How do I stop windows from taking over my portable hard drive
February 17, 2009 5:40 AM   Subscribe

I have a portable usb hard drive that I use for keeping all my documents / backups on. Windows seems to love using this drive for everything, for example I am installing IE7 from windows update, and it is using the drive to hold all the temporary files during the install. Because of this the drive is always in use and I can never eject it.

Using unlocker I can see that no less than three services are holding files open on this drive, and system restore is also using it (even though I disabled it for the external drive)

How can I get windows to treat this external the same way it treats a USB stick, instead of it treating it like an actual hard drive?
posted by Syntoad to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Actually system restore decided to turn itself back on for the drive (it might do this every time I plug it in,) and I just turned it off. The three svchost.exe processes still have a hold on files though.
posted by Syntoad at 5:42 AM on February 17, 2009

It sounds a lot like Windows is using the disk as virtual memory. On XP you can check this by doing My Computer (right-click) -> Properties -> Advanced Tab -> Settings (Performance box) -> Advanced Tab -> Change (Virtual memory box). Select the drive letter and check whether it has a paging file associated with it. It shouldn't.

This may not be the answer though - I can't think how you would have ended up with a paging file on the external disk in the first place...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:59 AM on February 17, 2009

Response by poster: It is both set to optimize for quick removal, and is not set up for paging.
posted by Syntoad at 7:21 AM on February 17, 2009

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