How to remove USB external drives without the error 'Generic volume' error

We have been having this problem for a long time.  When we place a USB in our Windows 7 PC and want to remove it, we get the error:

In or Windows 8 PC we don't have this problem.

We have been removing the USBs with the generic error message.

How can we safely USB?
rayluvsAsked:
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Sorry... the actual error is:

Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device
---------------------------
Windows can't stop your 'Generic volume' device because a program is still using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then try again later.
---------------------------
OK  
---------------------------

Please note we also tried utility Process Explorer (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555665)  but can't seem to understand it.

Please advice
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rindiCommented:
Make sure nothing is accessing the drive, like AV tools, or multimedia players etc. which when open will often also grab the USB disks.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
we close all apps prior placing the question; that didn't work (note the windows 8 have the same apps and we can safely remove the same USP devices when connected).
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web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
as Rindi indicated Antivirus tools often take control of the drive, especially if they are set to automatically scan drives that are plugged into the usb ports. You may need to turn this off, or wait until the AV program has finished scanning the drive then try to remove the usb drive. There obviously is some type of application that is accesing the drive, it may even be the auto indexing that is trying to index the drive so when you are searching the drive for a file the search may run quicker. You may need to turn indexing to the drive off.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Ok will Check when returning... Thanx.

Question, do we have to uninstall or what exactly have to do in order to' remove safely?
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rindiCommented:
Depends on the tool. Usually you only need to change it's settings so it behaves differently with USB drives, or maybe stop or close it when not needed.
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jcimarronCommented:
Ramante--Are you using "Safely Remove Hardware" in the System Tray?  That is the standard procedure for removing USB devices.
You can also remove them AFTER you shutdown the PC.

But it turns out you may have an option to remove the USB device without either of these steps.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/254868/safely_remove_usb_drives_just_by_unplugging_them.html

Here is how to use Process Explorer  (but the above would be simpler)
Click Find, Find Handle or DLL in the tool menu.

•    Type the drive letter of the USB device in the Handle or DLL substring textbox, and press Search Button.
•    Find the process and its PID in the following box.
•    In system process tree view, find the process according to the Find Handle or DLL dialog box.
•    Press Ctrl + H to show Handles in Lower Pane View.
•    Find the File according with the drive letter , and right click it, choose Close Handle.

That come from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555665
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Darr247Commented:
Note that setting shown in the pcworld.com article (I was about to post a screen grab of the Policies tab but decided to look at that link first) is the default for FAT and ext2/3/4 formatted thumb drives... if the drive is formatted NTFS, then it changes to 'Better Performance' and you would have to manually select 'Fast Removal'.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Good observation; we are going to check the setting of the apps in memory so it behave differently with USB.  

To answer the "how are doing it", we remove it from the system tray.

As for the Process Explorer option, prior placing the question, have that link and tried those exact step but somehow, or it doesn't quite work or we don't understand it.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Just finish turning on the PC and it seemed to remove without no problem (this always work when starting the PC at first).

Will work with for a while, connect USBs and try removing them until get the error and try recommendations.
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nobusCommented:
you can use safely remove for these problems :  http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Ok it started not to work.  We have checked for all possible apps that may be accessing the drives and took out of memory.

still same problem
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nobusCommented:
did you try safely remove also?
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
just downloaded and installed... let's see will inform.
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jcimarronCommented:
Ramante--
Did you ever try Safely Remove Hardware that comes with Windows and is in the Systems Tray (now Notifications Area) as mentioned in http:#a39119096 ?
What about just shutting down the PC before unplugging the USB device?
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
safelyremove hasn't misbehaved yet; seems working fine.

jcimarron, we always use Safely Remove Hardware that comes with Windows and works simetimes and other don't.  As for shutting down, it always work.
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jcimarronCommented:
Ramante--So you are saying your problem is solved most of the time using the two methods suggested?  
Do you see any pattern (such as the same device) on the occasions when  Safely Remove Hardware does not work?
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
could not identified a pattern (and we tried).  We did noticed that the safelyremove has worked.

We are waiting today to finish testing.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
safelyremove didnt work (see pic)

usb
tried closing or killing each one and doesn't work.
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nobusCommented:
Ramante - excuse me - but are you referring to the windows program, or to the one i posted?
and if so, what were the results?
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jcimarronCommented:
nobus--That screenshot does NOT look anything like the Windows Safely Remove Hardware tool to me.
I keep wondering if Ramante has in fact used the Windows Safely Remove Hardware tool .

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/safely-remove-devices-from-your-computer

http://ask-leo.com/safely_remove_hardware_where_did_the_icon_go_how_do_i_safely_remove_hardware_without_it.html
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rindiCommented:
If he would just pull out the drive he wouldn't get the message he gets. The message is typical for when you use the safely remove icon, then select the drive you want to eject, and then it tells you that it is still being used.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
the message was from the safelyremove tool link given in ID: 39119906.  Both windows standard "remove" icon at the bottom right side abd the safelyremove apps didnt remove the device.

We havent seen the windows tool; will download and try.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
just tried ID: 39125404 and still cant remove it (see pics):
(and both units are USB connected and were able to be removed previously... also can't find anything else using the drive)

usbc
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rindiCommented:
Try the tool below, This has sometimes been able to eject a drive even if the windows built-in tool couldn't:

http://quickandeasysoftware.net/software/usb-disk-ejector
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Just tried it and did't work (see pic).

