'Safely Remove Hardware' Issue

Discussion in 'hardware' started by philby, Feb 11, 2011.

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  1. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hello All

    I was helping at a community centre today where people with learning difficulties use a PC (XP SP3) for photo-editing. They basically pull the pictures off USB sticks or SD cards and play around with them in Photoshop. They asked me to look at the machine because none of the USB ports or internal card reader were working anymore.

    All the USB root hubs were marked as problematic in devmgmt, so I uninstalled all of them and then scanned for hardware changes and they all came back. I then tested each USB port and the card reader and all worked fine except if the 'safely remove hardware' method was used to detach the cards or sticks.

    Removing them this way threw up an exclamation mark next to the relevant root hub in devmgmt causing the same or different card / stick not to be recognised on re-insertion.

    If I then uninstalled the relevant root hub and rebooted, the card / stick would then be recognised as expected.

    All sticks cards were persistently recognised on attachment after detachment if only right-click > eject was used in Explorer.

    So, for some reason the SRH icon method seemed to be detaching the whole card reader / USB port.

    Why would this be? I've researched a fix and found only very tricky hardware-enumeration-registry-tinkering, which I think is beyond me.

    The reason I ask is that these community centre users will use the SRH icon method, whatever they're told and however hidden the icon is (I can't find a straightforward way to remove it), so the problem is going to keep re-occurring unless I can set the SRH icon to only detach the cards / sticks rather than the whole reader / port.

    Thanks for reading - sorry for long post!

    philby

    (Edited for brevity!)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    could you post a screenshot of what is displayed with trying to dismount usb device. is the card reader part of the comp or an addon?
     
  3. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hi Cudni

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to the machine now and won't for a while.

    The SRH window, when I checked the 'Display Device Components' box, showed a list of about 6 'generic readers' (can't recall exact wordings) with their associated drive letters - something I've never seen before. I'm only used to seeing the exact devices listed, on my machines at any rate.

    The PC was a Packard Bell Imedia 5070 with integrated card reader and 4 usb ports.

    philby
     
  4. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    Now that you described no need for the screenshot. I though it might have been an addon reader. What is the reg fix you found? Otherwise, ask/instruct the users to close any windows viewing usb and wait 10 before taking usb stick out?
     
  5. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    The registry fix was found at the end of a very long internet fishing trip - but I didn't reel it in as it was all to do with hardware enumeration IDs and creating Dwords - too complex for such a simple problem - and only found on one site, so not exactly tried and tested...

    As you suggest, I just told the users and their supervisors to 'close all' and use 'eject' or just pull out. That's fine, of course, if you don't have learning difficulties :) These guys are allowed to use the machines unsupervised, so it will surely happen again as they can't resist tinkering with those tray icons - especially if they're hidden!

    Not the end of the world, but I don't like to let these things go. I've since spent ages trying to find a proven way to kill the SRH icon completely...!!

    philby
     
  6. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    What about an auto system restore upon reboot? This way they can play all they want but any changes will be reverted upon reboot. I expect/hope this would solve this problem and any other that might crop up other than hardware issues (I am not as knowledgeable as I would like to be in this area but I am assuming the problems being encountered are not hardware issues --- but I may be wrong about this since there is a hardware component to the problem).

    A program like RollBack Rx would do the trick but the cost may be something the community centre cannot handle.

    Anyway, just a thought.
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    USB is a funny thing, always has been since I first used it in the mid 90's. They can get lost sometimes.

    To find them, you have to remove thier existence from the OS. Do this by going into device manager, then for the "computer" show hidden or "inactive" devices. This will give many "greyed out" instances. Every USB stick or mouse or whatever will be there, although unless it is plugged in you won't see its description. I can usually delete/remove these entries, then when you plug them in they are re-made. I have always found it most advantageous, when possible, to put a USB device into the same port every time. Sometimes it installs to the first port fine, but later when you use a different port, things can go awry. I have seen this many times over the years, and never seen a reason.

    Sul.
     
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