Daily Archives: 12 December 2005

Windows and USB handling

Whoever was responsible for writing the Windows code that handles ejection of USB devices seemingly did not put enough thought into it.

I use an external 40GB USB drive to carry work and other files between office and home and I am ready to leave work for the day, but I can’t safely do so without shutting down my computer. Why is this? Because, when I select Safely remove USB mass storage device – Drive X: from the tray applet, I merely get told “The device ‘Generic volume’ cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device again later.” Try again later? But I want to go home now.

I realise that some application is holding a file on the drive open so just disconnecting it is risky. Therefore my only other option is to shut the machine down. How hard would it have been to provide a hint as to what it is that is holding the drive, so I could have some chance of closing it and allowing the drive to disconnect safely? I have closed all applications that I think might be holding the drive but Windows still won’t let it go. When did we change from us being the masters and the machines being the servants? Oh well, time to shut down and go home to my nice, sane Linux box.