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FORUMS General Gear Talk Data Storage, Memory Cards & Backup 
Thread started 12 May 2018 (Saturday) 09:53
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Mass Storage Removal Issue

 
canongear
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May 12, 2018 09:53 |  #1

Hello
I'm getting the "Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device" message when trying to eject my WD My Passport Ultra.
I'm trying to remove it the proper way but I can't.
I end up having to shut down the desk top to remove the device.
Just used the device for the first time today and there were no installation issues.
OS is Windows 7.

When I first connect the device and don't open any of the files, there is no issue ejecting the device the proper way.
All that I have on it are pictures.
It's only after I open a folder that this issue happens.
I close any images I've looked at before trying to eject the device.

I know this is a common problem and the issue seems to be that a program is still accessing the device but, I can't seem to find any program on the computer that is accessing the device.
I don't have anything open when trying to eject the device.
The only thing that is running that I'm aware of is Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes.

I've opened task manager and under processes it's showing 00 for CPU, and under performance the CPU usage is 0%
However, it does show the Physical memory at 14%.

Am I checking the right way to see if something is accessing the device?


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 3 months ago by John from PA.
     
May 12, 2018 10:03 |  #2

Is this a new problem or new hardware or has the issue existed for some time?

You might find some resolution in the procedure at https://answers.micros​oft.com …54-e011-8dfc-68b599b31bf5 (external link). The steps outlined and the suggested utility will help you find the program or window that might be using the device. Sometimes shutting the program or service down and rebooting will clear the issue.




  
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canongear
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Post edited 3 months ago by canongear.
     
May 12, 2018 11:36 |  #3

John from PA wrote in post #18624437 (external link)
Is this a new problem or new hardware or has the issue existed for some time?

You might find some resolution in the procedure at https://answers.micros​oft.com …54-e011-8dfc-68b599b31bf5 (external link). The steps outlined and the suggested utility will help you find the program or window that might be using the device. Sometimes shutting the program or service down and rebooting will clear the issue.

I have multiple USB mass storage devices and I get the same" Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device" message for some, not all.
It's all pictures on all of the devices so I would think there would be only one program used to access the pictures.
I'm not a computer expert so, I'm not completely sure about that though.

This is not a new issue to me but, I was surprised to see it happen with this newly installed device.

I thought that maybe Photoshop CC or Lightroom CC might be trying to access the device but I have both programs closed when not being used.

I'll check out the link you provided.

Thanks




  
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110yd
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May 12, 2018 11:42 as a reply to  @ canongear's post |  #4

There is probably something running that is causing the error. --Control ALT Delete-- and look at the task manager and the processes that are running.
Find the process that is causing the drama and kill it. Should solve the problem,

Regards,

110yd




  
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Bcaps
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May 13, 2018 11:57 |  #5

Run "Resource Monitor" which is built into windows. Look at the tab for "Disk" and it will list all of the processes with Disk Activity.


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canongear
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May 13, 2018 22:25 |  #6

110yd wrote in post #18624483 (external link)
There is probably something running that is causing the error. --Control ALT Delete-- and look at the task manager and the processes that are running.
Find the process that is causing the drama and kill it. Should solve the problem,

Regards,


110yd

Task manager shows that there are 97 processes.
The only thing showing under the CPU heading that has a number in it is, "System Idle" and that is showing 99.
The remaining processes are showing 00 under the CPU heading.
Is that not an indication that no other processes are running?
I tried to end the "system idle" but it wouldn't let me.

Bcaps wrote in post #18624991 (external link)
Run "Resource Monitor" which is built into windows. Look at the tab for "Disk" and it will list all of the processes with Disk Activity.

This is the "Disk" information in Resource Monitor.
From that information showing, how am I to tell what program is using the device that is preventing it from being ejected?
"J" is the letter representing the mass storage device for which I get the "Problem Ejecting Mass Storage Device" message.


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Bcaps
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Post edited 3 months ago by Bcaps. (2 edits in all)
     
May 14, 2018 10:10 as a reply to  @ canongear's post |  #7

When you took that screenshot of the Resource Monitor, did you try and duplicate the issue first? If not, open Resource Monitor and then insert the external drive, then open and close an image on the drive and then try and eject the drive. Also, expand the "Disk Activity" column, currently you have it closed. It will further break down the "system process" and give more information there.

The "system" process could be any of a number of things. There are ways to break that down further (external link) but before doing that I would first confirm that the Windows indexing service is turned off for that drive and also exclude that drive from your antivirus programs and then try and eject the disk. Alternatively, try killing all of the Microsoft Security Essential and Malwarebytes processes before ejecting the drive.


