Subscriber Peter Dunckelmann wrote this week to ask about disconnecting and reconnecting his external hard drive from Windows using the "Safely Remove Hardware" function. Although I wrote back to Peterseveral times, he’s got a Yahoo account, and Yahoo rejected my emails to him — it accepted some other emails I sent, so it just looks like Yahoo email is having some problems.
When clicking the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the taskbar and removing a storage device, such as a USB external hard drive, but not unplugging the device, the icon of that particular device disappears from the desktop and seems inaccessible. The question is, how can I re-enable the removed but still plugged-in device? I am using WIN Vista Ultimate.
Thanking you in advance
The answer is relatively simple, but probably is not the one for which Peter was hoping…
At that point, after you’ve clicked the Safely Remove Hardware icon, you’ve told Windows to ignore the removable device, even though it is still physically connected to the computer.
The fix is simple: unplug the device. Then, plug it back in.
There is no need to reboot or do anything fancy. Unplugging and plugging it back in again solves the problem.
I suggest waiting a couple seconds after unplugging before you plug it in again, to allow Windows to recognize that the device has been removed and to reconfigure itself.
Peter wrote back to report:
Received your newsletter; followed your advice, unplugged & replugged the external hard drives.
Everything works fine.
What a simple solution, sometimes one doesn’t see the wood for the trees.
Thank you once again.
Glad I could help, Peter.