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Working Eject in Windows 7

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NathanJ79
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Working Eject in Windows 7

Since we updated to Windows 7 at work, I can never properly eject my portable hard drive without rebooting the computer and yanking the cord at the BIOS screen. (Ever a flair for the dramatic.)

I've Googled after the issue, and going back to the early days of 7 (and possibly Vista as well) it seems the OS does a couple other things to hook into portable drives that, best I can tell, means you're not ejecting your drive cleanly without rebooting the computer or at least logging out of Windows first.

Of course the drive is set, in Device Manager, to optimize for quick removal as opposed to performance. In Windows XP and prior, this meant that you didn't need to ask to eject, as long as nothing was running. Recycle Bin isn't using the drive, either. Nor ReadyBoost, nor Indexing. (Indexing doesn't even show up.) The computer isn't running any spyware/oversight software or anything like that, so far as I know (nor am I asking for help around it—I know this forum's policy on that well, and I'm sure it isn't the issue).

If I open CCleaner, then exit the PortableApps.com Platform, then run CCleaner, Windows will then let me safely remove the drive. So I suspect it's something to do with caching.

Anyway, it would be really cool if the Eject function would do more than request a safe removal three times and then quit. I'd like to see it check for hooks in the drive, and, if they exist, allow the user to kill them, which should allow for safe removal straight away. One extreme method that should work is to uninstall the driver for the drive in question. This might (will?) require admin privileges, and will force the computer to re-acquire the drivers every time. That might be pushing it. Surely there's some kind of middle ground, though.

John T. Haller
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Safe Eject

If you can't safe eject using the system tray or a right-click in Explorer, getting it to eject might be a tall order.

The Platform will shortly have the ability to enumerate any running apps from the drive and ask them (politely and properly) to close, then warn you of any that won't.

Any apps you have running that may not be quitting like Google Chrome which is becoming a bit notorious for trying to take over more things in Windows now?

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

billmcct
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You can also use--

Process Explorer to see what may be running before you try to disconnect your drive, if the drive is formatted in NTFS you can do a hard disconnect with no worry of data loss. If FAT 32 then WORRY
Frankly IMO Task Manager in Windows is useless.
There are very many programs that Mark wrote years ago that could be useful to you, just download the suite. It's a shame that MickeySoft bought him out. Actually I should'nt say that, because when MS bought him out they gave him a job working on Windows security team.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653

John T. Haller
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App Directory

Note that Process Explorer is in the app directory and will be automatically be updated by the platform: https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/process-explorer-portable

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

3D1T0R
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In the meantime: PSMenu

If you can't wait for the PA.c Platform to get this feature and don't want to do it manually with Process Explorer or Process Hacker (or possibly System Explorer?), there is another (closed-source :() menu which does this.
Check out Aignes' "Portable Start Menu".
(I use it all the time, though for the most part it's only for this feature Smile would love to see this functionality here)

~3D1T0R

John T. Haller
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Closing

Keep in mind that any 3rd party solution attempting to 'automatically' close running apps on your flash drive will wind up closing portable apps with multiple EXEs incorrectly, leading to the same situation as when shutting Windows down without closing apps: apps closed incorrectly and starting with an error message on next launch.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

3D1T0R
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Oops, Sorry, Seperated features, not necessarily the same.

Oops, Sorry.
I didn't mean to mislead.
PSMenu doesn't try to close apps, it just lists what processes are still running off of the drive. Actually apparently it can, I'd forgotten that though as IIRC when I first set up PSMenu I had an issue with it doing that, and have had that feature disabled ever since. I only use the feature that lists running apps so I can close them myself.
(And personally I prefer it that way so I can make sure I save first & close everything properly.)

Will the PA.c version of this feature be split like this (so I can drop PSMenu, still have the list of running apps when closing, and not have it try to close them for me?)

~3D1T0R

John T. Haller
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Automatic

It will be automatic, but it will have two pieces that mean you don't need to worry about it. First, it will understand how portable apps with portable launchers work and close the app before the launcher. Second, it will only send the polite 'close' message and won't have the ability to force close. That way, if you're using an app like LibreOffice Portable, it'll send a polite close message to LibreOffice itself. LibreOffice will handle this by prompting you to save your unsaved work and not closing until you respond. The PA.c Platform will see that LibreOffice hasn't closed and never send a message to the LibreOffice Portable launcher to close. If you don't save your work and allow LibreOffice to close within the set timeout timeframe (likely about 20 seconds), the platform will show a message showing that LibreOffice is still running and it can't close.

It wouldn't be too hard to not automatically close and only show you what's running, but it doesn't seem like there's much reason to do that if the platform knows how to properly close apps which support it and just alert you when apps don't.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

3D1T0R
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I may be the odd one out but…

I personally would like to be able to only use the listing portion of this feature as some apps will close without asking even with only a 'polite close', and while these may mostly be in cases like incognito windows in Chrome and weird little apps that could really use some more work like DMcsvEditor (ooh, there's a new version called CSVpad now, I'll have to check it out soon) but the fact is that some people use these things and/or use things in odd ways, and it would be nice if we could have this choice while still having the related feature(s) available to us.
And you may be thinking "Well, don't use incognito windows for things that matter" or "Check what's going to be closed before you exit the platform", but I almost always use the private browsing mode of whichever browser I'm using at the time (maybe I'm odd), I do use odd little not-necessarily-complete programs (odd, again), and sometimes I forget to check things before I do things that could affect them (isn't everyone a little forgetful sometimes?).

Anyway the point is that I'd appreciate having the second half of this feature available without the first half for those of us who don't really want to use the first half.
Please consider it.

~3D1T0R

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