Optical drive triggers "safely remove hardware" message, can I make it go away?

By Ruu ยท 10 replies
Feb 16, 2008
  1. Hi all,

    I've been doing some tune-ups on a Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop running XP Pro. The laptop has a Samsung DVD/CD-RW drive (SN-324B) which shows up in the taskbar as a device that can removed. While I'm not afraid that I will somehow accidentally remove the optical drive, the laptop is not for me, and I figure the fewer icons for a non tech-savvy person to deal with, the better.

    How can I get Windows to take the optical drive off of the "safely remove hardware" list? I have been told that there's some reg hack for this, but lots of searching has proven futile. All the drivers and Windows hotfixes are current, and the firmware for the drive is current.

    Any help is appreciated. If I should post this in the hardware forum instead, please inform and/or move the thread. Thank you!

    ~ Ruu
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You don't want to mess with that stuff on a Dell 8500... It is very difficult to get it back into the mix if you need it... since it is not a driver issue.
    You can remove it in the BIOS.... when you first press the On button, look for an access to the BIOS. It can be <F1>, <F2>, <ESC>, <DEL>, <F10>, <F11>, or <F12>
    then once you enter the BIOS there are several pages of choices, one of which is to disable the Optical Drive.
  3. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    You might want try some of the tips suggested here. The original question was about a SATA HDD but you may still find something useful. I will just copy/paste a few of them...

  4. Ruu

    Ruu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    raybay---Thanks for your input. Since the drive still needs to be accessible, I don't think disabling it is an option. I have backed up the registry, so in fact I am looking to mess with that stuff. :p If you think of anything else, please feel free to let me know.

    Zenosincks---I actually came across that page several times during my Googling escapades. I had trouble deciphering just what the poster meant, though. First of all, "optimize for removal" isn't an option on my optical drive, just my hard drive. Secondly, I'm not sure where in the registry I'm supposed to go to modify these values... also, even if I find the correct entry to modify, it seems like I have to import some custom string so that the thing doesn't pop up on every boot? Sounds a bit daunting, but I'm willing to try, if only I can figure out what the instructions actually mean! Any advice?


    ~ Ruu
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Mmm, this is just my understanding of his directions, so don't hold me to anything:

    1. Navigate to (Start>Run>regedit>Ok):


    2. Download this

    3. Unzip the file and execute "ListUsbDrives_To_Notepad"

    Now you will have a list of drives in front of you with information laid out similarly to this:

    MountPoint = D:\
    Volume Label = ---
    Volume Size = no media
    Volume Name = \\?\Volume{9cbb2a2a-cbef-11dc-b6f5-806d6172696f}\
    NoMediaNoLetter = no
    Drive Type = CD-ROM
    Bus Type = ATAPI
    Device Types = ---
    Drive DevID = IDE\CDROMPLEXTOR_DVDR___PX-740A__________________1.02____\3035303834383432343636362020202020202020
    Ctrl DevID = PCIIDE\IDECHANNEL\4&A663227&0&0
    Ctrl2 DevID = PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27DF&SUBSYS_81791043&REV_01\3&11583659&0&F9
    Volume DosDevName = \Device\CdRom1
    Disk DosDevName = \Device\Ide\IdeDeviceP0T1L0-c
    Device Number = 1
    Removal Policy = no removal
    Friendly Name = PLEXTOR DVDR PX-740A

    The information in red (which I did here on the forum, it won't be red for you) is what you need. Navigate to your drive in regedit. Set the value for "Capabilities" here to 0 (or so my DVD burner is anyway). To set the value to 0 just double click on "Capabilities".

    Now, I'm not sure how to go about exporting only that string. However, if you know how, or figure it out I'd imagine you might be able to just toss it in the startup folder.

    I am heading to bed now, I have to be up for work in 3 hours :(. Hopefully someone else will stroll through here with some worthful advice, I hope you get everything worked out and I'll check back in 5-6 hours or so :p.
  6. Ruu

    Ruu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Hey Zenosincks (and whomever else is reading!),

    Thanks for the break-down of the instructions. Unfortunately, it didn't work:

    1) That little downloadable tool only retrieves data for USB drives, not any other type. I found the device ID anyway, though (it's actually listed in the Device Manager).

