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Ejecting/Stopping a Removable Device

Many devices, such as USB and PCMCIA removable hard disks, keys and network adaptors, must be “stopped” before they can be removed safely. This is so Windows can correctly dismount any volumes or stop any services which rely on them. The procedure is:

  1. Left-click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the system tray.

    Windows Vista/2008:

    It will show the devices which may be stopped.

  2. Left-click the desired device.

  3. After a few moments Windows will show Safe to Remove Hardware. The device may then be ejected or turned off.

    If the device is still busy, Windows will show a message similar to Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device. The device 'Generic volume' cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device again later.

    This usually means that data is still being written to the device, or your anti-virus software is still scanning files. In particular, archive files such as .ZIP, .CAB, .CHM or .RAR can take a long time to scan. Either way, wait a few minutes and try again.

    If the device cannot be stopped after a reasonable time, shut down the computer and then remove the device.

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