General Question

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Why won't my computer let me eject my external hard drive?

Asked by FireMadeFlesh (14260 points ) August 26th, 2010

I bought a Western Digital external hard drive the other day, and have since been transferring files onto it from my desktop computer. My computer won’t let me eject the hard drive though, even after closing all folders and programs, and restarting the computer. The error message says something to the effect of “the device Generic Volume cannot be stopped at this time”. I don’t want to have to turn the computer off every I want to eject the hard drive. What could be the problem?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

Are you getting a prompt asking you if you’ve finished transferring files, or if you have any more to transfer, before you try to eject the external drive?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Brian1946 No, there are no other prompts. No files are transferring that I know of.

Thammuz's avatar

Does it have external alimentation?

Brian1946's avatar

Is your OS Windows?
If so, does any drive-based activity appear as an Application or a Process on your Task Manager?

Zyx's avatar

http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

Have a look, should at least be a solution to any simple problems.

Austinlad's avatar

So c’mon, @FireMadeFlesh, tell us how it came out…

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Thammuz I’m sorry, what does that mean?
@Brian1946 I’m running XP SP3. I’ll check for that, thanks.
@Zyx I’m not really comfortable with messing with those things, but thanks for the suggestion.
@Austinlad I’ll let you know when I know!

Thammuz's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Does it have an appendage that you plug in an electrical socket and an on/off switch?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Thammuz It does need to be plugged into the power point, but it does not have an on/off switch.

@Austinlad I got sick of waiting, so I turned my computer off, pulled the USB connection out and started the computer up. It seems to be all good now. I think the problem was that I changed the drive name, and the “Safely Remove Hardware” function was looking for the old drive name rather than the new one.

Thanks everyone for your help!

actuallery's avatar

You probably had the drive selected when trying to “eject”. Select the C drive on your main computer, then move your cursor to the task bar in right corner. mouse over the USB device icon then select the drive where your external is located. It should say “Safely Remove Hardware.” click it then select the device. Usually, you don’t need to stop or “eject” an external drive, you can just unplug it but if you unplug it while data is being copied, you could wreck the drive.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@actuallery I checked all of that. I also prefer to use the Safely Remove Hardware function for external hard drives, because they seem to be more temperamental than flash drives. My brother had problems with his when the connection was knocked out, even though no data was transferring at the time. Welcome to Fluther!

Thammuz's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Then I have the same problem and haven’t found a workaround yet, it manifests only in windows so i had no good reason to look one up.

Rest assured it has to do with the fact that the pc isn’t powering it, i hope it helps.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Thammuz It doesn’t seem to be a problem any more, so fingers crossed. Thanks for your help.

kberke's avatar

I’ve got the same problem—can’t disconnect generic volume (when I click EJECT on the “Safely Remove Hardware” button. I could disconnect it, notwithstanding the error message, but I’d hate to find corrupted data on the external drive just when I needed it. As matters stand, I don’t disconnect until I turn the computer off. Not very convenient. For the record, my OS is Windows 7. Love to hear a solution if anyone has a solution.

Zyx's avatar

What’s with this “safely removing of hardware” anyway? I just jack shit in and see what happens.

Thammuz's avatar

@Zyx the option is there because if the OS is accessing the filesystem for some reason and you physically remove it before it’s finished, you will end up with corrupted files, if you’re lucky, or a completely fucked filesystem that needs formatting, if you’re not.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@kberke It seems Google Desktop was busy indexing the drive, and that was the process that stopped me from being able to eject. Do you have any similar programs indexing in the background? Just leave it for a few hours without using your computer and it should be fine.

Zyx's avatar

I don’t run all that many background file managers because of the file instability it causes. So I guess I’m safe enough.

Thammuz's avatar

@Zyx suit yourself. Personally, i think it’s a minor nuisance, compared to the risk of having to re-format a whole back up hard drive.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther