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Seven Ways to Solve USB Devices Cannot be Stopped Right Now

by Edwin Liu | July 2, 2013 9:51 AM
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“My computer has Windows operate system. When I try to remove my external hard driive, it gives me a message Windows can’t stop your Generic volume device because a program is still using it. I have closed all the programs but it still shows can’t stop it right now. What should I do to remove it safely?”

Such condition exists rather frequently when we are using usb devices, for example, USB drives, external hard drives, MP3/MP4 players, etc. And in general, the most common way for many people to deal with such problem is just leaving the prompt alone and removing the USB devices directly. If you are lucky enough, nothing will be happen. But if not, it will prompt you that “The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable” and your USB device won’t be opened the next time!

Here I provide seven ways to help you remove your USB devices safely under the above condition:

  1. Try to empty your clipboard, or to copy and paste some files onto your hard drive randomly. Then you can try to delete the USB device to see whether it can be removed safely.

    That is because we often use “copy” “paste” to get out files or data from USB device. So when we copy a files from USB drive, the file will be put in the clipboard of the system and always keep a stand-by state. If we want to remove the USB drive at this moment, then the prompt will exit.
  2. Press Ctrl”+ “Alt”+ “Deltogether, then the Task Manager window will appear. Click Process tab, and search for “rundll32.exe” under the Image Name. Select the “rundll32”process, and click End Process. Then you can remove your USB device safely. If there are more than one “rundll32”process, you need to end all of them.
  3. Also under the Task Manager. Search for “Explorer. exe” process under Process tab and then end it. You will find that your desktop has disappeared. Don’t alarm, just continue the following operations. Click File, then click New Task, and type Explorer.exe, and click OK. When finished, you can remove USB device safely.
  4. For some USB flash drives, if you are using Windows XP, you can right click My Computer icon, and expand in turn as the followings Properties –> Hardware–> Device Manager –>disk drive. Find “USB Fllash Drive Device”(different brand flash drives may have different names), and double click on it to open the “USB Fllash Drive Device Properties” dialog box. Click the Policies tab, and check the Optimize for quick removal, then click OK. Later you can just leave the “safely remove hardware” icon alone and remove your flash drive directly, as long as you are not doing data read and write operations to the flash drive. (Please back up important data before this operation.)
  5. Right click My Computer, and select Manage. Find Device Manager and double click it. Then double click Universal Serial Bus Controllers, select USB Mass Storage Device, right click it and choose Disable
  6. To close preview function of the system by operating like this: double click My Computer, the click Tools–>Folder Options–> General–> Tasks–> Use Windows classic folders, then click Apply and OK button.
  7. The last way is to use a free software, Unlocker. You can search it online, then download and install it to your computer. It’s easy to use. Just go to My Computer, then right click the USB device you want to remove and click Unlocker in the context menu. Then a Unlocker dialog box which has diaplayed the locking processes disappears, just click Unlock all at the bottom of dialog box. That’s all, then you can go back to safely remove your USB device.


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