External HDD drive safe removal

Hello! Since I installed eM Client, it doesn’t allow me to safely remove an external HDD drive connected to PC USB port. I have Windows 10 and when I try to remove such HDD drive, a message is displayed that the device is being used and that I have to close all programs that are using it first. But in reality it is enough to close eM Client. This situation happens even if no operations were done on such HDD drive. I simply connect it and try to safely remove. The only solution is to close eM Client. What is strange, it doesn’t affect USB pendrives. Only HDD drives. So I was wondering if maybe there is a setting or a feature I should configure to fix it?

What version of eM Client are you running ?

Also have you done all the latest Win 10 22H2 updates.

Perhaps when you set up eMC you defined the location of the database and/or backup file location as being your USB device?

Hi! Thanks for your interest in this topic.

I have eM Client version 9.2.2157 and Windows 10 Pro 22H2 (regularly updated).

A daily backup is set up on a different (internal) drive. Unless you are referring to something different.

I assume from your answers that you don’t observe such behavior on your PCs. This is very strange.

viernes 19 enero 2024 :: 1659hrs (UTC +0100)

Have you or are you able to test with an SSD in place of an HDD as there have been eMC performance issues reported previously on the forum? Maybe the HDD is taking a while to spin down whereas that is not an issue with a Pendrive…


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I execute the eMC Backup to the internal HD and I do not have ANY issues as you have defined.

My earlier reply asked about the database and the backup file… not sure that was answered.

Unfortunately I have no external SSD drives but I doubt it is causing the problem because even after a few hours of inactivity the system still claims the drive is being used and only closing eM Client helps.

The database and the back up files are located on internal drive.

I import some old emails and mail boxes from the external drive from time to time. So maybe eMC has some kind of history (like an Internet browser) and when it detects that such drive was connected again, it somehow reestablishes the connection, even if I do nothing.

I get a similar issue which I reported. I either reported it by direct email or via my support account. I am unable to get the details now. eM Client staff might be able to find the reference. I remember that Gary responded.

The problem only happened during an eM Client installation or program update.

The eM Client installer grabs hold of a USB disk drive (that is not associated with the installation) and refuses to let it go, resulting in the problem you have. My fix is to restart the computer.

This event only ever happened reliably during an eM Client install (or update) - it never happened during normal usage of em Client.


I have eM Client version 9.2.2157 and Windows 10 Pro 22H2

Ok so your eM Client and Windows 10 is up to date.

The only time that eM Client would normally have anything to do with not allowing you to safely eject a USB external drive is eg: if you either have the automatic periodic backup enabled & you have set the backup location to that external usb drive. So you will need to then close / exit eM Client completely to be able to eject that external drive as otherwise it would still be in use.

Or if you have just run a manual backup and the backup location is also set to that external drive. Again closing eM Client after running the manual backup would then normally allow you to eject it.

If closing eM Client doesn’t allow you to safely eject your external usb drive, your USB serial bus controller drivers might need updating, or possibly might need uninstalling and reinstalling as per the Microsoft post below,

The only other reason can be if you eg: have some other background program on startup running resident interfering with the usb external drive ejecting safely.

So if you have already closed eM Client and still cannot safely eject your usb external drive, then try updating or uninstalling and reinstalling the usb serial bus controllers as in the Microsoft post below.

Note:- Ive done this in the past for friends of mine who had Windows 10 and couldn’t eject external usb drivers and it usually fixed the problem. If you are not confident updating serial bus controllers or uninstalling and reinstalling usb serial bus controllers, then you might need a tech person to do that for you.

(Windows 10 cannot “Safe Eject” USB drive)


To update the USB serial bus controller in Win 10 do the following.

  1. Press (Windows key + X) and click on “Device Manager”.
  2. Expand “Universal Serial Bus controllers ”.
  3. Right click on the Universal Serial Bus controllers drivers and select “Update Driver Software”. Once this is done, restart the computer and check, if it works.

To uninstall and reinstall the serial bus controllers in Win 10 for the following.

a. Click on Windows key + X key and then, select Device Manager.
b. Locate and expand “Universal Serial Bus controllers” in the Device Manager Window.
c. Right-click on the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” and click on “uninstall".
d. Restart the computer and check, if it works.
e. Reinstall the Universal Serial Bus controllers driver from the manufacturer’s website and check, if the issue persists.

Lastly if none of the above makes any difference, then “try disabling all non os background tasks on Win 10 startup” and reboot and see if you can then safely eject your usb external drive. If you then can safely eject it ok, you have to then enable those startup items “one at a time” till you find which one is causing the issue.

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Hi! Thank you for your reply. I made some tests during the weekend and here is what I found:

Scenario 1: If eMC is running when I connect USB external drive, I cannot safely remove it. I have to close it first.
Scenario 2: If eMC is NOT running when I connect USB external drive, I CAN safely remove it.
Scenario 3: eMC is NOT running, I connect USB external drive and run eMC, I CAN safely remove it if I don’t do any operations on the drive
Scenario 4: eMC is NOT running, I connect USB external drive and run eMC, I CANNOT safely remove it if I DO any operations on the drive (like checking folder content in Windows Explorer)

As I mentioned, eMC backup is set up on another location. I also checked that this situation happens with only one HDD USB drive. Other similar drives can be removed safely without any problems. So for some reason eMC is recognizing this particular drive and doesn’t allow me to remove it safely. The question is, where I could check it apart from backup settings which I’ve already checked?