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Old 27th December 2006   #1
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Can't stop USB Drive


This has appeared on several answers but....
I have the Western Digital USB External drive. I was able to stop it safely a day ago using the system tray icon. But now it will not stop now and gives the error :"Generic Vol cannot be stopped due to a program accessing it."

I have XP, McAfee anti-virus. Some have trouble with Norton. Some say spyware could be accessing, McAfee spyware is on.

Some program probably IS trying to access it, but what?.

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Old 27th December 2006   #2
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My System
Hi Dennis and welcome,

Try WhoLockMe to reveal what is using the drive.

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Old 27th December 2006   #3
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Check your System Restore settings.

If you have enabled in System Properties, the System Restore tab, to monitor all drives, you might have an active monitor.

Turn off monitoring all drives, and select only your fixed disks for monitoring.

(Right click My Computer, Properties, System Restore tab)

There is no question that antivirus programs can cause this, but I suspect you would have seen this previously if this was the case. While malware can cause all sorts of issues, my gut instinct tells me it is not the cause of your problem in this case.

You should also check on the System Properties sheet that XP has not decided to use a portion of the removable drive as Virtual Storage. It should not, but check. Click the Advanced tab, and check under Performance options. At the least, make static assignments to your fixed volumes rather than let the system decide. This is a long-shot, but one worth investigating.

Finally, if the device is USB 2.0, they are designed to be hot-swappable. Meaning, that if you are absolutely sure all sessions are closed on the drive, go ahead and remove it.

My own guess: you have Most Recently Used "MRUs in the trade) active through an Office or other application, and have an MRU pointer still active to a recently used file. If so, go ahead and unplug it.

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Old 27th December 2006   #4
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Hello dennisdrwho,

In Device manager under Disk Drives > Right click on the USB drive > Properties > Policies tab and click Optimize for quick removal.

You don't have to "stop" the device in order to remove it - if it has an on/off switch, turn it off or just pull the plug. It doesn't matter what process has it. Of course you don't do this in the middle of an operation.

One advantage to this is if you plug another USB device into the system, it won't take the Drive's drive letter.

Regards - Charles

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Old 28th December 2006   #5
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Summary - USB Drive


Yes I am Dennis but who?
Thanks to all above if I can get this posting thing to work.

Bottom line it seems to work now. My best guess is just what it said - another program is trying to access. I couldn't pinpoint. I loaded the whoLockIt but it was working by then.

The plot thickens. I DID load and unload some FREE backup SW as well as a different Spyware prog. I think when I unloaded the Spyware it started working. I'll have to continue to Monitor.

But yes just push the OFF switch works fine without any corruption to files. All of the other things were defaulted correctly - System Restore Monitor in Offline for this drive, it is opt. for quick removal, and I think no virtual memory issues (I have 2.5GBy).

One more thing. I think since I assigned a drive letter (E: in my case) using the disk mangement tool, it seems to retain that whether another USB device is installed or not or the E: drive is on or off. Maintaining a logical letter is helpfull for backups.

Venting - this kind of thing is reminder of issues in the past like - can't shut down windows (98), scandisk keeps restarting, - due to programs accessing the drive. Not a lot of help from the corp giants such as certain hard drive makers and billionaire SW makers.

Thanks again to all.


Last edited by dennisdrwho; 28th December 2006 at 14:25.
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Old 28th December 2006   #6
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Take a look in the Processes tab of Task Manager for activity that may point to the culprit. Double clicking on the CPU column will force the active processes to the top of the list (so you can see the accesses).

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