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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: Kaseydaddy on January 15, 2011, 01:10:37 AM

Title: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Kaseydaddy on January 15, 2011, 01:10:37 AM
Windows XP Pro, SP3, all updates. I upgraded from Avast Free 5.0.677 to 5.1.889, and, like many others have reported, I can no longer safely remove any USB devices, whether thumb drives or external drives. The 'safely remove' window no longer comes up. Simply says cannot remove device, being accessed by another application. I certainly hope you have a fix, soon. This is not acceptable. Thanks.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: DavidR on January 15, 2011, 01:40:11 AM
I have the same OS and avast version, yet I don't have that problem.

I also have a netbook with win7 starter and avast 5.1.889 and no problem with the USB safe removal/unplug USB.

So the problem is one of consistency if they are to find the cause.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Nesivos on January 15, 2011, 01:44:07 AM
Support Alert, May 15, 2008
The quick way to safely remove USB drives

Before you unplug a USB device such as a flash drive or external hard disk, you really should use the Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" feature to ensure that Windows has written everything to the device.

That's because Windows, to improve performance, uses a technique called "deferred writes" wherein Windows doesn't always immediately write everything to your external drive each time you use it. Rather, it consolidates lots of small writes into one big write by holding the data in memory.

It's just like washing the dishes; it's far more efficient to do one dishwasher load per day than do a load each time you use a single cup or plate.

But the downside is that some of the data you think you transferred to your USB drive may actually still be in your computer's memory. That's why you shouldn't just pull the drive out but first use the Safely Remove Hardware icon to force Windows to write to the drive anything it is holding in memory.

That's easy enough to say, but the Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" feature is confusing to use, particularly if you have several USB devices. Worse still, the icon often goes missing from the system tray.

"USB Disk Ejector" is a small utility that does the same thing as the Windows "Safely Remove Device" applet, except that it does it quicker and better.

cont here

http://windowssecrets.com/support-alert/2008/05/15/24-The-quick-way-to-safely-remove-USB-drives
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Kaseydaddy on January 15, 2011, 02:21:38 AM
I have the same OS and avast version, yet I don't have that problem.

I also have a netbook with win7 starter and avast 5.1.889 and no problem with the USB safe removal/unplug USB.

So the problem is one of consistency if they are to find the cause.

If you read many of the similar posts, some people don't have the problem, some do. I appreciate that you don't have the problem, but I do. Therefore, your comments don't really help a lot. Thanks.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Kaseydaddy on January 15, 2011, 02:24:17 AM
Support Alert, May 15, 2008
The quick way to safely remove USB drives

Before you unplug a USB device such as a flash drive or external hard disk, you really should use the Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" feature to ensure that Windows has written everything to the device.

That's because Windows, to improve performance, uses a technique called "deferred writes" wherein Windows doesn't always immediately write everything to your external drive each time you use it. Rather, it consolidates lots of small writes into one big write by holding the data in memory.

It's just like washing the dishes; it's far more efficient to do one dishwasher load per day than do a load each time you use a single cup or plate.

But the downside is that some of the data you think you transferred to your USB drive may actually still be in your computer's memory. That's why you shouldn't just pull the drive out but first use the Safely Remove Hardware icon to force Windows to write to the drive anything it is holding in memory.

That's easy enough to say, but the Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" feature is confusing to use, particularly if you have several USB devices. Worse still, the icon often goes missing from the system tray.

"USB Disk Ejector" is a small utility that does the same thing as the Windows "Safely Remove Device" applet, except that it does it quicker and better.

cont here

http://windowssecrets.com/support-alert/2008/05/15/24-The-quick-way-to-safely-remove-USB-drives

You need to read the posts that others have made with the same problem as I have. The "Safe to Remove" no longer comes up! There is no choice to safely remove the USB device. It's gone, since the upgrade. I know how it is supposed to work, but it doesn't anymore!
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Nesivos on January 15, 2011, 03:54:04 AM
Support Alert, May 15, 2008
The quick way to safely remove USB drives

Before you unplug a USB device such as a flash drive or external hard disk, you really should use the Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" feature to ensure that Windows has written everything to the device.

That's because Windows, to improve performance, uses a technique called "deferred writes" wherein Windows doesn't always immediately write everything to your external drive each time you use it. Rather, it consolidates lots of small writes into one big write by holding the data in memory.

