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Unable to safely remove external hard drive

Posted on 2004-09-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I'm using a Western Digital 250 GB external USB hard drive on an XP SP-2 Pro
system. The drive is recognized by Windows when connected, but after
searching and copying files to the disk, when I go through the two-step
"safely remove hardware" process (taskbar icon), I often get a Windows alert
that "the device cannot be disconnected right now - try again later", or
something to that effect.

If I log off and back on, I am able to successfully remove the device. Ditto
if I terminate explorer.exe and then relaunch it (Windows Task Manager).

To complicate matters further, the problem seems intermittent. I cannot
duplicate it on command.

The items running on my system listed in services.msc are heavily tweaked; I'm running a barebones environment. I am not sure if this is relevant.

I need a resolution. Any ideas?
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Question by:smarsquid
6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:zvitam
ID: 12153909
You have to disable write caching for the device as described in the following article
(However this may affect the device performance)

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prdh_dmt_cgwi.asp
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by:Cyber-Dude
ID: 12154028
1. Insure the external drive is set  for Quick Removal.
2. Verify that you have the Propper SP2 USB drivers (Device manager => USB Device => Update drivers).

If you need more detailed instructions just say so;

Cyber
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Expert Comment

by:cofneverlivetotell
ID: 12160463
Make sure you dont have any windows of the drive open!  this will stop the drive being removed, resulting in the error you described.

Cheers
Cof
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Author Comment

by:smarsquid
ID: 12165143
zvitam: I am aware that this will work, but I must pass on this as it does not address the root of the problem and it offers reduced performance as a trade-off. Thank you, though.

Cyber-Dude: I checked these areas prior to posting here, but thank you for reminding me.

cofnever livetotell: I originally thought that this was the problem, indeed. But eliminating it didn't seem to help. Thank you for your input.

Someone outside of this forum ended up suggesting I uninstall the drive from XP Device Manager and then re-connect the device so XP could re-discover and re-install drivers. I did this and have had no problems for a couple of days. The problem would have happened again by now were it not fixed, so I'm going to call this one solved on his advice.

Thanks again, folks.

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