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Every week I will copy the backups to external USB hard disk connecting it to windows server 2008 R2. Most of the time I will face the below message while trying to unmount/eject the external hard disk. Acknowledging the prompt I check if any window of HD is open and close if any but it always prompts the same while trying to remove safely.

This device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device and then try again.

Anybody has any fix for this other than restarting the server for removing the device safely?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I use a utility by the name of unlocker for this (available from a gazillion file distribution sites). It will tell you what is keeping the file, folder or drive open and provides you with the ability to break those locks. Just use it with a bit of discretion.

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I also use app locker and it is the best anger savior when it comes to removal of external drives but "something" is keeping them busy. You can find it and download it here – Spirit Dec 16 '11 at 7:16

You can turn off write caching and fast removal support. Typically this happens when files are open by poor AV software or writes to the drive haven't been flushed from cache yet.

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there is this nifty portable tool available for free called USBDiskEjector, and it does what it says! Try it and see if its what you were looking for.

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