It's just like washing the dishes; it's far more efficient to do one dishwasher load per day than do a load each time you use a single cup or plate.

But the downside is that some of the data you think you transferred to your USB drive may actually still be in your computer's memory. That's why you shouldn't just pull the drive out but first use the Safely Remove Hardware icon to force Windows to write to the drive anything it is holding in memory.

That's easy enough to say, but the Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" feature is confusing to use, particularly if you have several USB devices. Worse still, the icon often goes missing from the system tray.

"USB Disk Ejector" is a small utility that does the same thing as the Windows "Safely Remove Device" applet, except that it does it quicker and better.

cont here

http://windowssecrets.com/support-alert/2008/05/15/24-The-quick-way-to-safely-remove-USB-drives

You need to read the posts that others have made with the same problem as I have. The "Safe to Remove" no longer comes up! There is no choice to safely remove the USB device. It's gone, since the upgrade. I know how it is supposed to work, but it doesn't anymore!

Excuse me

You need to read my posts

I know all about the default XP safely remove program and icon
I suggested installing a third party "safely remove hardware" software that is better than the default XP safely remove program regardless of whether or not it comes up. 

If you want to know how to bring it back up I suggest that you ask on a Windows XP forum because the problem is most likely related to XP which is outdated and has a number of issues including security issues.

Have a good day
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: GaAs on January 15, 2011, 11:11:26 AM
Hi All.
See: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=69367.0
 ;)
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: YoKenny on January 15, 2011, 02:10:54 PM
No problem on my XP Pro system nor my Windows 7 system.

The latest avast! V5.1.889 fixed all my issues with removing USB devices.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: gentle4ug on January 15, 2011, 06:11:09 PM
I have the same problem on Windows 7 32 bit.  The USB drive seems to be still in use.  The Avast team seems to be working on it.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 15, 2011, 10:00:18 PM
Whew!  Good thing I haven't updated to 5.1.889 yet.
It'll probably be another week or two by the time I have to go to my sister's place to get a haircut ... and have an excuse to use her High Speed Internet then.  ;D
Hopefully this USB Safe Removal issue will be fixed by then.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: DavidR on January 15, 2011, 10:11:31 PM
That really isn't an excuse to update, as at worst for you on XP it is a pain in the rear and there are ways round it in the meantime.


Check this post by Nesivos, Reply #2 above http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=69411.msg583158#msg583158 (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=69411.msg583158#msg583158). This gives a link to a tool to use should you have this problem, works on Windows 2000 -> Vista, I don't know about win7 as it pre-dates win7.

There is no certainty that you will even have this problem, I don't on XP Pro SP3 or win7 starter. So lets not go jumping the gun.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 15, 2011, 10:58:18 PM
Let's not go jumping the gun?  How?  How would I be jumping the gun?
True, there's no guarantee that my Windows XP would even exhibit this problem.
But, the point is moot.  I can't update even if I wanted to.  Like I said, I have to wait until I get access to my sister's High Speed Internet if I want to update via a clean update, which I much rather prefer.

But, just in case I get bold and adventurous enough, does anyone know what probable size of a PROGRAM Update it would be to update from my current 5.0.677 to 5.1.889 via the GUI PROGRAM Update option?  If it's no worse, no bigger than the typical PROGRAM Update sizes we had with 4.8, then I COULD PROGRAM Update via the GUI with my Dial Up.  We're NOT talking 15 to 20 Meg or higher, are we?
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: DavidR on January 15, 2011, 11:22:49 PM
By assuming that if you install 5.1.889 you are automatically going to be hit with a USB problem as you asserted.

Quote from: Chim
Whew!  Good thing I haven't updated to 5.1.889 yet.

I don't know who big the update would be from the GUI, nut it is possibly manageable on dial-up.

However, since this is going to 5.1 getting the full download when you can on broadband will give you a copy to save on your hard disk, should you ever need to reinstall.

Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Ho-chi-minh on January 16, 2011, 04:47:08 AM
try unlocker for safely removing. right click on the drive u need to safely remove- select unlocker..it ll show which application prevents from safely removing, select them and click "unlock all".. after this u can do safely remove.

http://www.filehippo.com/download_unlocker/
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 16, 2011, 04:58:41 PM
Right.  Exactly.  It's always great to have the Setup File handy just in case one needs it in an emergency.  So yeah, I'll just wait.  My avast Manual Scans as well as my MBAM and SUPERAnti-Spyware Scans always come up clean anyway.  So, it's not likely I'll be taking some HUGE risk and living on the edge :o by waiting a week or two more to update to 5.1.889.

