Safely Remove Hardware: Where Did the Icon Go? How Do I Safely Remove Hardware Without It?

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I have several USB devices, and I’m used to using the “safely remove hardware” icon in the taskbar before I unplug any of them. All of a sudden that icon has disappeared, and I see no way to “safely remove hardware”. What do I do? Can I just unplug the device I want to remove anyway? Or do I need to reboot every time this happens?

This happens to me all the time. The remove hardware icon in the taskbar’s notification area disappears occasionally for reasons unknown. I’ve never actually had a problem just unplugging the device anyway, but it still makes me feel uncomfortable doing so.

So, I stumbled onto a fairly reasonable workaround.

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