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Protecting Your USB – 7 : Missing Safely Remove Hardware Icon

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Scenario : At times your Safely Remove Hardware Icon is missing or disappeared from the system tray.so how to safely stop and unplug your USB device ?

Solution : Up until now we covered protection from virus as part of our “Protecting your USB” series, now we move on towards other problems that you might encounter when using your USB.

Now, When you face the above problem, most of the times people don’t bother to search and restore the icon but simply pull out the device. Easy while it may be, it may result in corruption of data cos unknown to you there may be many processes taking place in the USB in the background, like indexing or scanning. So if it has worked for you uptil now don’t think that it will always and it may result in data corruption. so here we will discuss ways to solve this little problem.

Method 1 : Shutting down the computer is one of the ways to safely stop and unplug your USB device, but obviously too stupid!!

Method 2 : Whenever you encounter this problem the first thing you should do is check whether you have set taskbar properties to hide the icon, by “mistake” obviously *coughcoughbraindeadcoughcough*.

You can do so by right clicking the taskbar and selecting properties. Click on “customise” under “notification area” and set the value of “safely remove hardware icon” to “show icon and notifications”.


Method 3 : Still no go ?? well this is a temporary fix for it. Go to Start, Run, type in the following line and click OK( case sensitive command ).

RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL HotPlug.dll

Note that this will bring up the “Safely Remove Hardware” dialog which you can use to stop the USB device that you want to unplug and not restore the icon, hence temporary fix.


You can also prepare a batch file…Paste the following  lines in Notepad and save as “.bat” file  :

RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL HotPlug.dll

Double-click the batch file to execute.  You can even create a shortcut to this batch file and place it where it is easy accessible for you.

Method 4 : Method #3 can’t be remembered always as to type in everytime you are in a similar scenario. You can also try the following steps :

  • Right Click on My Computer.
  • Select Manage.
  • Select USB Mass Storage Device under the USB Controller.
  • Right Click and Disable it.
  • Remove your USB drive and Enable it again

Note : If you forget to Enable it again, then you won’t be able to use any of your USB drives unless you enable it again.

Method 5 : Here’s a way on how you can totally avoid the whole data corruption scenario. This method removes your dependency on the Safely Remove Hardware icon

1. Open My Computer
2. Right click on the USB flash drive and click Properties
3. Click on the Hardware tab and select the removable drive from the list
4. Click the Properties button
5. Click on the Policies tab. Here you will see two values :

Optimize for Quick removal

This setting disables write caching on the disk so that you can disconnect this drive without using the Safely Remove Hardware icon.

Optimize for Performance

This setting enables the write caching on the disk so as to improve disk performance. To disconnect this drive, you should use the Safely Remove Hardware icon so as not to hurt your USB drive.

Summarizing, You should set it “optimize for quick removal” if you want to avoid your dependency on the Safely Remove Hardware icon or selecting “optimize for performance” will bring back your icon.

Note though that it does not seem to work for everyone.

So this completes my list of solutions of what to do when the Safely Remove Hardware icon disappears from the system tray. Hope this helps, Still you need any sort of help, feel free to ask in the comments. Stay sharp !!!!

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  1. dadum-dadum
    November 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Sweet post. Me likes…..

  1. December 6, 2010 at 9:44 pm

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