USB "Remove Hardware Icon" loads when I boot up

By BigSand
Feb 21, 2011
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  1. When I boot up my computer the USB "remove hardware" icon loads in the tray, even though there isn't a devise plug in the USB port. I'm usually able to get rid of the USB icon by going thru the procedure as if there was something plugged in.
    I believe this started months ago when I was having problems with a MP3 player.
    The USB port still works fine, as I use it for my camera and memory stick all the time.
    Any ideas on how to remedy this problem?
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,568   +47

    What happends when you click the remove hardware icon? Does it bring up any devices at all?
  3. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    USB icon loads on start-up

    Benny, thanks for your reply.
    When I open the "remove hardware box",
    the following displays.

    USB Mass Storage Device
    Dell USB Mass Storage USB Device
    Generic Volume F

    Thanks for your help, BigSand
  4. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,568   +47

    You say that there are no USB devices plugged in when it's showing this?

    What OS you using?
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    Does your computer have an internal card reader? You sure there's not a card inserted? (as it looks like that's what's recognized and showing up)

    /* EDIT */
    Actually, that "internal" reader could be internal to any USB connected. So it might be an internal reader on your computer? Or if you have monitor with USB ports and a USB card reader slot?
  6. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    USB Woes

    I'm not sure what an "internal card reader is". Do you mean a external slot to read
    the little san disk? If so, I have no slots readers in the pc or monitor.
    There's no USB devises plugged other than the printer that's plugged
    in the back of the pc.

    When I boot up the computer, the USB icon says
    when opened,

    USB Mass Storage Device
    Dell USB Mass Storage USB Device
    Generic Volume F
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    Is it a Dell printer? Look for a storage card reader on the printer
  8. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    USB Ports Problems

    Yes, I have a Dell 926 printer, and although never used, it
    has SD/MS/xD/MMC
    and PictBridge ports.
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    And the printer is probably turned on now, right?

    Use safely remove to stop the device, then turn the printer off. Reboot

    I'll bet the device is gone? Then turn printer back on and i'm guessing it'll return.

    Look at your printer. It's either a removable device on the printer or maybe it's internal to the printer. But strongly suspect that device is on the printer
  10. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Lookingaround, I tried your experiment, but it didn't work.
    Could there be something in the BIOs that's causing this?
    Thanks.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    :confused: There's always a first time, but i don't see how it could be anything but a USB storage device somewhere you're not aware of.

    It's a Dell printer. Do you have a Dell computer? Can you tell me the service tag or the computer's model number??
  12. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    USB Problems

    Yes, it's a Dell Computer, runing Windows XP.
    Service Tag JRZ4761
  13. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    USB Problems

    PS, I don't believe it's a device that I'm not aware of, as the problem
    didn't start until I had a "botched" install of a USB device several months ago.
    I believe it may have been an MP3 player, but not sure now.
    Thanks
     
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    Hmmm...

    By default, Windows only displays USB devices when they're physically connected and windows DETECTS the hardware is connected and it's also getting power

    It's common for old USB storage drivers to remain installed on Windows computers. (Drivers aren't deleted when you simply UNPLUG the device. The drivers remain in Windows until you UNINSTALL the device).

    So... I'm not surprised that an old driver might still be installed.. but surprised you should see the device still appear if it's no longer there!

    Let's try this. See How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Storage Drivers. Remove the USB cable for the printer before you run the tool. After it removes all the old drivers reboot. Do you see this device reintall itself on boot? (If it does, Windows must be detecting a physical hardware device)

    btw... Dell support for your tag didn't show me anything useful. But made me also think:Wwould you happen to have a floppy drive on the computer???
  15. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    USB

    Okay, the USB icon is definetly coming from the Dell printer.
    I shut off the computer, unplugged the printer USB cable
    from the back of the computer, rebooted, and "No USB"
    icon.
    I then ran the drivecleanup.exe.
    It said it removed 7 USB devices
    8 storage volumes, and
    12 keys from registery.
    I shut down, rebooted, and got the
    "Found New Device Icon", and then the
    "USB" icon back, which says the same thing in the
    "Remove Hardware" box.

