Cannot Safely Remove external hard drive

Posts: 1

Cannot Safely Remove external hard drive

I've just bought a toshiba PX1624-1HC2 320GB StorE Alu2 USB 2.0 External Hard Drive and it says to use the Safely Remove Hardware button before disconnecting it. However, it always comes up with this message: Windows can't stop your 'Generic volume' device because it is in use. Close any programs or window that might be using the device, and then try again later.


I've closed all windows, even left my computer on overnight incase it was still transferring data across but it still comes up with the same message. How can I get it to safely remove? Is it ok to just disconnect it? Or turn my computer off and then disconnect it?

Regular Contributor
Posts: 61

Re: Cannot Safely Remove external hard drive

A few times I tried to shutdown and remove a usb flash drive - not exactly the same thing as external hard drive but still an external usb-something.  My method might not be appropriate, so maybe wait for someone else to say try or not try...

In your task tray for the external devices, right-click and look for an "Eject" item in case the "shutdown" item did not work, or look for an "Exit" item in that right-click menu.  Maybe one of those will let you shut down the external hard drive.  

Something I had done a couple of times when having trouble (shutting down the usb flash drives) was to simply shutdown Windows and the computer (normal shutdown) through the start menu; and when the computer went off, physically remove the device.  

Like I say, maybe wait for other advice before trying the shutdown - physical removal.

Posts: 48,244
Kudos: 9,203
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Registered: ‎12-04-2008

Re: Cannot Safely Remove external hard drive

Microsoft offers this (which applies to any version of Windows).


   Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device


Unlocker is here. It's a very useful utility.


More interesting reading here..


   Cannot eject removable usb drive


   Cannot eject USB mass storage for any hardware combination

Channel 9
Posts: 1

Re: Cannot Safely Remove external hard drive

These links did not help me. I got my toshiba ext hard drive when I got my toshiba lap top. But the hard drive in the toshiba lap top crashed twice in with in two months. So I had best buy exchange it for somthing better. By ext hard drive never did this before until recently. Why all a sudden? Why do I need to download extra 'stuff' to make this product work? Am I going to lose all my data if I dont down load this extra junk because I purchased this brand? 


Just an explanation would be nice. Any one can paste a link