Safely Remove USB Hardware

Tips n Tricks, Tools, Windows

I have been reading in many posts which mention special tools to help in ejecting/removing a USB disk.

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

  1. Right Click on the removable disk and select Properties
  2. Click on the Hardware Tab, select the removable disk and click on the Properties button
  3. Click on the Policies Tab and you should see the following window
    USB Policy
  4. 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.

Note: Unlike USB drives, the hard drives have write caching enabled by default for better performance and hence are susceptible to data loss or corruption on power outage.

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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ajay Jun 20, 2008 Link

    Very cool ideas!

  • Genesis Bible Jun 20, 2008 Link

    these are good tips for those of us who are not so sure how to remove them safely

  • Athena Jul 13, 2008 Link

    In my case i always dont safe remove my flash drive and theres no efffect so i am wondering whats the purpose of remove safely if you can remove it without clicking that button.

  • Yanto Nov 9, 2008 Link

    Well, still better to use utility. Not only the pain of having multiple flash disks. But I think a memory card reader which has many drive letters shown when you want to safely unplug also makes me confused.

  • Jerry Feb 5, 2009 Link

    I have about 11 USB Drives bad from people yanking out their drives without using the safe remove, do what you want, maybe or maybe not, once gone is gone

  • Joey Logano Mar 16, 2009 Link

    Most of the time I just remove the usb drive from the usb port without removing it. It hasn’t backfired on me yet. But I will start safe removing them from now on just to be safe.

  • Mystery shopping Jul 2, 2009 Link

    My laptop is connected to internet via ethernet. I want to broadcast this signal wireless. I don’t want to get a router and all that.