We've just setup some removable storage for a file server we run in one of our offices (only supporting less than 10 work stations), one of our backup solutions is a removable harddrive that will leave the premise each night, at the same time leaving another removable storage connected..

Each evening the server runs a powershell to find if either of these two drives is connected, and runs a robocopy mirror from an internal raid setup onto the removable drive.

This works well (this isn't a big corporate operation), but when we initialized the removable storage as ntfs we were informed that the drive would always need to be removed via 'safely remove hardware', this makes it less stream lined than we wanted..

Since the server is running the backup each night (when nobody is there), we thought the easiest solution would be to run robocopy and then unmount/safely remove hardware automatically.

Firstly, what are the dangers of removing the drive 'unsafely', given that no data should be moving to or from the drive when the staff member swaps the drives?

Secondly, is it even possible to do safely remove hardware via command line, and if so- how can we tell it to remove the hardware that has a specific drive letter?

Thirdly, if we cannot determine the hardware for a given drive letter to do a 'safely remove hardware' command, can we request the drive to unmount? or is this just as bad as pulling the plug?

I appreciate this might not be the greatest backup solution, and as far as sysadmin or anything goes- I aint that (we don't have one).. so any help would be fantastic.

Cheers, Stephen.


This looks like a tool that may be useful. I haven't used it, but it looks like what you may want. Here is a howto.

The DevCon utility is a command-line utility that acts as an alternative to Device Manager. Using DevCon, you can enable, disable, restart, update, remove, and query individual devices or groups of devices. DevCon also provides information that is relevant to the driver developer and is not available in Device Manager.

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  • Fantastic, won't be able to try this for a few days on the server but I've just had a go on my local machine and looks like I should be able to discover the removable drives pretty easy, thanks! – meandmycode Sep 3 '09 at 18:33

I just purchased a license of safelyremove. It has command line support. It's very nice. There is a full trial on the website http://www.safelyremove.com

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