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Fix: The Device Generic Volume Cannot be Stopped Right Now Try Stopping the Device Later

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Fix: The Device Generic Volume Cannot be Stopped Right Now Try Stopping the Device Later

Device Generic Volume Cannot be Stopped Right Now

Have you ever tried to remove an external drive from your Windows XP, Windows 7 or Visa system, i.e., remove your USB or flash drive, only to get the following error message:

  • “Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device: The Device Generic volume cannot be stopped right now Try stopping the device later“, or
  • “The device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device, and then try again”.

These errors are stating that some background task(s) which cannot be interrupted are still running on the external device (i.e., USB drive).

  • As an aside, I’ve noticed this always seems to happen when I’m in a hurry i.e., I want to grab my USB drive and rush off to see a client. Am I paranoid or are there some really smart but rather naughty (to be polite) programmers at Microsoft?

For this reason Windows does not allow you to stop the device Unfortunately, as is usual with Microsoft Windows, you are not given any further assistance or the opportunity to terminate the processes interacting with the external device.

  • If you were to unplug your USB drive at this point and disregard the warning message, it could result in data lost and in some really bad cases you could even lose all the data on your USB drive.

Sadly, with no other options available most people either simply take the risk and pull the USB plug or shut down their computer and then remove the USB drive. Shutting the computer down shouldn’t cause any problems for the external drive because the background processes will be automatically terminated when the computer shuts down.

The Alternative to Taking a Risk

The problem with shutting the computer down is the amount of time the process takes, especially if you have multiple external drives you are using throughout the day.

The problem could be Windows resource hogging applications such as the Windows Indexing Service that indexes content and properties of files on local and remote computers. Also we sometimes forget about the antivirus programs running as a background process continually monitoring our systems and scanning files.

Such applications run in the background and could also be the reason for your applications or folders opening or starting slowly. With the indexing service on XP, the quick solution is to simply disable indexing.

Disable Indexing – Windows XP

Here’s how you can disable Indexing in Windows XP.

Start > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > Indexing Service > General > Startup type: Disabled > Apply > OK


Start > Run > then type “services.msc” at the “Open:” prompt > Indexing Service > General > Startup type: Disabled > Apply > OK.

Restart your computer.



Indexing and Windows 7

With Windows 7 Search Microsoft seem to have improved the search algorithm by including the detection of active applications that could be impaired by the indexing process.

This latest Windows indexing technology is also available for Vista and Windows XP in Windows Search 4.0, which may eliminate all performance issues related to indexing. Windows Search 4.0 is an updated component of Windows that enables instant search on your computer.

Windows Search 4.0 for Windows XP (KB940157)

Windows Search 4.0 for Windows Vista SP1 (KB940157)

Unlocker Software

There is a piece of software running around called, Unlocker, which is supposed to solve the problem and allow you to safely remove hardware but given the CNET Editors’ note: Unlocker includes optional bundled software that may trigger alerts from security software. I decided to give it a miss.

Also comments such as, “the EULA forces you to agree to install two toolbars“, and “You get free malware!” from users were not encouraging.

But the choice is yours, is hosted on JustHost

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