Hi, I had the same problem and it seems I finally sorted it out
As other users mentioned above, all of a sudden my OS (windows 7) begun to slow down the "safely remove hardware" menu popup.
After several (unsolving) searches on google, I experienced another similar problem with Adobe Illustrator: saving images took like forever, eventually freezing the app.
I found an article explaining that on Illustrator CS4 there's a bug: if the default printer is turned off it will hang on save / print.
In fact, my default printer (samsung ml-2010) was off (in other occurences, I wasn't at home so the printer was totally disconnected), So I set windows builtin "xps writer" as default printer
, and now Illustrator works fine... And GUESS WHAT? The systemtray icon "safely remove hardware" now pops up the menu instantly
Solving 2 problems with 1 solution is really cool (and also extremely rare...).
I hope this solution will work for you too.
(sorry for msipells and typos; I'm from Italy)