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Safely Removing Reluctant Hardware

Question : Why is it that my Windows computer sometimes will not let me unplug my U.S.B. flash drive? When I go to the Safely Remove Hardware icon and go through the steps to stop the device, I often get the message that ďthe device cannot be stopped right now, try later.Ē

Answer : Portable U.S.B. drives are wonderfully convenient because they can hold many megabytes of data, are small enough for a pocket or purse, and plug right into the computerís U.S.B. port. Once plugged in, the drive shows up in the My Computer area of Windows, just like any other external hard drive or disk.

When itís time to go, the Safely Remove Hardware utility in the Windows taskbar area is supposed to let you unplug the drive properly. Yanking the drive out without warning might corrupt data if your files were still copying to or from the computer.

There could be a number of reasons for the message you are getting. If you are copying a large file, it might still be transferring between the drive and PC. Make sure all files and programs stored on the U.S.B. drive are closed before you try to unplug it, as these may prevent you from dismounting the drive if they are open. Also check to see if your computerís antivirus software or any antispyware programs are scanning the U.S.B. drive in the background when you try to remove it.


Scratch around for disk space

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iDisk on-line file storage

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Safely removing reluctant hardware

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Still pining for floppies

Wiping old hard disks

Dead Drive

Spurious "Disk Full" message from USB drive

Unreadable hard drive

Drive name oddity

HD recordings need more storage space

Wipe your PC for safety's sake

Resize drives for extra room


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