Solved: What's the worst that can happen if I don't "safe remove"?

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adanedhel728

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Apr 3, 2007
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I am constantly getting the error that a drive is in use whenever I want to safe remove it (in particular, thumb drives and external hard drives). The only way I can fix it is to just turn off the computer then remove it. I tried a program called "Unlocker," which said the drive wasn't in use. So, my question is this, what might happen if I just remove them without doing a safe remove?
 
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Jul 14, 2006
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You might lose data, or the device may not be recognized the next time you try to install it. I would suggest you visit my homepage and click on chkdsk, then follow those instructions (without the USB device plugged in). After chkdsk has finished, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. Right-click and select "Run as administrator" and type

sfc /scannow

and have your installation CD handy, in case it asks for it.
 
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Be sure to disable System Restore and the Recycle bin for the externals. That will prevent them from being stopped. These shouldn't be enabled on flash drives, but it's possible depending on how the drive is configured.

Also check if you have any 3rd party software to provide additional Undelete options, like the old Norton Protected Recycle bin.
 
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It can get a lot easier. With the drive plugged in, go into Device Manager and click "optimize for quick removal" and then ignore the safe remove icon.
Vista and Windows 7 actually default to that but XP you have to change default.
 

DaveA

David
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Make sure that you have closed Windows Explorer or at least make sure that the USB drive is not the current selected drive when trying to remove device.

Also it may still be writting to it.
 

adanedhel728

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Apr 3, 2007
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Thanks, Rich-M, that seems to be the best option for me right now, because I had already eliminated all activity to it that I could find (I guess emphasis on that I could find).

And, thanks everyone else, too. I'm going to try to keep those ideas in my mind because it's good stuff to know.
 
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