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canongear
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May 14, 2018 19:57 |  #8

Bcaps wrote in post #18625505 (external link)
When you took that screenshot of the Resource Monitor, did you try and duplicate the issue first? If not, open Resource Monitor and then insert the external drive, then open and close an image on the drive and then try and eject the drive. Also, expand the "Disk Activity" column, currently you have it closed. It will further break down the "system process" and give more information there.

The "system" process could be any of a number of things. There are ways to break that down further (external link) but before doing that I would first confirm that the Windows indexing service is turned off for that drive and also exclude that drive from your antivirus programs and then try and eject the disk. Alternatively, try killing all of the Microsoft Security Essential and Malwarebytes processes before ejecting the drive.

When that Resource Monitor screenshot was taken, the external drive was connected.
An image was opened and closed and then the attempt to disconnect the drive was made.
I repeated this process a couple of times but ended up with the same result.

So, after getting tired of trying to get the external drive to disconnect properly, I simply unplugged it from the computer.
I know external devices aren't supposed to be removed that way but, since doing that, I can now properly disconnect the same drive with no "Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device" message.
I've connected the drive a few times since, opened and closed images, and disconnected the drive using the below method and haven't had any issues.
Go figure.
Thank you for your replies.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 3 months ago by John from PA.
     
May 15, 2018 09:17 |  #9

Should this happen again, there is a utility out there that will identify what is using your mass storage device and optionally shut it down for you. See http://safelyremove.co​m/index.htm (external link).

Note the utility is not free except for 30-days but that may be all you need to identify the culprit.

You could also use the Microsoft Process Explorer utility I mentioned in reply 2. It is discussed in "Method 1" of the provided link or go to https://docs.microsoft​.com …ownloads/proces​s-explorer (external link).




  
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canongear
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May 15, 2018 21:05 |  #10

John from PA wrote in post #18626074 (external link)
Should this happen again, there is a utility out there that will identify what is using your mass storage device and optionally shut it down for you. See http://safelyremove.co​m/index.htm (external link).

Note the utility is not free except for 30-days but that may be all you need to identify the culprit.

You could also use the Microsoft Process Explorer utility I mentioned in reply 2. It is discussed in "Method 1" of the provided link or go to https://docs.microsoft​.com …ownloads/proces​s-explorer (external link).

I did try the original link you provided and I must not be doing something right as what appears on my screen is not the same as what should be appearing.
It appears that WinRAR is needed to open the downloaded Process Explorer Zip and I don't have that tool.
An evaluation copy comes with the download but it seems like it might not have the full functionality of the purchased version of WinRAR?
Either that or I haven't opened the Zip file properly.

This is part of the instruction on how to use the utility:
Method 1:
a) Download Process Explorer from the link below
http://technet.microso​ft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb8966​53 (external link)
b) Click Find, Find Handle or DLL (Dynamic Link Library) in the tool menu.
c) Type the drive letter of the USB device in the Handle or DLL substring textbox, and press Search Button.

When I click on the tool menu, none of those 3 options listed in step b appear for me.
The closest option that shows is "find files".
There isn't a search function either.

What shows below on the left side of the screenshot is how things should look after the Zip file is opened and what shows on the right is how things look on my screen after downloading the
Process Explorer Zip file.
Again, I'm sure I'm not doing something right.
I'll bookmark the second link you provided for possible future use.


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canongear
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Jun 08, 2018 22:16 as a reply to  @ canongear's post |  #11

I'm back again.
The removal issue for the same storage device has decided to grace me once again.
So, I decided to download the utility as suggested by John from PA in post #10 and below are the results.

Can someone explain what these results are indicating as I really don't know.
What I do find odd is the appearance of Windows Media Player.
Not sure why that would appear as the only things on the storage device are jpgs.
Plus, I don't think I've ever used Windows Media Player on this particular computer.

Also below is what the task manager was showing for WMP .. very bottom of screen snip.. while device was plugged in.

I had to use the "force quit" option of the utility in order to eject the device.

Is it possible that the storage device itself has a program that is trying to access a program on the computer and not the other way around, if that makes any sense.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 2 months ago by John from PA.
     
Jun 09, 2018 06:15 |  #12

I see a couple of things in the output of the utility that might be worth checking. Windows Search, shown near the top of your processes graphic as SearchIndexer could be the issue. With your device plugged in and accessible, as part of a debugging process disable or stop the searchindexer. It will probably prompt you about being sure but go ahead and do it. If it is running, and depending on the task, it won't stop immediately, so go "kill" time for several minutes and then go through your normal steps to remove the device and see what happens.

