"Generic volume cannot be stopped right now" error when Removing a pen-drive

by Rohit Khurana on June 29, 2008



We attach portable USB device like pen drive, memory cards and portable drives etc. on our computer to transfer files from/to your computer.


When you try to remove a USB pen-drive by using “Safely Remove Hardware > Safely remove USB Mass Storage device”  option, windows should stop all the read-write operations on the drive so that the drive can be removed.


But sometimes when you try to eject the USB device by using “Safely remove USB Mass Storage device” option, it shows a message box which says:

“The Device Generic volume cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device later”




In such case its not safe to remove the pen drive as it can get corrupt or get damaged. Many of us face such problem in removing pen-drive. In this post we will see how to fix such issue.


Let’s see why it happens and the fix



This error comes when you have an application which is running from your pen drive or may be some file or document opened from your pen-drive when you are removing your drive.


In short, some file on your pen drive is in use by some other program on that computer. So close all such files or applications and try removing the drive.


In case it does not work, see the following section.


It happens sometimes that you have no application running from your pen drive or any file opened in your knowledge but still when you try to remove the pen-drive it shows this error message shown above. In that case you can use a free application called Unlocker which will help you to remove your pen drive from your windows.



What is Unlocker?


Unlocker is an explorer extension that allows you with a simple right-click of the mouse on a file,  folder or pen drive to get rid of error message like the one mentioned above.


How To Remove USB Pen Drive with Unlocker?



1. Download Unlocker from here and install it on your computer.

2. Right click on your USB pen drive in my computer and select Unlocker.


3. A new window will open that will list all the busy handles of files being used on your pen drive. Now click the button which says Unlock All ( Highlighted in the image below )


After clicking Unlock All try to remove your pen drive normally, through “Safely Remove Hardware” dialog.  


If still you are not able to remove pen drive then try clicking the Kill Process button in Unlocker.


Tip: If none of the above given approach works then we suggest you to turn off the computer and then remove your pen drive out of the USB port.


We hope the solution provided above will help you fix the problem, if you know another way to solve this trouble please share it through comments.

If you like this article or this article helped you, you can +1 to recommend this article on google plus.

You can follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook Fan Page. If you have a question to ask us, submit your question at Answers By Trouble Fixers.

Looking for something else? Search here :

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Pavan Kumar June 29, 2008 at 4:42 pm

This unlocker is a handy multipurpose software, I have blogged about removing viruses which cannot be cleaned by AV software using unlocker…. Nice find…

narendra.s.v June 30, 2008 at 9:46 pm

i too face this problem but so rarely, will try this out 😀

santillan July 17, 2008 at 8:40 pm

tnx for the solution

Nambivalavn August 13, 2008 at 7:10 am

problem was solved. its really a useful software, because this problem was faced to many of my friends.

Sreelal August 25, 2008 at 8:14 pm

When this problem occurs, right click on your USB pen drive in my computer and select Eject. Then try to safely remove it.

Sreelal August 25, 2008 at 8:16 pm

This can also solved by loging off and again log in and try to safely remove it.

Murat September 3, 2008 at 7:15 am

Did not solve my problem. It says there are no handles for the drive but XP still says drive is in use…

Arnab Roy September 11, 2008 at 1:20 pm

hat was a really cool solution it showed me up 3 svc host were running,and I think they must be viruses.

Claudio December 2, 2008 at 2:26 am

My initial issue was that when I switched to Linux partition, the disk was still mounted. Unlocker detected some svchost.exe locking the unmount of my USB Hard disk in Windows and when I was back to linux the disk was mountable.

Although there is an unlcoker on Linux, I preferred to unlock the disk on Windows and then back to Linux.

Is unlocker spyware-free? Did anybody experience any issue with unlocker?

Thanks, Claudio.