I'll see if I Google up some Reviews on that USB Ejector in the meantime.
I want to see how legit it is.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Joseph A on January 23, 2011, 12:53:51 AM
Windows XP Pro, SP3, all updates. I upgraded from Avast Free 5.0.677 to 5.1.889, and, like many others have reported, I can no longer safely remove any USB devices, whether thumb drives or external drives. The 'safely remove' window no longer comes up. Simply says cannot remove device, being accessed by another application. I certainly hope you have a fix, soon. This is not acceptable. Thanks.

I have the same configuration as you and also the same problem.  As you say in a later message, "some people don't have the problem, some do."  Well, I am one of the ones that do.  I also hope this problem is solved soon.

Someone has suggested in another thread that a reboot would solve the problem.  It must be a joke!
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: MikeBCda on January 23, 2011, 09:46:26 PM
So far it seems that no one's found a common denominator for who's likely to encounter the problem and who isn't.  No problems for me (XP home, SP3, fully up to date).  Admittedly I don't often use a USB flash drive, typically just for transferring files to my wife's computer which doesn't have internet access, so it's possible that I might have run into a problem if I'd had occasion to use it with one of the earlier 5.x builds.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 24, 2011, 01:07:24 AM
Today ... since my last comment on this thread, for the first I tried to remove my Flash Drive.  And I did encounter the dreaded inability to safely remove the Flash Drive.  :o

I then decided, "Okay, so let me try downloading and using that highly-touted USB Disk Ejector.  I tried it out and NOPE!  No Dice.  That Sucker was even very slow to get around to telling me that the Flash Drive could NOT be safely removed because some App was in use, which of course, NOTHING was in use and I was even Off Line.  It was bad enough that it took an eternity to copy the only 400 something KByte Setup File from my Desktop to my Flash Drive. 

Something is definitely wrong with 5.1.889 regarding ANY Flash Drive activity.
The only alleged Workaround that we had to safely remove our Flash Drives, USB Disk Ejector was slow and worthless.  That's aside of any Copy & Paste activity involving the Flash Drive is VERY slow with periods where it downright looks like it's locked up.  I had planned on updating my Back Up Flash Drives, but now I'm gonna hold off because it's liable to take an hour or more.  And I no longer even trust that any writing onto the Flash Drives will be done correctly what with all the weird behavior.

And no, it's NOT my Flash Drive.  Everything was working fine with 5.0.677.
The problems surfaced right after my update to 5.1.889.

As to whether my computer has a virus?
Well, last night 5.1.889 indicated that my system, as usual, is clean.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: DavidR on January 24, 2011, 01:27:54 AM
This must be making a few of the developers pull their hair out as it is just so inconsistent if it were only with one OS it might narrow down the hunt. But no there are people with the same OS and they aren't affected, so it has to be one of the multitude of permutations.

Working for me on XP Pro SP3 and win7 starter (32bit) so I don't know if this is some sort of conflict.

@ Chim what is AOL 9.0 Security Edition ?
Given that we have already had one issue with AOL software and the behaviour shield (which should have been resolved).
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 24, 2011, 01:46:27 AM
AOL 9.0 Security Edition ... the "Security Edition" aspect of it is just that way back in the early 2000s when it was new ... it has in it the capability to install McAfee Anti-Virus that AOL was giving Members FREE back then.

In case you might wonder:
(1)  No, the McAfee wasn't automatically installed.  You had to choose to install it.  It would install some Files.  But, then you still had to download some more Files from McAfee.

(2)  That McAfee aspect of it is no longer even valid.  I THINK AOL still offers Members FREE McAfee, but it no longer has anything to do with the install CD for this AOL 9.0 Security Edition.  The FREE McAfee courtesy of AOL is now done totally via Online.

(3)  Certain McAfee packed Files do actually get installed with this AOL 9.0 Security Edition ... for use in case we did opt to use the McAfee aspect.  But, I uninstalled them using the McAfee Removal Tool MCPR.  So, there are no McAfee Files installed in my computer now.  I stopped using that FREE McAfee about 3 years ago when it started screwing up my other computer's Boot Up process.

