The Windows “Safely Remove Hardware” feature has been notorious for hiding itself after installing the new hardware.
You do have the option of Ejecting the hardware; however this becomes a pain if you are working with multiple USB devices.
Also in Windows XP, one USB device might list multiple entries in the Remove Hardware dialog. In Windows Vista there is a option to filter the device components.
Do you really need to eject the USB Hardware ?
Most of the USB Disks are optimized for safe removal and in my opinion you rarely need to use the “Eject” or “Safely Remove Hardware” feature.
To confirm this setting do the following
- Right Click on the removable disk and select Properties
- Click on the Hardware Tab, select the removable disk and click on the Properties button
- Click on the Policies Tab and you should see the following window
- As you can see from the available options, the disk is either optimized for quick removal or for performance and most of the disks by default are optimized for quick removal.
With write caching disabled by default for most of the USB disks, you really don’t need to worry about ejecting or safely removing the USB hardware.
If you are still not comfortable unplugging the USB disk without Ejecting, you can always add a shortcut on your desktop to quickly access the Safely Remove Hardware dialog
The target of the shortcut should point to:
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll
Alternatively you can install utilities such as USB Disk Ejector which simplify the above task.