Can't safely remove external HDD as apparently it's in use??


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Technique

So i plug in the external HDD, transfer a large 30GB video file to my PC.

 

To get technical I have a Plex folder on my PC and since the drive is not far from being full, i have movies stored on an external HDD too. I copy a movie over (to later delete from PC HDD). I watch said movie.

 

I then come back and go to safely remove external HDD yet it says it's in use. Why is this as the only thing i've done is copy from external drive to PC drive? It does this every time.

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adrynalyne

It’s probably indexing. 

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Technique

I forgot to unplug it last night. I've just turned the PC on now with it connected. Haven't actually 'done' anything with it.

 

Go to safely remove - same issue.

 

Still indexing? I don't even know what indexing is but how do i safely remove?

 

Or is it a simple case of waiting until i've turned the PC off and remembering to unplug it then?

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Steven P.

I've been having the same problem lately and it seems to be related to an Intel Driver & Support Assistant driver that is checking for driver updates in the background. I am using USB Safely Remove 30 day evaluation https://safelyremove.com/index.htm?ver=6.3.3.1287&ostype=win64&sm=aboutform which lets you see what is preventing the drive from being stopped and it also force closes the processes that are preventing this. I still have to do some testing but after doing some searching around I was also advised to uninstall Intel Computing Improvement Program which installs with an Intel driver update.

 

If all else fails, it is safe to remove the drive when your computer is powered off.

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Nick H.

For the most part you don't need to worry about the "safely remove hardware" option. I think it was with Windows 7 or 8, but they changed the way the computer handles external storage devices:

 

Wdy2Nzx.jpg

 

Obviously it's still a bad idea to remove the device if you are in the middle of transferring data to it, but aside from that you can just go ahead and unplug it without using the remove option.

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protocol7

Whenever this happens I go to Disk Management and take the drive offline. This closes any open handles the system may have on it. Then I set it back to Online and can safely remove it.

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Steven P.
49 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

For the most part you don't need to worry about the "safely remove hardware" option. I think it was with Windows 7 or 8, but they changed the way the computer handles external storage devices:

The drive is already set for quick removal but I have been using the safe remove icon and I get the message. It started happening about a week or so ago, really frustrating, but I still need to test if a few changes with Intel Driver & Support Assistant disabled fixed it.

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Nick H.
3 minutes ago, Steven P. said:

The drive is already set for quick removal but I have been using the safe remove icon and I get the message. It started happening about a week or so ago, really frustrating, but I still need to test if a few changes with Intel Driver & Support Assistant disabled fixed it.

Well, my point was more that because the option is enabled by default you don't need to use the safe remove icon, and if you don't use the safe remove icon then you won't get the error message. :p

 

But yeah, if you were using it before and it is only last week that the message started appearing it would be interesting to know what has changed in that time to cause the message.

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  • 4 weeks later...
charlie1911

You should look into the Task Manager, it might be possible that the any background task is using the external HDD. You've to end that task before unplugging.

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