Maybe there is an apps that is holding it but we have not been able to identified it.  Is there any way to check if an apps is holding the drive?)

usb2
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rindiCommented:
Earlier on the process explorer was mentioned, what does it show when you can't eject the disk? What AV tool are you using?
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
For process explorer, see pic.  AV tool, we have Microsoft Security Essentials

usb3
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web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
I would re-image the drive, something strange is going on, especially when the windows tools and the added applications can not force the release of the usb devices.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
What you mean By te-image?
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nobusCommented:
jc marron, the safely remove is a 3rd party program, with many options for removing, and even reconnecting usb devices - but i find the name badly chosen, it would be better if it had another name, eg, USB manager

@Ramante - did you try the tool ?
here some of the features :  http://safelyremove.com/fullFeaturesList.htm
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rindiCommented:
Disable system recovery and indexing for that drive.
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jcimarronCommented:
nobus--I am not sure why you posted http:#a39127301
I know that
1) Safely Remove is a third party program and
2) Windows has a built-in app called Safely Remove Hardware.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/safely-remove-devices-from-your-computer
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Yes we tried safelyremove (there is a pic of a result in one our previous entry).

Just overviewing the thread and found me entry recommending the link http://www.pcworld.com/article/254868/safely_remove_usb_drives_just_by_unplugging_them.html.  Just checked and it say that the option of windows, we can disable the need to first "safely remove".

How true is this? Can we disable it and just extract the USB with no problem?

Please advice.
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rindiCommented:
I wouldn't. You can corrupt the file-system on the disk if you just remove it, and a corrupt file-system then gets unreadable.
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jcimarronCommented:
Ramante--
I was the one who posted
http://www.pcworld.com/article/254868/safely_remove_usb_drives_just_by_unplugging_them.html
in http:#a39125404

The issue discussed there is primarily one of corrupting the data on the USB drive.  It can occur when you unplug the USB drive before all the data has been written to it or from it.  

You posted that the error message said "Windows can't stop your 'Generic volume' device because a program is still using it. Close any programs that might be using the device, and then try again later."

Have you tried that?  Maybe you have no problem if you let the USB drive finish the task you have asked it to do.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
We we're but just read an entry that says that it can corrupt the drive.

Please advice.
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jcimarronCommented:
Ramante--Post the link to that "Entry".  But it sounds like it is only repeating what I have said.
If you are positive the writing to or from the USB drive is finished then unplug the USB Drive.  
Try that with a USB drive containing data you do not care if you lose.
Otherwise wait.

You can also look in Task Manager and see what else is running as rindi suggested earlier.

Is this happening with just one USB drive or any?
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Any USB drives; USB pen drive and external drives.
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jcimarronCommented:
Ramante--
"If you are positive the writing to or from the USB drive is finished then unplug the USB Drive.  
Try that with a USB drive containing data you do not care if you lose.
Otherwise wait."

If you do not like the results, run a Repair Install.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Ok will try when we get to the office.
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web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
What I meant by re-imaging your computer is the reinstalling of the operating system. You would need to back up your important data first. Something is definitely not working properly, especially since you can not remove your usb device when you installed a special usb removal tool. You have spent hours trying to fix this issue, maybe the only way to fix the problem is back up your data then reinstall the operating sytem, or if you have a backup image you can reimage your computer.
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rindiCommented:
Have you disabled the system recovery and indexing for that drive like I suggested?
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
That sound logical.  How can we disable system recovery and indexing for the USB drive?
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rindiCommented:
Right Click "Computer", select "Properties",  "System Protection", and then select the drive and click on "Configure". Now select "Turn of System Protection".

Right Click "Computer", select "Manage", then "Disk Management". Right Click the Drive-Letter and select "Properties". Now in the "General" tab uncheck "Allow files to have contents indexed....", and then select the lower option. After that the process will take some time, and when finished indexing for that drive is disabled.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
sorry for the delay.

Thanx a lot!
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
FYI:

There is no direct solution for this problem.  Beside the great help and deep insight of EE, we also googled a lot and tried other recommendations.  The most we have come close as a solution for our Windows 7 USB disconnect problem are 2 options here:

               ID: 39141537 "uncheck 'Allow files to have contents indexed....'"

                ID: 39119096 Quick Removal


Though, both has also prevented extracting the USB in our Windows 7 computer, it the less that has showned problems.

Nevertheless, we will proceed to close the question and award all accordingly.

Thanx for your patience and continual support.
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nobusCommented:
Ramante - in the Safely Remove program, there was an option in the screen you posted "forced stop" did you use that?
afaik, this program lets you connect and disconnect devices without actually removing/reconnecting physically

you can also contact hte maker with your problem - they will sure try to help : http://safelyremove.com/support.htm
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
yes we have, unfortunately didn't work.
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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Though no option worked directly, we wanted to award all.  The system doesn't permit because a minimum of points required.  We tried to award by rereading all.  If we missed anyone, please excuse.

Again thanx
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jcimarronCommented:
Ramante--Glad to have helped.
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