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I cannot eject my drive!

dagardner's picture
- November 16, 2007 - 3:13pm
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I close all of my open programs then use the eject button on the MOD R30 PAM, I get the message that all programs on the drive are being close and after that the drive can be ejected. When all is finished, and I try to eject my drive, I get:

"The device 'Generic volume' cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device again later."

If I run EjectScript 0.4 on my drive, it tells me that there is nothing running on the drive. So what is keeping the drive from being ejected?

I am using a SimpleTech 60GB USB external HDD. I also noticed that I have RECYCLER and "System Volume Information" folders on that drive; Are they the culprit?

I've gone into the "Recycle Bin Properties" and turned off the Recycle bin for my PortableApps drive. I have also gone into "System Properties"->"System Restore" and turned off System Restore for all drives. I have even deleted these folders, but they keep coming back.

Do these folders show up on a USB flash drive? Does anyone else with an external HDD have this problem? Has anyone found a way to fix it?



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happens to me too but only

happens to me too but only when I run certain programs. So far nothing has been damaged when I unplugged it.

It doesn't happen every time to me either, but...

I doesn't happen every time for me either, but I can't seem to track down who is the culprit. I'm guessing that it is either Firefox, Thunderbird or RocketDock, because those are the three that I run almost every time I connect my drive. I know both of those are closed because the processes aren't in the task manager.

I have been doing what ya'll have suggested and just close my programs and remove, but I really hate doing that. I haven't noticed any loss of data, but who knows if there is some unnoticed piece missing.

I did some more Googling after my last message and found out about the Distributed Link Tracking Client process. This process only affects NTFS drives, and I think that most flash drives are formatted for FAT32. I wonder if that might be the cause. Unfortunately, it isn't easy to switch from NTFS to FAT32 to test the theory out.

I wouldn't disable the service, but I'm not sure what it does and I'm afraid that something might get broken. I've looked, and there doesn't seem to be a way to prevent the service from accessing specific drives.

Many more possibilities

Antivirus, firewall or antispyware apps not releasing the volume after checking it. Some of these apps, especially older ones, consider anything not a CD/DVD or a floppy as being a permanently mounted device and therefore don't worry about detacting it when they are done examining it.

When it happens to me if I close my firewall the system releases the USB device. However, rather than doing that I now just use the Windows' Safely Remove Hardware icon and release it that way. Quicker and safer.


You're using NTFS on your

You're using NTFS on your USB drive?

Since that is quite unusual, you should mention it when you post; it might make a difference.

NTFS is sure to respond differently to a "Safely remove" request than Fat or Fat32. There are probably other ways in which it behaves differently. Valuable information to know, both for testing and troubleshooting others.

Of course, when you click on the "Safely Remove Hardware" button Windows should either dismount the hardware or tell you -- specifically -- why it can't and what you can do. No matter what file system you are using.

But problems with that request are likely to be quite different between regular users and NTFS users.

[I use Process Explorer to figure out what is holding a file or folder open, and to close the handle. Not sure if that would work with DLTC or not.]



Well, my USB drive an external hard drive rather than a flash drive, and it came formatted as NTFS. It didn't really occur to me that NTFS might be unusual for an external hard drive.

Can you think of any other information that might be useful to know?

Happens to me also.

I know that this is probably not the safest way, but when my drive does this I just make sure that all programs accessing it are closed, and pop the drive out. So far I have not lost anything.

...But the gift of God is eternal life through Christ. Romans 6:23

task manager

Same here, if it doesn't let me eject, I check with Task Manager first, make sure I ended all the process that are on the key that I was running, then just pull it out.

No problems.

I also think I read that if it wasn't finished cleaning out the registry like due to a crash, the next time that you logged in and properly logged out, it would remove any lingering entries. I may be wrong, but it was in regards to Thunderbird.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.


try to install unlocker (google for it) and use it... unlocker will tell you who is using you PDrive... but very often is that guy called Windows Explorer... Sad

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report Laughing out loud


It would seem that svchost.exe is the culprit. It is locking the root of my portable drive, $Extend\$ObjId, and System Information\tracking.log. I'm not sure, but I'm willing to bet that it is associated with the Distributed Link Tracking Client.

Thanks for the tip!

It tracks dll's

But I don't know what dll is being used from portableapps. If all the apps are gone, any associated dll's should not be tagged by it.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

Or use

The handy-dandy DTaskManager Portable.

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." - Rick Cook


...the tech writer for my local newspaper (whom I've met personally, btw, and he's never steered me wrong in any of the columns he's written) has advised folks that this whole "eject your USB drive" bidness - at least as it pertains to thumb drives, anyway - is unnecessary.

