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Handling of removable drives: e.g. USB flash drives

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I've had an issue when using USB flash drives. Most of the time, Windows says I can't eject the drive because it's in use. I struggled for several days trying to figure out exactly what was tying up the flash drive. Finally, I thought that, perhaps, Scanner was involved. So, I located the Stablebit Scanner Service using services.msc, stopped it, and was able to eject the drive. So, OK, problem found, I guess.

Anyway, stopping and starting Stablebit Scanner Service is not a very satisfying way to eject flash drives, so I figured, maybe, Scanner can be configured to ignore such drives. I have not been able to find such a setting. I did find DoNotQueryRemovableDrives in the advanced section, but it was already checked, so I'm figuring it doesn't do what I want. I checked the Scanner FAQ and Manual, but couldn't find anything relevant. The manual only offers a warning to not mess with the advanced settings. :P

Can anyone offer some insight/ideas?

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Se same. I opened the flash drive with Explorer, then opened a photo on the drive. Then I closed the photo, closed Explorer, waited a couple of minutes, then tried to eject --> no go. As soon as I ran net stop "stablebit scanner service" I was able to eject the drive. Here's a SnipTool of Scanner with the flash drive connected:

ScannerWithUSBflashDrive.JPG

 

And here's a SnipTool of Scanner's Advanced Settings page to show the version number:

Scanner3129.JPG

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@Spider99 Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for me. At first I thought it might be a problem in that I was plugging the USB flash drive into a USB hub (USB2) but it made no difference when I plugged it into a USB3 port on the front of the computer.

Also, I'm embarrassed to admit I totally missed that page when looking for possibilities. How? I have no idea. It's not like it's hidden or anything. Anyway, I still have to stop the Scanner service, eject, and then restart the service. I noticed that, in your image, you show both items in the Removable Drives section as unchecked, so I tried that. It didn't work either. It seems to make no difference which way they're set. It's probably something I screwed up, but I don't know what.

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I'm pretty sure they are. The mother board is pretty old now (2011 I think: it's either an Asus P8P67-M or a P8H67-M Pro), so there haven't been any updates for a few years. I guess I will just have to live with stopping & starting Scanner. The good news is I found a couple of example shortcuts my father created, so I've been able to create an easy way to stop & start the service:

cmd.exe /c net stop "stablebit scanner service" and cmd.exe /c net start "stablebit scanner service"

I set both of them to run as Administrator and they work really well. Thanks Dad :)

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Hmmm, not sure what procman or systernals is/are, but I did find a little program called USB Safely Remove. It's kind of neat. After I installed it, I tried to eject a USB drive and it came up with a window that listed 3 items: a Service Host entry, then Stablebit Scanner, then another Service Host. That's when I decided to stop Scanner, and the ejection worked.

I wanted to show you an image of the USB Safely Remove window. I had uninstalled it after figuring out I could stop Scanner to eject, and realizing that, as long as Scanner had the USB drive locked up, Safely Remove wasn't going to be able to eject it either.

So, just now, I reinstalled Safely Remove so I could get the window capture. Unfortunately, it wouldn't show that window to me today. The window it did show said it couldn't find any programs locking the flash drive, but it couldn't eject it either :huh:. So, I uninstalled Safely Remove again. Then, when I went to eject the flash drive using the Windows tool, it worked. Perhaps it was the 3 genuflections and bowing to Mecca that did it... I'm not sure, but now it seems I can insert and eject USB flash drives. Just to note: I have not rebooted the computer.

So, at least for the moment, it seems the issue is, miraculously, resolved. I'll report back if it pops up again.

ps. another reason I didn't keep USB Safely Remove is because it costs $20. Compared to what Scanner and DrivePool do, this seems a bit pricey to me.

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Yeah, this entire issue is "complicated", to say the least.

But basically, at some point, StableBit Scanner is reading the flash drive, opening a "handle" to the drive. This "handle" is what locks the drive and prevents it from being ejected. 

However, not all drives are "equal", and there are 2-3 different kinds of flash drives, IIRC. And then USB "mass storage drives".

 

 

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I have run into the "not all USB flash drives are equal" issue. I was trying to make a USB drive bootable some years ago, and it wasn't working, no matter what I did, and despite my following the instructions I read online in several different places.

Finally, I called my father, and he explained about different flash drives behaving differently. He told me about a make/model of one that worked for him. I went and bought one, and it did work. From then on, I've been kinda careful about flash drives. I didn't think that applied to drive locking however, so good to know.

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Just a quick update to say that, on my Windows 10 server, I had to stop the scanner service today in order to physically remove a drive that I had removed from the pool using DrivePool. It seems pretty consistent on the server.

I may have to spring for a copy of Easy USB Remover in order to keep track of whether Scanner has a drive or enclosure locked up.

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On the server, at least, it doesn't seem to have made any difference. I still have to stop the Scanner service. I'm still running the USB Safe Removal program on the server, and it still says the Scanner service is blocking the ejection of my OffSite drive enclosure.

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When I swapped my off site drive sets today, I did a screen capture of the USB Safely Remove notification window that shows Scanner locking up the Lian-Li EX-503 USB external enclosure:

ScannerPreventingUSBejection.jpg

Dang: I just realised I should have clicked on the + sign next to Scanner.Service.exe. If you would like me to do that, let me know.

Dang 2: I just tried to get a capture of the Scanner notification window again (so I could click the + sign) and it showed me that DrivePool was locking up the enclosure. I presume DP is measuring the pool that's on the drives in the enclosure.

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