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Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Mayfly
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Registered: 04-06-2009

Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

When I click the safely remove USB I very often get the message - 'Unable to safely remove in use by another programme' [or words to that effect]
I downloaded 'USB Safely Remove' but it tells me it can't stop the USB and says it's in use by AVG and System files do I want to manually stop them but stopping the system files may have harmful effects.
Any idea what these system files are? are they windows or are they system files that belong to the USB and would reformatting the USB help?
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,023
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

I`ve had this message for years ! .... just said " Sxd it... I`m not hanging around...! " and just pulled it out !... don`t seem to have done any damage.... either to the laptop, or the usb device(s)....
TORPC
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Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Yes, seemingly it's AVG that will not give you your USBs back but poor Windows 7 gets the blame!
TORPC
Grafter
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Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

How is poor Windows 7 getting the blame ?Huh
Can you please provide a link ?Huh
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Quote from: TORPC
How is poor Windows 7 getting the blame ?Huh

The clue is in the title of this thread.  Well more of a dead give-away than a clue, actually.
TORPC
Grafter
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Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Generically speaking maybe Wink
Mayfly
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Registered: 04-06-2009

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

I wasn't blaming Windows per say I just wasn't sure how to word the thread perhaps I should have said my PC won't give me my usb back.
As I said in the text of the post 'Safely Remove USB' also tells me system files are holding the usb back too hence my question if anyone could tell me if they relate to Windows or the usb itself.
I have tried stopping AVG but the usb still won't release.
The only way I can get it back, in my eyes safely, is to reboot.
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Are you using any backup utilities(s),
You will need to look in taskmanager
Click on Start (Type in without the quotes) "taskmgr.exe"
Right click on the taskmgr.exe icon then choose run as administrator
When task manager opens up look  in the processes tab, you may have to click on (Show Processes From All Users)
You might have something called mobsync.exe Microsoft Sync Centre (right click on it & choose (End Process Tree)
Or
Their could be similar worded / phrased entry by a 3rd party program like AVG

PitchBlack
Grafter
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Registered: 10-01-2014

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

I have experienced this a few times, both on a USB stick and external HDDs, I shut the PC down, restart, and then eject it.
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Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

If I've only been reading from the USB stick then I'll just take it out otherwise I'll wait till I next reboot. If I need the Stick urgently then I'll reboot then and there.

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VileReynard
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

What?
An Operating System that doesn't operate?

Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Well no, Jeremy, that's my point.  Windows 7 is pretty good at letting go of a USB device when asked; much better than Windows XP in my opinion.  So if one consistently has problems one should look beyond the normal workings of Windows 7 to find the culprit.
Mayfly
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Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Yes I missed out 'PC' in the title ..... 'Windows 7 PC won't give me my USBs back.
Which is why I asked on here about the system files USB Safely Remove mentions! Anyone any idea where they are from?

My irritation is I use 2 different PCs one is mine the other a Charities and I need to switch USBs for printing, as I don't want their printer and photocopier drivers on my PC [plus it's a pain unplugging the cables back and forth], so having to shut down is a pain.
As it doesn't will all my USBs would reformatting them help?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 won't give me my USBs back

Windows will not let you remove a USB drive if it sees the device as in active use.  Windows 7 is smart enough to see that it can close things like an Explorer window listing files on the drive but if, for example, a virus scanner was scanning the drive then you would not be permitted to remove it.  If you use the drive to move files and don't run programs from the drive then it won't be the files on the drive that are causing problems but rather one of the programs running on your computer.  So I don't see that reformatting will do any good unless the side effect is to get rid of redundant files on the drive, which might help.