PCs

Tip: Create a Safely Remove Hardware shortcut

In Windows Vista, I continually pop in and pop out flash drives. I destroyed a flash drive in Windows Vista already by just pulling the flash drive out when I am done. I got tired of clicking on the small arrow in the system tray to find the Safely Remove Hardware icon. Here is a tip on creating a Safely Remove Hardware shortcut.

In Windows Vista, I continually pop in and pop out flash drives. I destroyed a flash drive in Windows Vista already by just pulling the flash drive out when I am done. I got tired of clicking on the small arrow in the system tray to find the Safely Remove Hardware icon (Figure A & Figure B).

 Figure A. & Figure B.

The quick fix is to simply create a shortcut on your desktop or taskbar. I prefer the taskbar as I like a clean desktop.

1. Right-click on the Desktop and choose New Shortcut (Figure C).

Figure C.
2.Paste the following string (Figure D) in the text box: RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll.

Figure D.

3. Type a name for the shortcut and click Finish (Figure E).

Figure E.

You can choose to leave it on your desktop or drag it to the taskbar. If you drag it to the first 10 spaces in the taskbar, you can use the Win key + number. In my example, it is WIN + 4(Figure F).

Figure F.

When you click the shortcut or use the WIN + key combination, the Safely Remove Hardware box appears as shown in Figure G.

Figure G.
18 comments
Mah_Ro
Mah_Ro

Smart tip! correct me if I'm wrong, only one drawback I noticed in creating shortcut, It doesn't tell the user it's safe to remove the device like notification area icon [taskbar]regardless removable non-removable

kissses5820
kissses5820

thanks your information worked well. I was a little lost at the start because I'm not that good with the computer but i got it finally. The icon reappeared in the taskbar and the short cut is on desktop.Thanks

gurnles
gurnles

I don't have Vista, but I just customized the notification area to always show the Safely Remove Hardware Icon. Just right click in the notification area and click properties. Next to the hide inactive items checkbox hit the customize button. Set it to "Always Show" next to the safely remove hardware icon. Actually, I always set it to show all icons in there as I find all the auto-hide and use recent command settings very annoying.

jlogburn
jlogburn

That may work OK if you only have a single USB drive installed. Typically I use 2 or 3 rotating drives plus a thumb drive. So this Safely Remove Hardware box doesn't indicate WHICH drive is which. The OTHER presentation (when you LEFT click the task bar icon) specifies the drive letter to remove - much more useful. Is there a shortcut for THAT?

shoshernxcash
shoshernxcash

It's easier to, instead of right-clicking it, you left-click it and select the only option shown, "Safely Remove Hardware..." which instantly disconnects the drive.

pmwork1
pmwork1

Even if I properly remove the USB, vista still lists it as present. Also Vista seems to re-label drives, so for instance my backup was K drive when I first installed it, but now is L !!! and if I do search Vista finds stuff that was on the K drive but says K does nto exist etc etc.

jjmartinez
jjmartinez

Funny, lifehacker had a very similar post earlier on this same day.

alex.a
alex.a

Nice to see (I guess) that I wasn't the only one who thought I could remove a thumb drive and Vista would know about it.

Rod.Wright
Rod.Wright

Anyone out there have a good icon that could be used for this new shortcut? The gray document icon default is, well, boring.

Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson

This will happen if your number of removable drives changes. Go into Disk Manager and change your drive letters to letters further down the alphabet. For instance: T for Thumb, U for USB & P for Pocket.

Steven Warren
Steven Warren

I wrote this tip last week and published it on the blog via a schedule. It is funny.

oldpoop
oldpoop

There is a program to Safely Remove Hardware easily. It is "USB Safely Remove" from SafelyRemove.com http://safelyremove.com/index.html I started looking for something better than the Windows XP "Safely Remove Hardware" when one day I could not stop my Western Digital Passport. Windows didn't give me any meaningful information as to why I couldn't stop the device. USB Safely Remove will show you what programs are not allowing you to stop the device and you can stop or disable them in one step. Sometimes Windows does not allow you to remove a device even if you close all suspicious programs. This is a problem in the Windows kernel which most often occurs in Windows XP. In most cases USB Safely Remove will allow you to safely stop the device without losing any data. This means that now you can absolutely rest assured about the safety of your data. With USB Safely Remove, you will easily find the device you need to stop because the program detects the actual names of devices - the names the manufacturer gave them. If you wish, you can assign your own custom name and image for a device or choose from one of the pre-installed images. That is much better than Windows. Many people complain that the standard 'Safely Remove Hardware' icon sometimes disappears at the most inappropriate moment. USB Safely Remove completely replaces the standard 'Safely Remove Hardware' icon with its own icon. By default, the USB Safely Remove icon is always displayed in the system tray, which gives you quick access to the features of the program and makes using USB more clear and predictable. This is not junkware. It has won an award from PC World. June 05, 2008 - USB Safely Remove Wins A ?100 BEST PRODUCTS OF 2008 AWARD? From PC World! $20 for lifetime license, free updates, use it on all your computers. Payment methods include Credit Card and PayPal. What's not to like?

Rod.Wright
Rod.Wright

When you remove a drive suddenly, the OS may at that time be in the middle of a buffered I/O operation. If, say, half of the data are written when you physically disconnect, the file structure may be damaged. I'm not sure how that cascades to the point of an unusable drive though, unless it somehow trashes the file system (do flash drives use the FAT file system?) By clicking on the shutdown icon, the system is alerted that it must complete current I/O operations before allowing the removal of the thumb drive. To my knowledge, this is not a Vista issue, the same potential exists in all earlier operating system versions. In most cases, you can indeed get away with just jerking out the flash (thumb) drive, but if you do it enough, you'll eventually hit a situation that may cause damage. thus, ALWAYS use the safely remove feature.

Rod.Wright
Rod.Wright

When you remove a drive suddenly, the OS may at that time be in the middle of a buffered I/O operation. If, say, half of the data are written when you physically disconnect, the file structure may be damaged. I'm not sure how that cascades to the point of an unusable drive though, unless it somehow trashes the file system (do flash drives use the FAT file system?) By clicking on the shutdown icon, the system is alerted that it must complete current I/O operations before allowing the removal of the thumb drive. To my knowledge, this is not a Vista issue, the same potential exists in all earlier operating system versions. In most cases, you can indeed get away with just jerking out the flash (thumb) drive, but if you do it enough, you'll eventually hit a situation that may cause damage. thus, ALWAYS use the safely remove feature.

hiltonr
hiltonr

Why don't you just use the one in the shortcut? hotplug.dll. It has a nice little pic of a USB plug.