Windows 10: USB drives that won't eject

  1.    20 Dec 2017 #1

    USB drives that won't eject


    Like, apparently, many people, I frequently find that USB drives won't eject because they are supposedly in use. I have seen this question posted in many places, but I have yet to see a solution that works.

    There are two solutions which are supposed to work, but don't. Firstly I have read that I should find the guilty process in process explorer and then terminate it. However there is no way to filter the searches in Process Explorer just to show ones with the drive letter concerned. All it does is list every single process until it gets to the 10000th process and then gives up.

    The other supposed solution is to use IOBit Unlocker, but even though this claims to identify and unlock locked files, after I run it I still can't eject the locked drive.

    Is there a solution which actually works, apart from logging out and logging back in again?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 7,014
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       20 Dec 2017 #2

    ricecrispies said: View Post
    Like, apparently, many people, I frequently find that USB drives won't eject because they are supposedly in use. ... Is there a solution which actually works, apart from logging out and logging back in again?
    Depends - external HDDs or usb flash drives? I wouldn't say 'frequently', but I've seen both occasionally. For HDDs it's often Task Manager I need to close. Not found anything consistent for flash drives, but logging out is the only fix I've founds so far.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    20 Dec 2017 #3

    Bree said: View Post
    Depends - external HDDs or usb flash drives? I wouldn't say 'frequently', but I've seen both occasionally. For HDDs it's often Task Manager I need to close. Not found anything consistent for flash drives, but logging out is the only fix I've founds so far.
    HDDs. It happened to me twice yesterday, the same drive in different computers. The second time, not even logging out worked and eventually I had to reboot. I'd tried everything I could think of, including disabling the antivirus. I'll remember your hint about Task Manager for the future, but it clearly wasn't the culprit yesterday.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 7,014
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       21 Dec 2017 #4

    ricecrispies said: View Post
    HDDs...
    Indexing?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    21 Dec 2017 #5

    I get this on occasion on my dock (both SATA and connected USB drives). It seems to be (for me anyway) to do with the NTFS metadata but don't know how to stop it.

    I use sync.exe to flush buffers then just disconnect which is more of a workaround than a solution.

    Alternatively you can (apparently) offline it manually but it is a bit more long winded than just clicking on taskbar shortcut so I don't bother. See mount - Safely remove external USB drive fails due to $extend - Super User
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    21 Dec 2017 #6

    You can change settings to disable write cacheing and then you do not need to eject drive.

    In reality, it is only slower usb flash drives or sd cards that need safe ejecting anyway.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    21 Dec 2017 #7

    Bree said: View Post
    Indexing?
    Possibly. I would call it a bug if Windows doesn't know how to stop indexing a removable drive at the appropriate moment.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 366
    Windows 10 Pro 1803 17134.48
       21 Dec 2017 #8

    I don't have a solution either, but it does happen. I have 2 systems (you can look at my system specs), The W10 Pro system never has a problem ejecting with either USB HDD or USB flash drives. They all have the write caching ON ! Now the other system is a W10 Home system, can never eject a USB flash drive, but has no problem with USB HDD's. All Flash drives there have caching turned OFF for Flash drives and caching on for HDD's.

    The big difference between the 2 systems is that the HOME system is a UPGRADE from W8.1, while the PRO system is a Clean install ! I believe some underlying software that I can't find on the HOME system, wants to hold the USB flash drives. I've isolated it down that if the system WRITES to the flash drive, It can be ejected, but if The system only reads from the flash drive, it will not eject ! Been looking for a solution for years now !
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    22 Dec 2017 #9

    This is happening for me too and as I wrote on a post of mine, it was the Superfetch service. I did flushed the windows\prefetch folder contents and it seems fine so far. Maybe something got corrupted there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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