One of the most common problem you’ll face if you have a portable hard drive is, that it acts up when you try to remove it from your system. If you are in this situation, where you are not able to safely remove the portable hard drive, some of the common problems, and possible solutions for them, are listed bleow :

1> An anti-virus scanner may be scanning the drives while you are trying to remove it from your computer.

Sol: Open your task manager and check if there is any uninitiated anti-virus scan running. If there is, then there’s nothing worry about it, you can opt to let it completely scan and remove the portable hard drive, once the scan is done. If you do not want the anti virus scan, you can, as well terminate the anti virus program from Task Manager and then safely remove the portable hard drive.

2> There may be some file-sharing program on the portable hard drive which are being accessed by another program/s running on your main drive.

Sol: Locate which file is sharing the program through Task Manager and kill the process. It is not an easy task to associate any program that may be sharing the file/s on your portable hard drive. This requires careful observation and good idea about computers, else you might end up killing some process which may be necessary to keep your OS alive.

3> Or the worst condition is some virus may be accessing your portable hard drive.

Sol: This can be the worst situation to be in. If you have an anti virus on your system, scan the portable hard drive completely with it, fix any virus that’s found and this should help you safely remove the hard drive.

AVG is one of the best, freely available anti-virus software, you can download the free version if you do not have any anti-virus software on your system.

If none of the above works, please do not directly pull out the USB hard drive, doing so may result in loss of data. It’s better you shut the system down and then remove the portable hard drive. This should be your last resort, if none of the three solutions mentioned about work.