View Full Version : How to safely eject external hard drive?

31-01-2012, 05:07 PM
I'm running Windows 7. When I try to safely eject an external hard drive, I nearly always get an error message telling me that it can't safely be stopped and to try again later. This message appears even when I have shut down all of the applications I have been using, giving me no choice but to unplug the hard drive even though it's still running. Any suggests on how to fix this problem would be welcomed. Thanks.

Speedy Gonzales
31-01-2012, 05:38 PM
Try this and see what it is (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555665). Or something like a virus scanner maybe scanning it (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/usb-external-hard-disk-will-not-eject-message-says/0d73eaae-f403-455a-a5dd-a9aa78b0d8ec)

31-01-2012, 08:15 PM
Often, if you open "computer" and right click on the drive in question you can eject it from there ok.

31-01-2012, 08:41 PM
Often, if you open "computer" and right click on the drive in question you can eject it from there ok.

In Windows 7 I can eject my two flash drives that way but not my external hard drive.

01-02-2012, 12:06 AM
The HDD controller has to be in AHCI mode to eject disks, but you can't just change it if it isn't or windows won't boot. But the OP sounds like it is in AHCI mode and some process is not releasing the drive which is a frustrating one, I usually end up shutting down because yanking it anyway is dangerous to hdds, not so bad for flash drives usually.

One thing that has caused this for me is video files, windows seems to keep the last one you opened or hovered over linked to media player somehow. I have proved this by playing a file on another drive with media player and then successfully ejecting the problem drive. Associated all video files with a different player might fix that, maybe.

Neil McC
01-02-2012, 08:01 AM
I use Hotswap.

01-02-2012, 10:00 AM
I check Resource Monitor - if there's no instance of the drive letter I feel OK about pulling it out

(Win7pro64 - Task Manager - Performance - Resource Monitor - Disc Activity)

01-02-2012, 11:14 AM
I've been using Unlocker since my XP days and it's the best program ever! You can get it here (http://www.filehippo.com/download_unlocker/). Basically it tells you what process is using the file or drive and then you just unlock it if you need to. Saved my butt numerous times. :). Also good for if you can't delete a file