    2) My optical drive isn't in Enum\PCIIDE but Enum\IDE---had to root around a bit for it. Makes sense, though, right?, that the optical drive is connected through IDE? Am I going out on a limb? I don't actually have a clear idea of how the registry is organized....

    3) Tried to change the "Capabilities" value but got: "Cannot edit Capabilites: Error writing the value's new contents."

    Not sure where to go from here. I suppose I could just leave it alone---not like it's malfunctioning or anything, but from a purely academic point of view, I'd kind of like to know what's going on with it. Ideas?

    ~ Ruu
  7. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Ah, I saw two tools in the .zip. One retrieved only USB information and the other displayed the information for hard disks/optical drives.

    I can't imagine it's even remotely essential to the system's performance that you correct this, however, I too am curious on how to go about remedying it. It will bug the hell out of me until I figure it out or someone posts a solution. Haha, it's this kind of stuff that keeps me awake!

    I found my optical drives in Enum\PCIIDE, but, like yourself, I don't have a strong grasp of how the registry is organized etc. I simply found that link via Yahoo and figured it might be of use.

    I will look around for a bit later on, I am at work right now and am semi-busy (suppose it'd be a lie if I said I was swamped considering I'm posting and all :D).
  8. Ruu

    Ruu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    You might be right that the other tool in the .zip displayed info for hard disks and optical drives... I didn't look too closely at it cuz it looked like a command-line program, which, uh, intimidated me. Lol. I got the relevant info, anyway, not that it helped me. :/

    It's definitely bugging me, though it's almost time for me to part with the laptop, so the dilemma might have to go unsolved for a while. Then again, it's going to my sister, so I'm sure I'll be seeing the laptop again at some point... not that I'm implying anything. Cough.

    Thanks for all your input, Zenosincks. Let me know if you find anything that looks promising!

    ~ Ruu
  9. ursul

    ursul TS Rookie

    I have too that eror but i dosent work.
    First it sais that my computer found primary IDE chanel, than it founds seconadry IDE chanel, and he cant intal them correctly.
    I have 2 Hdd of 500 GB and 250 GB on S-ATa II and one DVD-ROM on Ide.
    The value of "Capabilities" is 0.
    What can i doo? Shal I try with another Windows?
    I have windows XP SP2
  10. reizaal

    reizaal TS Rookie

    Kill CDRom-USB from safely remove hardware list


    sorry i double post
  11. reizaal

    reizaal TS Rookie

    Kill CDRom-USB from safely remove hardware list


    I see that the little app gives a clue where to find the settings for your hardwares, (motherboard nowadays uses usb to host and mount the ide, sata, drives, hd..cdrom.. etc)

    just copy the last bit of clue, after "\", go into regedit and Edit-Find, regedit will open the branch for you..

    for those who has arrived at "Capabilities", but are using Vista with the UAC cra**, then the "Cannot edit Capabilites: Error writing the value's new contents." will come up, my tried solution would be to, in regedit, rightclick on the tree/branch and select "permissions-advance", and play around with it, take ownership, add user, set full control n stuff.. (nobody knows how to login as super Administrator or System or Approve Installer anyway), You would have done it if you could change the value then..

    You could also choose "export" registry values when you rightclick on the tree/branch, save the .reg on desktop, righclick-edit, change the capabilities value from 14 or 10 to 00, trim the other settings that you do not need, (be sure to save a copy before you edit..), then rightclick and merge.. if no error, then check your taskbar if it works...

    my edited reg file for built-in usb cdrom looks like below (the branch will be pc specific), I named it cdstate.reg, and put into c:\windows

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    (i think there are 8 zeroes or 4 pairs in win32.. dont want to screw that up)

    to make your setting "stick" everytime you reboot..you should put a shortcut in startup folder with the command "regedit /s c:\windows\cdstate.reg", but since we are hacking the registry, put it in "run".. it should set the removal state eachtime you reboot..

    I have done it halfway, and my cdrom had dissapeared from the "safely remove harware" list.. so it will prevent my wife from always accidently dismounting the cdrom..

    "no removal" is fine.. "orderly removal" is finer,
    but whoever comes up with "surprise removal" ?..

    well, good luck.. (is my problem not the same as yours? maybe related somehow then.. )
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