Since I read that column of his, I've not ever bothered to "eject" my thumbdrive thereafter, and I've suffered no data loss whatsoever (Obviously though, if you write something TO said drive, you would wanna wait until the activity light [LED] indicates that the operation is finished before you pull it out).

As always, "YMMV", but I suggest you test-drive this idea by writing some unneeded data to your drive, pulling out after the operation is done, and then re-check later to see if the data is intact or not.

Let us know whatcha find, eh?...

"I don't hate long as they stay on the freeway, where they belong."
- Brad Stine

With Respect ...

to both you and your friend.
I would Not recommend Not using "safely eject".
It's there!
It can't hurt to use it.
It Might hurt to not use it.

Of course I am the belt and suspenders type myself Sticking out tongue

BTW what is YMMV?


[EDIT, Ah YMMV means "Your Mileage May Vary",
Given that we are talking about Possible data loss perhaps,
UAYOR, "Use At Your Own Risk", might be the better acronym.

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

I've been doing it...

...for months now - no harm, no foul, no data loss, no runs, no drips, no errors.

I'll see if I can dig up a link to his column on the web & y'all can read for yourselves.

As to "hurt to use it", it causes a time penalty (more time ya hafta wait), as well as getting the annoying error messages from time to time which I'd previously gotten, usually saying "cannot eject drive - drive is busy", which just makes my day that much more pleasant...

Here's the link:
(The relevant portion is about a dozen lines from the bottom)

He doesn't get into the tech aspects of why it is not harmful, but as I said, this guy's a tech writer. As such, he's spent more time working on PCs than I've ever spent playing on mine over the years. Also as previously stated, I've known him for years, and he's never steered me wrong. Not once.

"I don't hate long as they stay on the freeway, where they belong."
- Brad Stine

John Haller says

With respect to you and your friend,

John T. Haller, (whom I've never met personally, btw, but he's never steered me wrong in any of the posts he's written) says, in regards to data corruption,

"is more likely on a portable device because there is the chance you could remove it without safely ejecting (which you should NEVER EVER do..."

John said it, I believe it, that Settles it. Smiling

"and I've known him for (almost 2) years, and he's never steered me wrong. Not once."


[By the way, I'm sure John has said it more than once but my quote was taken from:

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?


..I know where I saw that quoted part before!...


"I don't hate long as they stay on the freeway, where they belong."
- Brad Stine

Recycle bin problem and XP

I think You´re right with the XP/external HDD/recycler problem.The same happens to my drive with and without PAM from time to time (e.g. when the recycler is emptied with the HDD connected).I tried out a lot, but the problem isn´t solved already.
Unlocker is good, but it doesn´t show the recycler or explorer connection. But it´s working for unclosed or ghost processes (adobe reader, print drivers etc).So, if the problem occurs and You can´t find a process with unlocker it´s the recycler problem.
Restarting Your PC should solve the problem when the drive can´t be removed safely.
And one hint from out of the frying pan... never ever unplug without "remove safely"!
It´s only a matter of time till You find Yourself with a lost partition. Sometimes it won´t come back even with testdisk and other tools. Eye-wink

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
"May The Schwartz be with You!" Yogurt the Yoda

New Idea

Why not unplug it as your computer does a reboot? Like back when people were stuck with parallel ports, the computer will shut down all the apps for you, and It's good to unplug it while the computer isn't on. It won't miss it.

Insert original signature here with Greasemonkey Script.

That would probably work, but...

...They are trying to fix the problem instead of bypass it.

...But the gift of God is eternal life through Christ. Romans 6:23

Can't eject either

I started using portable apps at my local library yesterday. I finished doing a spreadsheet, and then I couldn't eject my drive drive, since the sysadmin had turned off the "Safely Eject" feature in XP for guests. I lost nearly all of my data, including my spreadsheet and the portable apps software.

Any suggestions on how to avoid this in the future would be greatly appreciated.

first of all

try a data rescue with something like testdisk/photorec
seems that it´s not allowed to use usb-drives at your library, if yes, then talk to the sysadmin..yes, I know...Eye-wink
perhaps you can reduce the risk of data loss by closing the drive and trying the eject button of 1.1, perhaps if that fails, shut down your account/PC and remove then.
Doesn´t the "safely remove" tray icon appear ? or is it in the tray and there´s an error pop up like " drive can´t be closed/ removed" ?That´s because some apps are still running refering to apps on your drive (adobe reader, printer drivers do that very often).In that case only closing the account helps ...

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
"May The Schwartz be with You!" Yogurt the Yoda

try it from ...

the My Computer way, right clicking on the whateverdrive icon if the little "Safely Remove Hardware" in the taskbar is disabled.

And as to losing the data, you saved it first before you tried to do any ejecting, right? So it should still be on the usb key, right? I thought it was just an ejection problem.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.