Windows Media player can actually open and display JPG files. If you go to a JPG file and double click it to open, what program does your Win 7 use?




  
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canongear
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Jun 09, 2018 08:59 |  #13

John from PA wrote in post #18641925 (external link)
I see a couple of things in the output of the utility that might be worth checking. Windows Search, shown near the top of your processes graphic as SearchIndexer. With your device plugged in and accessible, as part of a debugging process disable or stop the searchindexer. It will probably prompt you about being sure but go ahead and do it. If it is running, and depending on the task, it won't stop immediately, so go "kill" time for several minutes and then go through your normal steps to remove the device.

Windows Media player can actually open and display JPG files. If you go to a JPG file and double click it to open, what program does your Win 7 use?

Windows Photo Gallery is the program that is used to open the JPG files.
If a JPG is double clicked, then you have the ability to edit the image and other things but, I've never attempted to edit an image using Photo Gallery.
Some of the folders also contain RAW files, but I don't think I've opened any of those.

Photo Gallery must be the default program as I don't remember picking a particular program to be used to view the files on the storage device.
When I plug in the device, the Autoplay pop up window appears and then I pick the open/view folders files option.

I just plugged in the device to make sure what program is used, looked at a few JPG's from different folders and then safely removed the device with no issues.
Seems to be a hit or miss kind of thing as I don't do anything different each time I use the device.
I don't have any programs running that I am aware of or any browsers open when I use the device.

I'll try your current suggestion the next time the device doesn't remove properly.

Below is what is on the device.
Other than the picture folders and the address book file.. which I just added yesterday.. everything else was preinstalled on the device.

The older dates at the bottom right are right.
I bought this device brand new a few years ago but, haven't actually used it until last month.
It was just stored in a drawer in my desk.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jun 09, 2018 17:19 as a reply to  @ canongear's post |  #14

It is possible that the Windows Indexing Service (WIS) is at times accessing your mass media storage and at that time gives you the problem. If the indexing action is complete, then the problem would likely not occur. The indexing behavior might explain the erratic behavior of removing the storage device.

You might want to verify that the Windows Indexing Service is not indexing your mass media storage. First of all insert the mass storage that on occasion gives you problems. Then go to Control Panel > Indexing Options, then hit the "Modify" button near the bottom left corner. If the mass storage device is listed at the top, deselect it to disable the indexing. Hit "OK" then "Close". Very little if anything is sacrificed in doing this for a mass storage device.

If you want something other than Windows Photo Gallery to open your images, right click a jpg image, chose "Open with" and then select "Chose default program." You can select what is in the drop down list or chose "Browse" and pick your program. It does not have to be one of the Windows components.




  
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canongear
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Jun 10, 2018 11:25 |  #15

John from PA wrote in post #18642179 (external link)
It is possible that the Windows Indexing Service (WIS) is at times accessing your mass media storage and at that time gives you the problem. If the indexing action is complete, then the problem would likely not occur. The indexing behavior might explain the erratic behavior of removing the storage device.

You might want to verify that the Windows Indexing Service is not indexing your mass media storage. First of all insert the mass storage that on occasion gives you problems. Then go to Control Panel > Indexing Options, then hit the "Modify" button near the bottom left corner. If the mass storage device is listed at the top, deselect it to disable the indexing. Hit "OK" then "Close". Very little if anything is sacrificed in doing this for a mass storage device.

If you want something other than Windows Photo Gallery to open your images, right click a jpg image, chose "Open with" and then select "Chose default program." You can select what is in the drop down list or chose "Browse" and pick your program. It does not have to be one of the Windows components.

I checked out the indexing like you suggested and as far as I can tell, I don't think it's the cause of the problem.
It showed the indexing as complete while the device was hooked up.

I'm beginning to think that it's the Windows Media Player thing that is the problem.

I put in a USB flash drive and had the same removal issue.
The USB Safely Remove utility showed the WMP as the only program accessing the flash drive.

In both cases when I ended that program, I was able to safely remove the devices.

Now my question is, if I didn't have that USB Safely Remove utility to show what programs were accessing each device, is there a way to tell when looking under Processes in Task Manager that wmpnetwk.exe is the probable cause of the removal issue?
Other than memory amount, it doesn't show anything different than all of the other processes listed.
See snip image in post#11

Also, I checked the Processes in Task Manager with no devices attached and wmpnetwk.exe does not appear in the list.




  
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Mass Storage Removal Issue
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