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How can I safely remove my external eSATA disk on Windows XP? I want to avoid any workarounds that involve reinstalling, rebooting, and/or reconfiguring the drive.

I found a similar question here but I'm using Windows XP instead of Windows 7. The answer provided there makes no sense to me, as I want nothing but to safely remove the hard disk. I don't want to change the options in any way - I especially don't think that disabling caching will be useful to anyone (as I'm not expecting a power outage any time soon!).

Note that unlike my C: drive, the drive I want to switch off does not appear in the "Safely remove..." menu.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Go into either Device Manager or Computer Management-Disk Storage.

From there, you can disable the drive or under Disk Storage you can make the drive offline.


The only other option to make your drive appear on the Safely remove IS a reconfiguration, which is to set the drive as removeable under Device Manager.

As said below, disabling a drive under Device Manager does not remove the drive from the list. It just puts a gray arrow on it. Switching it offline is under Computer Management, which I stated above.


To batch this, you use the diskpart remove drive_letter command to dismount the drive.

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Disabling the disk falls into the category "reconfiguring" and is even worse than simple disabling the caching (the device disappears from the list, which makes re-enabling harder). I haven't found any possibility to switch it off-line. – maaartinus Sep 18 '11 at 9:29
Disabling a device doesn't remove the device from Device Manager. Even if it did, rescanning your system for hardware changes (which device manager also does) will redetect it. – surfasb Sep 18 '11 at 13:44
Agreed, it doesn't get removed from the from Device Manager, but it gets removed from Computer Management/Disk Storage (which is what I meant). I hate Windows forcing me to make permanent changes for something as trivial as stopping a device. – maaartinus Sep 18 '11 at 13:53
If the Drive has a dynamic volume, it doesn't disappear. It's something you can batchfile also. I have two eSata docks myself and I use an autohotkey script to eject them from the system. – surfasb Sep 18 '11 at 14:07
It's not dynamic. I'd like to create a batch script using diskpart, however remove f: says The arguments you specified for this command are not valid. which is (as usually) of no help. It looks like it should be remove letter=f, but this complains again... Finally it works... unless the volume number changes! How could anybody invent something as user-hostile as this? – maaartinus Sep 18 '11 at 16:00

It is free and works great for disconnecting eSata drives.

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