Close any open files and/or programs that are using the drive.
In Microsoft Windows operating systems (such as Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, and XP) users have the ability to connect a number of different types of drive devices for use in storing and/or transferring files. For most of these supported drive devices (such as flash drives, external hard drives, and media cards), it is recommended that users 'eject,' or 'safely remove' the device before manually disconnecting it from the system. Ejecting a drive device is a very straightforward and simple operation.
Move your mouse cursor over the notification area of the task bar. Find the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon (you may have to press the "Show hidden icons" button to display all of the items). The icon will be identified as such in a tool tip when the mouse hovers over it.
Left-click on the icon and select "Safely remove <your-drive-name-here>" from the context menu. Windows will now ensure the drive is ready to be removed and notify you when it is safe to remove it. If you encounter a message stating that "the drive is busy and cannot be removed," ensure once more that all programs and files using the drive are closed, then repeat step three.
- Photo Credit flash drive image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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