Solved: This device is currently is use message with any usb connections in Windows 7

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ravinsm

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Oct 18, 2004
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We recently had to purchase a new computer, it has Windows 7. No matter what I plug into the computer via usb - Nook Color, camera, flash drives, external hard drive, etc, I get the message "This device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device and try again." Since is happening with every device I plug in, I'm guessing it is a Windows 7 problem. Is there a way to fix it? I've been just pulling the usb out but someone said I should shut down the computer first. I don't want to do that every time I plug something in so I'm hoping there is a fix out there.

Thank you for your assistance.
 
Joined
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Since plugging a device in is putting it into use, then it is, in fact, in use so the message is correct, though I have never seen it pop up just because something is plugged in.
 

ravinsm

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Oct 18, 2004
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124
Ok, sorry I wasn't more clear, I am trying to eject the device and getting this message. With our old computer, I could choose eject with these same devices and get the message that it was safe to eject. I'm not getting the safe to eject message. There are no windows or programs to close to "try again". With Windows 7, do I not need the safe to eject message?
 

Phantom010

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Mar 9, 2009
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Download the free Process Explorer.

Run the program.

Once it's running, click File > Show Details for All Processes.

Click Find > Find handle or DLL...

Type the letter for your USB flash drive (e.g. type G: if "G" is your USB drive letter)

Click Search.

Look at the results and note the processes. They will tell you what's currently using the drive, so you can terminate it/them.


EDIT:

I've just tested this on my computer and noticed my ESET NOD32 antivirus was set to scan my USB flash drive whenever it was inserted. That was stopping me from removing it safely.
 

ravinsm

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
Messages
124
Thank you. I chatted with Dell and they had to uninstall and install some drivers and now all the devices say they are safe to eject. Thank you though - I will note this as it will come in handy for other times.
 

Phantom010

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You can also do it with Unlocker.

Right-click your USB flash drive (if that's what you wish to remove).

Select Unlocker.

A new window will open that will list all the busy handles of files being used on your flash drive. Now click the button which says Unlock All.

After clicking Unlock All try removing your flash drive normally, through the Safely Remove Hardware dialog.

If you still can't safely remove the flash drive, then try clicking the Kill Process button in Unlocker.
 
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