    So, is this normal to have the USB icon show up on bootup,
    when the printer is plugged in the back of the PC?
    I was thinking I'd only get the USB icon when I use the
    front USB ports, for my camera, memory stick, etc.

    Now that I know the USB icon is for the printer, perhaps
    it's no problem?

    Look forward to your thoughts, Thanks!
  16. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    minor note: It's the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon. Also, referred simply as "Safely Remove" icon (so others would immediately recognize the icon you meant)
    Ah-HA! I learned something too! (I should have known better when i gave you instruction for the first printer test! :blackeye: :eek: ) Simply turning off the printer prevents AC power (needed to run the printer itself). But those card readers on the printer draw enough power over the USB cable from your USB port! Which is why the mystery device didn't "disappear" until i had you unplug the USB cable as well!
    Safely Remove icon isn't an issue of where the USB device is connected but rather whenever you have a USB storage device connected to any USB port (USB flash drive, external USB hard drive, memory card connected to a USB card reader, etc) the Safely Remove icon appears

    Reason:"Safely Removing" tells Windows to finish and STOP any further IO to device. Once the device is stopped you can safely remove. If you DON't wait for it to be stopped, you run the risk of Windows still trying to write to the device at the moment you remove.. which can corrupt the filesystem and you could lose the files on that device. fyi: If windows tells you device can't be stopped right now, something still has that device open. So close all apps and other open Windows and try stopping again. Sometimes, shutting down is needed to stop it and safely remove

    /* EDIT */
    btw.. all of which still makes me think you have a memory card inserted in one of the printer card reader slots. Take a close look at each slot.
  17. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Safety Remove Icon

    There's no cards plugged into the printer's slots,
    but I just plugged a memory stick into the printer
    to see what would happen. It seemed to be working.
    The printer screen asked me if I wanted to
    "print a proof sheet". I did not, so I decided to
    try the "Safety Remove" icon on my desktop
    before I pulled the memory stick on the printer.
    The Safety Remove Icon then disapeared,
    but had no effect on the printer's "green"
    light by the USB port. I removed the memory
    stick anyway.
    Also not noted before, when I close down the USB
    connection with the Safety Remove Icon, the
    printer still works.
    Guess I'm confused about that, lol.
    Thanks.
  18. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,030   +222

    don't want to side track the flow here but simple fyi

    My Canon MP470 has slot readers (2) and the AIO printer is always attached to the laptop.
    The Printer shows up
    ... Mass Storage Dev
    ......MP470 series USB Dev
    ........ Generic volume (D: )
    but not the card slots
  19. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    thanks for the fyi jobeard. As BigSand couldn't find any media cards inserted, i was beginning to wonder if it might be "permanently mounted" usb storage inside the printer itself. It would seem so....

    Not sure why tho... Maybe for a spooling device?? Does your "D:" drive also appear in My Computer?
  20. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    OK. Well, i did learn something new, indeed.

    Did some, uhhh, "looking around" online as well as a remote login to a friend's computer who i remembered has a external USB multi-card reader on her computer (simply connected to a USB port - it's not inside a printer) and the "Generic Volume" device assigned a drive letter also appears even though there's no card inserted

    I;ve used a some single card readers where the Generic Volume device and its drive letter assignment only appeared once the card was inserted
  21. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,030   +222

    absolutely NOT. The printer shows up, but D: per se no.
    It just happens, the D: is mapped to my usb external backup drive which comes and goes only when necessary. (I think the collision on D: is just a flukle)
  22. BigSand

    BigSand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Thanks for your replies. I guess as long as the "Safety Remove" icon doesn't
    affect performance of the pc, then I should not worry about it??????


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