Slip December 4, 2008 at 1:06 am

The program works fine i have not met any problems with it so far. thanks…

lily December 15, 2008 at 7:06 am

Thankx…this UNLOCKER software does work 4 me!!


hello December 16, 2008 at 6:17 am

Thank you, very useful

aprilius20 December 17, 2008 at 12:36 am

Most excellent! Thanks!

helpme December 23, 2008 at 8:59 pm

why is that the unlocker said nothing is locked what do i do please help me

premchandmp January 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm

superb idea it works

cyru January 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm

nice one !!!!!

it works for me !!!!

Keyur February 13, 2009 at 9:04 am

I tried to use unlocker in my vista 64 bit, but when I right click on my drive I don’t see any unlocker in the list.. any suggestion plesase….?

Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed February 20, 2009 at 11:19 am

Thanks 4 OL.

Lay March 28, 2009 at 8:19 am

It still said ” No Locking Handle foung “..so what should I do then ..Pls.

Ron March 30, 2009 at 10:08 am

Excellent tip. Researched lots of places but this one did it for me. Very good utility to use!

cris April 8, 2009 at 10:32 pm

thanks for helping and sharing it with others. it works for me… thanks again

angel April 12, 2009 at 4:23 am

Thanks, it’s work….. its really useful

Dj June 21, 2009 at 11:53 am

Thanks a ton man !!!!

Anand June 22, 2009 at 2:07 am

The software did not work in my turn. It says “No locking handle found”
Any other method please???????

Mohan June 23, 2009 at 5:45 am

Thanks man this is big problem and i already corupt 2 pendrive.

vishal June 26, 2009 at 7:52 pm

thank man!
its’s gr8 unlocker exe.

mujib August 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm

it works g8, thanks for ur solution.

ginny August 31, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Thank you!!! Worked like a charm.

Manisha M October 10, 2009 at 2:07 am

Thank you 😀
Was tired of shutting down each time I had to remove the pen drive.

Mariam K October 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Thank you very much it really helped me..thanks thanks thanks

JJ November 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Hmm…says no handles are locked. Still doesn’t release it. Doesn’t work.

C November 10, 2009 at 8:57 am

Worked for me for my ex hd. I also had the problem of not being able to access my external harddrive. So, not only could i not remove it but I also could not access it directly from the my computer window (though I could indirectly via programs, i.e., if i had a word doc on my ex hd, i could open word and access it via word). so, i hope this unlocker resolves the other problem too….

C November 10, 2009 at 8:58 am

nope, access still denied. any suggestions on that one?

George November 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Doesn’t always work. Many a time, I’ve closed down all running applications (task bar is bare) and ran Unlocker, which reveals nothing locking the drive. Recently discovered that sometimes the Recycling bin will prevent removal, disabling the Recycling bin for the drive if it’s an external hard drive will sometimes allow it to be unplugged, (even though running Unlocker prior didn’t find anything). In short, an extremely and hugely annoying bug. If I’ve done the above 3 things and am still unable to remove the drive, I just unplug regardless. I can say irrevocably that I’ve never ever ever had a corrupt file doing this.

dj November 19, 2009 at 3:43 am

when i am about to down load the “unlocker” my computer say’s that it is not safe to run it……………

now i would like to ask if it is safe or dangerous to run?
cuz it may damage my computer…. i just want to be sure if it is safe….

Jack November 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I have four Western Digital USB extenal drives which have always refused to disconnect using the ‘Safely Remove Icon’ on my taskbar.

So, with some misgivings, I routinely disconnect the USB connector from my system wtihout even trying to use
this feature.

Never had a problemm; drives continue to work flawlessly.

To my surprise however, I recently ran across the following settings choice buried within the tab called ‘policies’ within the properties section of one
of the drives:

“Optimize for Quick Rremoval
This setting disables write caching on the disk and in windows so that you can disconnect the device without using the safe removal tool.”

A second choice presented allows you to enable write caching and therefore does seem to require the use of the safe removal tool.

For my WD drives I accessed this page as follows:

(1) Right-click letter of external drive in My Computer.
(2) Select Properties.
(3) Click on appropriate device from menu.
(4) Select ‘Policy’ tab.

