Hi all

The Safety Remove Hardware icon seems to have disappeared from the taskbar in my Windows XP SP3 installation. Even when I connect a USB drive it does not appear. When I go into the task manager properties I find it in past items. I have set it to always show but still will not appear/

Does anyone know how it can be restored. If so how did they do it.

Many thanks

Hi Laser
I can see the drive in my computer and it works fine. My hard drive is connected to a PCI SATA control card, so it too is showing as an external device like a USB drive but cannot be removed as it is the primary drive.

However it is advised to use the safety remove icon function to remove the USB drive in order to prevent data corruption and not to lose stored files. As the icon is now missing I am trying to restore it on a permanent basis using the taskbar properties but with no success. Any help on how this can be done would be good.


I think what Laser meant was, are you able to see/access the data on the external usb when you plug it in?

Hi Asdfee33/Laser

I can use the USB drive to transfer files to/from. However I do want to lose them either by just disconnecting the drive, thus the reason for the safety remove hardware icon on the taskbar. At least with that it tells you when it is safe to do so. Also right clicking on the drive in My Computer and clicking on Eject is not alwasy a success.


I did a bit of Googling... maybe you can try this


rundll32 shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

That should bring up the dialog box that you get when you double click the "Safely Remove Icon" ... some people reported that their icon was back after running this once... try it out... even otherwise, until a permanent fix is found, maybe you can be using this...

Also, one more thing... the default property in windows has "Write Caching" disabled... this means that data is written onto the device as and when you perform an operation... there is no buffer etc that gets flushed when you safely remove it... so, if there is some LED and its NOT blinking, it is USUALLY safe to just disconnect the device... but like always, better safe than sorry :)

Thanks for the info. I typed in the link and as you say it brings up the dialog box to enable the safe removal of external drives. The icon does appear on the task bar, however when Windows is restarted if disappears again.

This issue seems to only appear with Windows XP. Vista does not seem to have this issue unless someone has come across it with that OS. It's ironic that Microsoft cannot sort it with a patch.