(4)  The previous avast versions before 5.1.889 worked fine with this AOL 9.0 Security Edition.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: DavidR on January 24, 2011, 02:39:27 AM
OK, just concerned it might has something active running.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 24, 2011, 02:58:58 AM
Just in case it'll help the Devs at ALWIL, I have a very simple system.

As for Real Time Security?  I have avast and the Windows XP Firewall.  That's it.
And aside of what y'all see in my signature, let's see what else I have installed:
Foxit Reader, IrfanView, YouTube Downloader, Photoshop 6.0, Auslogics Disk Defrag, Media Player Classic, QT Lite 4.0.  And that's pretty much it.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 24, 2011, 03:07:44 AM
Okay, just in case this factors in into the equation:

As y'all can see in my signature, my computer is REALLY old and SLOW.
Thus, my Flash Drives, which have 2.0 USB capability ... don't actually operate at High Speed.  That's why every time I plug them in, I get informed that my Flash Drives would operate faster on a USB 2.0 port.

Somehow I doubt that all the other people that are having Flash Drive problems with 5.1.889 are also going to have really old and slow computers like me.  So, I don't know if this will be the common denominator.  But, I thought I'd throw it out there anyway just in case it can help zero in on the solution in some way.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Nesivos on January 24, 2011, 08:02:29 AM
Quote
How to 'Safely Remove' Devices

By Rick Broida, PCWorld    Jan 23, 2011 5:45 pm

If you don't see a Safely Remove Hardware icon in your system tray, or if you're not quite sure which listing corresponds to your card or drive, you have another option. Double-click Computer (or My Computer) to open it, and find the icon for the device. Right-click it, and choose Eject.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/217196/how_to_safely_remove_devices.html?tk=hp_new (http://www.pcworld.com/article/217196/how_to_safely_remove_devices.html?tk=hp_new)
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 24, 2011, 09:29:34 PM
Heyyy, that did the trick, Nesivos!  :)
I was able to as far as I could tell ... remove my Flash Drive safely.
I say "as far as I could tell" because what I didn't like is that once I clicked on "Eject," no indication is given that it is now safe to remove the Flash Drive.  I just noticed a little bit of Hard Drive LED activity and that was it.  I waited and waited, but no indication ever came that it was now safe.  So, the only way I was able to ASSUME that it was now safe to remove my Flash Drive was by Right Clicking on C: Drive and checking the Properties.  There it indicated 0 KBytes.  Also, the PortableApps.com Icon disappeared from next to the C: Drive.  I was a bit nervous because my SanDisk Cruzer Flash Drive's bright light on the side was still slowly pulsing as usual.  But, I went ahead and pulled out the Flash Drive and inserted my other one.  After updating that one, I ejected that one the same way and inserted my original Flash Drive.

There appears to have been no ill effects from that Eject method.

While that worked great though, it is evident that there is still a definite problem with Flash Drive activity in general with 5.1.889.  The Flash Drive update was slow and sluggish.  And after I finished, there seemed to be sluggishness remnants in my computer in general.  I had to Reboot to get my computer back to normal.

Thanks for the Tip, Nesivos!
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: osmosis on January 24, 2011, 11:41:52 PM
Heyyy, that did the trick, Nesivos!  :)
I was able to as far as I could tell ... remove my Flash Drive safely.
I say "as far as I could tell" because what I didn't like is that once I clicked on "Eject," no indication is

Just the fact that you only have 256 megs of ram is going to be an  issue.  It could take forever to read write back and forth to the swapdrive just to preform a simple function.  You are attempting to run 2011 software (Avast) on 1995 hardware.  At some point something has to give.  Not everything can be be backwards compatable forever - lest we loose the funcionality of new technology
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: DavidR on January 24, 2011, 11:46:20 PM
We have told Chim a number of times 256MB is barely enough to run XP, much less other applications.
Title: Re: Cannot Safely Remove USB
Post by: Chim on January 25, 2011, 06:35:51 AM
But, as I said, these Flash Drive issues began with 5.1.889.
Flash Drive activity was fine before.
And I am NOT the only one having these issues.
And I doubt everyone having the issues has old computers with 256 Meg of RAM or even Windows XP.

If ALWIL doesn't want to fix the problem, well then that's a different story with which I'll have to deal.