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I've tried to eject an external drive but it just won't be ejected. I know it is safe to pull out the external drive when the machine is shutdown but this is a fileserver and I can't shut it down just like that. Is it safe to plug out the external usb harddisk when logoff?

Please note that before this I can successfully eject the disk every single time. But not today. And there's no application running on it & I've waited for half an hour after clicking the eject button.

Machine: Dell R200, Windows Server 2003

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what does it display during this half hour? – Tommy Nov 30 '10 at 3:30
    
It displays nothing. – i.am.noob Nov 30 '10 at 5:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the external disk isn't spinning (reading/writing), you can probably disconnect it without damage. Sounds like your file server needs a reboot, though. I've observed the same behavior on other machines, and often a reboot will fix it.

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Yesterday I plugged in 2 external harddisk. This morning I successfully ejected one harddisk, but the other one just won't eject. – i.am.noob Nov 30 '10 at 5:44
    
Update: After waiting for everyone to go home, I tried to eject it again before I try to shutdown the server and poof, it works. Huh. – i.am.noob Dec 1 '10 at 4:03

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