Flash drive's "active" light doesn't turn off in Vista when disconnected

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Alex Ethridge

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In all operating systems up to Vista, the flash drive's "active" light turns off when I go through the disconnect procedure; but, in Vista, it doesn't. I have traditionally used this as part of my explanation to others (and a convenience to myself) about when to not to remove the flash drive from its USB port.

This is a problem common to all Vista systems I've seen.

Why does the light not turn off in Vista?

And, is there an easy way to correct this?

Additional information: I have eliminated this problem being hardware-related. I have loaded Vista onto one of my systems here that previously had Windows 2000, then XP on it and it was only with the loading of Vista that the problem developed on this system. Just to be absolutely sure, I did a restore of a previous image of Windows 2000 and the problem went away again. I put Vista back on and the problem came back. So, this is strictly a Vista problem.
 
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You have a lot of posts on here, so I am sure you have thought about this... but I will post it anyways..
I have a flash drive that is opposite most flash drives.
When the light is on it means it is inactive when the light is off/flashing that means thats it is active.. Could yours be the same way?
 

Alex Ethridge

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I don't think so. The light is on now.

Okay, I disconnected it using the Windows disconnect procedure and Windows gave me the 'okay to remove' message.

The light is still on.

The machine behind me is running the same board, processor and memory. I just tried it there and the light goes off immediately after the disconnect procedure. It's running Windows 2000.

Same computer hardware, same flash drive, different result in Vista.

Thanks for your reply.
 
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I think the Windows 2000 machine is the way it is supposed to act, but I would also think that after you have clicked "disconnect" and then it says "ok to remove" then you should be fine to pull it out....UNLESS... the light is flashing.
 

Alex Ethridge

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I'm not concerned with when it is okay to remove. I know how to do that. I am concerned/annoyed with this change in behavior.

I have taught a lot of users to never remove the USB flash drives when the light is on and that light-off is one of their indicators when it is okay to remove.

I guess what I'm looking for is why Microsoft has changed this in Vista and maybe an easy way to change it back.
 
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Do you have another flash driver that you could test with and make sure that it is not just this drive that is acting this way?
 

Alex Ethridge

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Thanks for your interest.

I have in front of me right now, an 8-Gig SuperTalent, a 16-Gig Transcend and three 2-Gig SanDisks, and a 1-Gig LG that I have used for years on my Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems. All have the same odd behavior in Vista. Also, when I make service calls on Vista systems where I use various brands of flash drives that might belong to users, the behavior is the same in all Vista systems.

I think I have done enough to eliminate all other factors. This is a Vista-only problem.
 

Alex Ethridge

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Thanks for the link; but, this system currently has only one gig of RAM and nothing Nvidia.
 
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Thanks for the link; but, this system currently has only one gig of RAM and nothing Nvidia.
I have an HP(Compaq) that came with XP and now also has Linux.
The light is always on until removal. As already stated, so long as it isn't flashing you are good to go. This is the same for both OSs', so I don't think it is a Vista "problem."
 

Alex Ethridge

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Thanks for the reply.

My XP system seems then to behave differently from yours. The "activity" light turns off when the Windows disconnect procedure is completed.
 

Alex Ethridge

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RootbeaR,

Perhaps there is a miscommunication. The problem I am writing about is with USB flash drives and only USB. The light on the device plugged into the USB port stays on after disconnect procedure is complete. This does not include other forms of flash memory, only USB

When you write your light stays on in XP, are you writing about USB?
 
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Try OpenedFilesView to see if any files on the drive are (attempting) access, even when disconnected. You might also try turning off the ReadyBoost service. It may be always checking the drive for compatibility.

This could well be a deliberate change in Vista. The 5-volt power may remain on at all times (possibly settings are available) since there seem to be an ever-increasing number of items that can be recharged through USB ports and the power option would need to be active.
 
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RootbeaR,

Perhaps there is a miscommunication. The problem I am writing about is with USB flash drives and only USB. The light on the device plugged into the USB port stays on after disconnect procedure is complete. This does not include other forms of flash memory, only USB

When you write your light stays on in XP, are you writing about USB?
Yes. You are right.
My apologies. I usually try to ensure I read info provided properly. Must've had a brain fart.
Sorry about that.
 

Alex Ethridge

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Hey, I made a mistake once, myself, so I can sympathize. I think I actually misread something once, too. But, that would be two mistakes. I don't think I would want to admit to that.

So, I'll just say it was once.
 
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