07-10-2005, 02:00 AM
Problem: attempt to unmount USB devices destabilizes system beyond repair
Platform: IBM ThinkPad T40, Win XP Pro, SP2, all patches installed
I use my USB 2.0 ports to connect my external HD, and a USB drive.
Sometimes, when I use the "Safely remove..." control, everything works fine.
But about 50% of the time, nothing happens -- no success message, no error
message, nothing in the event log. The command is unresponsive, and clicking
on the "safely remove" tray icon again has no effect. (This happens
regardless of which device I try to unmount, or which USB ports I'm using.)
But then things get worse: ctrl-alt-del brings up the Windows Security
panel, but Task Manager won't launch. (Clicking the Task Manager button
closes the Windows Security panel, but the Task Manager never appears.) Once
I've tried to launch it, pressing ctrl-alt-delete again has no effect.
At this point the computer still seems to be running everything else just
fine. But I can't shutdown, can't restart, can't access the task manager,
and can't unmount my USB drives. Eventually, I have to force the system to
power off by holding down the power switch for 10 seconds until it simply
drops dead. (Side note: every time I do this, Firefox loses its settings,
and various other files which were open when the system became unstable, but
which I closed before powering off, are also corrupted.)
Anyone have any idea?
Tom Che [MSFT]
07-10-2005, 02:00 AM
Thank you for posting here!
I notice that you have posted the same question in our
microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support newsgroup, to which I have
already responded. Please check my answer there, and if you need any
further assistance on this particular issue please reply to me in that
thread so I can follow up with you. In the future, please don't cross-post
the same question in multiple newsgroups. This will help our engineers
work on your question more efficiently. Your understanding and cooperation
For your convenience, I have included my reply as follows:
Thanks for posting here.
From your post, my understanding of this issue is: With your Windows XP
Professional SP2 system, you cannot shutdown and restart the computer
normally, cannot access Task Manager, and sometimes cannot dismount USB
devices. If this is not correct, please feel free to let me know.
Based on my experience, there may be some corrupted system files caused by
viruses or other possibilities in your system. Therefore, I recommend you
refer to the following steps to troubleshooting:
Step 1: Scan the computer for viruses and spyware
For your convenience, I have included some online scan and software
Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)
RAV AntiVirus - Scan Online
Trend Micro - Free online virus Scan
Panda Active Scan - Free online scanner
Note: This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web
site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you.
Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or
information found on these sites; therefore, Microsoft cannot make any
representations regarding the quality, safety, or suitability of any
software or information found there. There are inherent dangers in the use
of any software found on the Internet, and Microsoft cautions you to make
sure that you completely understand the risk before retrieving any software
from the Internet.
Step 2: Boot into the Safe Mode
1. After the Power On Self Test (POST), press F8.
2. On the Windows Advanced Options Menu screen, use the ARROW keys to
select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.
3. Do the issues occur in Safe Mode?
4. If same issues still occur, please go to Step 3.
5. If everything goes fine in Safe Mode, please perform a Clean Boot to
isolate the root cause as the following KB article:
310560: How to troubleshoot by using the System Configuration utility in
Step 3: Perform a repair installation
- After performing the repair installation, some updates or drivers may
need to be reinstalled.
- If you repair the Windows XP SP2 installation by using Windows XP SP1 CD,
the SP2 need to be reinstalled.
1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive,
and then restart your computer.
2. When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message appears on the screen,
press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.
Note: Your computer must be configured to start from the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM
drive in BIOS setting. For more information about how to configure your
computer to start from the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, see your computer's
documentation or contact your computer manufacturer.
3. You receive the following message on the Welcome to Setup screen that
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on
To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.
To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
Please press ENTER here.
4. On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the
5. Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in
the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
6. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to repair Windows XP.
Note: After you repair Windows XP, you may have to reactivate your copy of
For more information, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:
How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
Hope this helps!
Thank you and have a nice day!
Microsoft Online Partner Support
Get Secure! - www.microsoft.com/security
When responding to posts, please "Reply to Group" via your newsreader so
that others may learn and benefit from your issue.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
>From: "Jesse" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Safely remove device -> XP pro SP2 hangs unrecoverably
>Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 14:38:06 -0400
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>Problem: attempt to unmount USB devices destabilizes system beyond repair
>Platform: IBM ThinkPad T40, Win XP Pro, SP2, all patches installed
>I use my USB 2.0 ports to connect my external HD, and a USB drive.
>Sometimes, when I use the "Safely remove..." control, everything works
>But about 50% of the time, nothing happens -- no success message, no error
>message, nothing in the event log. The command is unresponsive, and
>on the "safely remove" tray icon again has no effect. (This happens
>regardless of which device I try to unmount, or which USB ports I'm using.)
>But then things get worse: ctrl-alt-del brings up the Windows Security
>panel, but Task Manager won't launch. (Clicking the Task Manager button
>closes the Windows Security panel, but the Task Manager never appears.)
>I've tried to launch it, pressing ctrl-alt-delete again has no effect.
>At this point the computer still seems to be running everything else just
>fine. But I can't shutdown, can't restart, can't access the task manager,
>and can't unmount my USB drives. Eventually, I have to force the system to
>power off by holding down the power switch for 10 seconds until it simply
>drops dead. (Side note: every time I do this, Firefox loses its settings,
>and various other files which were open when the system became unstable,
>which I closed before powering off, are also corrupted.)
>Anyone have any idea?