Possibly other external drives/devices may have a similar

To me disabling write caching seems a small price to pay for some additional peace of mind.

vv0350 January 19, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Ok, while I was reading and studying this download..prior to the actual download…my computer must have finished what ever it had going on and it stopped “ticking”…so, I tried to use the standard device disconnect again and it worked fine this time…did not get the “Generic volume device cannot be stopped right now” message an longer..so, I guess, in some cases, you should just do as the warning suggests…just wait a while and try standard disconnect again…worked for me… besides, I was having trouble figuring out how to read French…

andrew January 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Awesome!! it worked!!Thank you soo much!!!
I’ve been trying to solve this problem for soo long!

Hell February 19, 2010 at 10:58 am

thank u for unlocker.exe

Hezron Mainga February 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I am using Server Standard 2008. I think this should make u guys happy though i havent tested it for XP, Vista, and Window 7.

Right click My computer -> choose Manage -> Right Click your usb Device or ext HDD -> choose offline;

You can now remove your Usb device

nevergiveup July 22, 2010 at 10:40 am

thank u very much,,, it’s very useful application. i like it.

Ginny July 29, 2010 at 4:37 am

Thank You!!! I had gone to several websites to find an answer to this problem and found many complicated suggestions that were above my ability to perform. I found this site and one click on the Unlocker was all it took! I will surely be returning to this site.

shaker August 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

hi dear so thanks

Jealous September 3, 2010 at 3:47 am

thanks.. this work whit me !!!!

mark September 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm

hi there! at first im having that error but when i install the unlocker and remove my memory card reader it perfectly work fine (the safely remove hardware)
Its a very big help simple instructions! No need to be a tech person to follow this..!
I love it! and guys the unlocker is totally free!! Thank you so much for the help! 😀

amit September 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I get error while ejecting my phone connected to usb. After using unlocker, it show me error “path locked” N:\kazan\marijana.exe. while i dont have something like this on my phone. I think its some kind of virus. any info????

Yogesh Kumar October 5, 2010 at 7:58 pm

@amit, i feel this is a serious virus. i was trying to track it but still i am trying to delete it. it was initiated in late of September 2010. pervx 3.0 is trying to kill it but it could not clear it 100%. pls advice if you have found any cure.

oscar kamau October 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm

@ Amit @Yogesh imagine me too it has infected my phone.(I:\kazan\marijana.exe) Kaspersky antivirus 2010 is trying to kill the virus but unable to. It also tried to quarantine but still with no success. Please advice or help if you guyz have found a cure for this.

Rasloyola October 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hello, can I use the Unlocker from my USB? My friend borrowed my USB and he can’t be able to savefly remove it. So I wonder if I can download the Unlocker and save it in my USB. Am I able to safely remove my USB in this case?

Ananthu November 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Brilliant solution..unlocker worked for me…thank you soooo much..keep up the good work..

Andrew January 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

Thank you so much for your help!!! Unlocker was the “key”

mallesh February 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I have Transcend 32 gb pendrive.This is variety problem I am facing with this . I copied the data to pendrive it showing , and opening perfectly.I removed the pendrive from the system with safety remove. Then once again I plug the pendrive and open ,it is opening but the files are not opening. saying corrupted files. what is the problem?

Tony March 31, 2011 at 8:39 pm

tanx, i will try it out

yohj April 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

thanks!it really works!

Sebz Lo June 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Yeah this problem occur like when I my video clips imported directly from my USB flash drive to Windows Movie Maker and halfway you wanna “Safely Remove USB Mass Storage” the message will pop up as your project from the flash drive haven’t been closed or saved yet.

jane September 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

thanx for your tips! it worked like a peach! i’ve been having this problem everytime i insert my usb. …

limelight September 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

i used this UNLOCKER when i was still using Windows XP.. I am now using Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and I encounter this problem again.. Unlocker does not work for Windows 7.. Please help me..

bashaa September 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm



vidhun October 19, 2011 at 11:36 am

nice post

peh October 20, 2011 at 7:06 am

great article, helps alot

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

© TroubleFixers – All about fixing computer troubles2007-2016 . All Rights Reserved.