tool to take a picture and attach.
 


MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#11
Hi

The safe workaround is to turn off your computer and then turn off the hard drive.
I only have my external hard drives on when I'm using them, they are off 99% of the time.
If I have been using them I just turn them off after I shut down my computer.

Mike
 


#12
Thanks for your concern, Saltgrass,

It's a Western Digital 1TB drive. It disconnected pretty well when it was brand new, now it's over half full. I'll check processes again and send you a snapshot.
 


#13
Mike,
That's what I do. The other way just seems gentler on the electronics, somehow.
 


This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.
Top