I've always had this problem with one of my Toshiba external drives. I value that drive really high because of its built-in shock detector, what is currently very hard to find. But the cannot-remove-it-safely issue was driving me crazy.
Today, I've hit this question/thread on social-technet MS site. While there's a lot of noise down there, they point out a few common issues. Like the Distributed-Tracking service. It's actually hard to read through it all due to some cohones-size-flame-war that escalated at some point, but reading the topic from its end helps;)
Anyways, sorry for my chatty mood, I've just fixed my case permanently.
I've got any Distributed-Tracking/Windows-Search/etc services off and was still unable to safely-unplug the drive. Someone somewhere suggested that "quick removal" is the culprit, but almost all my USB drives run on it and I still can remove them safely.
However, I actually tried switching this drive to "high performance mode" and .. it caused the TxfLogContainerXXXX handles to evaporate. So, it's true that this is the quick-removal option. However, this did not released my drive yet. Still couldn't eject it.
Then I have went to ComputerManagement->DriveManagement utility and I have removed any drive-letter assignements for that drive. Instantly afterwards, I was able to eject the drive.
Then I tried connecting it again, reassigning the drive letter, switching it to quick-removal and it seems to work properly and still be ejectable.
On the so-long topic on MS site, they also mention these actions. Someone suggested to:
- change drive letters and reboot
- or, try turning the drive "offline"
I think that the "turn the drive offline" via "computer management -> drive management" might actually be the quickest solution, however I have not tried it since my random attempts helped before I've read about that.