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Can't safely remove usb drive

Posted on 2009-07-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
This is a recent problem:  If I insert a usb jump drive/thumb drive and open a word document, close the document and then try to safely remove the usb drive it works.  I can safely remove it.

However, if I insert the usb jump drive and attach the Word document to an outlook email, and send the email, I cannot safely remove the drive--says it is still in use:  Can't close generic drive because it is still in use.

I have done this very systematically on both xp and vista computers with two lexar jump drives (different models and sizes).  Same problem on both.  Sometimes if I find an open process (winword.exe) and close it from task manager I can then safely remove the drive.  Otherwise, I have to shut down and restart.

If I just pull it out without safely removing it, the file I sent in Outlook is corrupted.
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Question by:monacoassociates
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6 Comments
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 24818902
That is probably because the Word "*.tmp" file is still open, but I'll wait for one of the Word guru's to check in to verify.
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
gikkel earned 600 total points
ID: 24818946
Send the email with the attachement and close outlook...it'll then let you eject the drive.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Datedman
ID: 24819345
If the attachment gets corrupted then you *haven't sent it.* :)

Just be glad it's not a Mac...if you pull a USB drive without throwing it in the trash the file system gets hosed. WTH
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24821053
you can try safely remove : http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1
there's a trial period
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:Iain MacMillan
Iain MacMillan earned 150 total points
ID: 24821368
If you are using Outlook prior to 2007, and have Word set as your email editor, there will always be a session of WINWORD shown in the Task Manager.  This by design.  Office also has the annoying habit of keeping a hook in previously opened files (stopping others opening the same file sometimes), until you close the application down.  Sometimes this WinWord can hang, and has to be end tasked from TM

You are unable to safely remove the USB drive due to the applications still linking to the file.  Just link the file and then send.  Close Outlook and ensure that all apps are closed and Explorer.  Then access the Safely remove applet and tell it to stop the USB, you should then get a clean break, sometimes I have to do this twice, but it works.
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Author Comment

by:monacoassociates
ID: 24823941
Thanks for your help.  Tried it once and it worked.  We'll see if it works consistently.
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