Monday, August 6, 2012

How to Make Your USB Devices Power Down on Safe Removal in Windows


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Have you ever safely removed your USB device only to see that the LED activity light on your device remains on? This is caused by a change to Windows that has affected every version since Windows Vista. Here’s how to fix it.
Note that we’re not necessarily recommending you apply this change unless you need it.
Thanks to reader André Torga for this solution.

Why is This Happening?

Back in the days of Windows XP, when you safely removed a USB device the device was marked as removed and the USB hub port to which the device was connected was marked as disabled, which means that the device could no longer receive USB power and therefore the LED status light would turn off. However, since Windows Vista this is no longer the case, while the USB device is marked as removed the USB hub to which it is connected remains enabled.

How Can You Fix This ?

There is a setting in the registry that allows you to revert to the behavior of the Safely Remove dialog to that of Windows XP. To edit it, press the Windows + R keyboard combination type regedit and hit enter.
When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub
Then click on the edit menu and create a new key, called HubG.
Then inside the new HubG key, create a new DWORD (32-bit) value and call it DisableOnSoftRemove.
Now right-click on the DisableOnSoftRemove value and choose to Modify it from the context menu.
Then change the Value data field to 1 and click OK.
You will still need to Safely Remove your device in order for this to work.

The Easy Way

If you prefer, you can download a zip file which contains registry keys to both enable and disable the feature. All you need to do is unzip the file and run either the enable or disable registry key.