One question that seems to pop up often is “ why can’t I safely remove my external hard drive?”
The message received reads “‘Generic volume’ cannot be stopped because a program…..” but there doesn’t seem to be a program open relating to this drive. Some forums advocate using the process tab of the task manager to turn off Explorer. This is part of the shell of the Windows operating system and this procedure is not advisable.
It might be that you opened a file, such as a Word document, directly from the external drive and the document is still open while you are trying to remove the drive, or you have closed the document but left the Word program open and it has not yet released it’s working or temporary copy of the document.
Another and most likely cause is that the external drive is in the process of being indexed by the operating system. Does your external drive need to be indexed? Or is it only used for transferring data or for backups?
To stop the drive being indexed go to the properties of the drive, on the lower section of the general tab you will see two check boxes, one reads compress this drive to save disk space, and the other allow files on this drive to have contents indexed. If you uncheck the latter the drive will be released and you can then safely remove it using the safely remove hardware feature in Windows.
If this doesn’t work there is a handy little freeware app called EjectUSB.