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Windows 7: Missing the " Safely Remove Hardware (USB) icon"

20 Sep 2013   #1

Windows7 Home Prem 64
Missing the " Safely Remove Hardware (USB) icon"

Not sure if this is a Windows or Toshiba issue. Ever since I installed a new (AT&T)wireless router and software, my taskbar icon arrangement was all messed up and the " Safely Remove Hardware (USB) icon" is missing in action!

Is there any way other than doing a system restore, to capture the bugger? Does it have an official name with which to search for it?

Where on my laptop might I look for this stray? Do I really NEED it?

If it's an important component, is there a website from which I can download a new one?

And, finally, THANK YOU for your thoughtful replies!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2013   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

This icon normally appears when you plug in a removable device that gets a Windows drive letter assigned (e.g. external USB drive, camera or portable music player that connects in MSC mode so that it gets a drive letter or two, external card reader with an SD card installed, etc.).

Its purpose is so that you can left or right click on it, and select the particular device you'd now like to pull the USB cable for. You need to first "safely remove hardware" because almost all of these removable devices make use of "write cache" for performance reasons, which retains data in PC memory buffers possibly still not yet flushed out to the device to reflect your final I/O operations. That's exactly what the "safely remove hardware" function does, namely flush out all of those buffers, possibly power down that USB port, and then disconnect the device so that you can pull the connecting cable out of the PC without the possibilty of losing any data or corrupting the file system on the device.

If you don't have any such removable devices currently plugged in, I wouldn't think you'd expect to see that "safely remove hardware" icon in the system tray.

Now if you do have an external USB drive currently plugged in and you're still not seeing that icon, well now something's definitely not right. I assume you've probably re-booted at least once in your attempt to sort this all out, but of course this goes without saying.

Do you have "hidden" system tray icons in your customization, so that you can only see them if you click on the small up-arrow at the right end of the task bar to display all of these "hidden" icons? If so, have you looked there for the "safely remove hardware" icon assuming you really should be expecting to see it somewhere?

NOTE: removable devices that connect in MTP mode (as opposed to MSC mode) do NOT get a Windows drive letter assigned, and thus don't trigger the "safely remove hardware" icon because they're managed differently as far as their data buffers and are thus not susceptible to the possible loss-of-data occurring when the connection cable is just pulled out. Hence no need to first "safely remove hardware" before disconnection. Certain cameras and portable music players can connect in this MTP mode, sometimes called PTP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2013   #3

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

See if this helps to restore the action centers defaults,
Notification Area Icons - Reset
Depending on what software of this router you downloaded Manage add-ons and see what type of junkware add-ons they added/ and that will depend on which browser you use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Apr 2014   #4

Win 7 Premium 64 bit

I had this problem and by plugging in repeatedly a USB device and wiggling the attaching cord the computer finally recognized the device, ran a Fit It scan sector and now icon appears and works correctly. I will of course now after educating myself pwr down device and remove them correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2014   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

You might fix it using one of the steps in the following guide:

4 Solutions to Restore Missing or Disappeared Safely Remove Hardware Icon

Personally I change the removal policy on any removable drive to "Quick Removal" just in case I forget to safely eject it!

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Missing the " Safely Remove Hardware (USB) icon"-disk-e_removal-policy-.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Missing the " Safely Remove Hardware (USB) icon"

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