Problem Ejecting External Drive

  1. Posts : 284
    windows10 home v21H2 OS Build 19044.1766

    Problem Ejecting External Drive

    I've been using a Seagate 2TB Expansion Drive via USB for quite a while. Recently when I go to eject the drive, I get the following pop up.

    Problem Ejecting External Drive-screenshot-2021-04-15-214034.jpg

    Before I get scathed, I realize that I don't need to eject it via taskbar icon, but I've been doing it that way for quite a long time. In the last couple months, I've been getting that pop up. What program could possibly be using it? The power light on the Expansion Drive is a solid blue. It blinks when in use. Any ideas? TIA
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 1,495
    Win10 Pro

    Try shutting down the PC and then unplug it.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 149
    windows 10 Pro

    You could use Event Viewer to determine which program/service is using the drive, this Thread may help...

    Attaching and detaching a USB flash drive (pen drive)
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 1,101
    Windows 10 Pro (+ Windows 10 Home VMs for testing)

    RichardC said:
    What program could possibly be using it?
    To answer your question, there's several ways to determine what process has a file or folder open on the external drive.

    Perhaps the easiest is:

    1. Press a Win key + r key together to open a Run dialog.

    2. Type resmon then press the Return/Enter key.

    3. When Resource Monitor opens, click on the Disk tab then look at the File column

    The problem with Resource Monitor is that it may show you the culprit, but it doesn't allow you to do anything to stop the usage... it's just a reporting tool.

    Another way is to use Sysinternals/TechNet's Process Monitor (Procmon).

    1. Download, unpack it then create a shortcut to procmon.exe.

    2. Amend the shortcut's properties so it runs as administrator (under 'Advanced') and append /NoConnect to the target line - for example, C:\Support\Procmon.exe /NoConnect. (This is so ProcMon doesn't start capturing automatically when it is run.)

    3. Run Procmon from the shortcut. The first time you use it you will have to accept an End User License Agreement (EULA).

    4. Create a new filter (CTRL+L) as shown in the screenshot (substituting the drive letter for your external drive), for example:
    Problem Ejecting External Drive-procmon_path_begins_with.png

    5. Amend the toolbar so only Show File System Activity is selected:
    Problem Ejecting External Drive-procmon_file_system_activity.png

    6. Press CTRL+E to start a capture (then press CTRL+E again to stop the capture when results show what process has the external drive open).

    Whilst more configurable and more granular than Resource Monitor, ProcMon is still just a reporting tool.

    Another alternative for an external drive using a USB interface is Nir Sofer's USBDeview.

    1. Download (the correct version for your system, i.e. 64-bit/32-bit) and unzip it then run the USBDeview.exe executable file using the right-click Run as administrator... option.

    2. If the device fails to eject then, within USBDeview, select the device in the list and press F9 (i.e. Disconnect Selected Devices). If it doesn't disconnect and show in the Connected column as No then press F2 to bring up the Device Properties dialog. If this shows the following then just unplug it:
    Problem Ejecting External Drive-usb_device_status.png

    Hope this helps...

    [Note: IMO it's been many, many years - long before Windows 10 - that Microsoft has chosen to ignore UPnP issues with USB-connected devices. Some of it is the result of 'File Explorer' (e.g. monitoring 'Recycle Bins'), some of it is the now almost constant polling by Windows 10 of connected devices via a plethora of relatively new services (e.g. 'Connected Devices Platform Service'; 'Device Install Service', 'Device Setup Manager'; 'DevQuery Background Discovery Broker'; 'Optimise drives'; 'Portable Device Enumerator Service'; 'Storage Service'; 'UPnP Device Host'... many of which are set to manual but there's little info about what triggers them nor their effect on USB-connected devices) and some of it is how USB device enumeration, connection and disconnection info is stored in the registry (and folder info by ShellBags/Bags) but never removed.]
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 284
    windows10 home v21H2 OS Build 19044.1766
    Thread Starter

    Thanks to all who replied. I'm not real concerned about the pop up. I'll just unplug the USB. I was just curious because it never popped up before. I'll try all the solutions suggested out of curiosity. I'll go ahead and marked it solved. Thanks again.
      My Computer


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