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The Safely Remove Hardware icon in Windows 7 offers the ability to eject my SATA drives, including the boot drive. I don't see myself ever needing this - especially not from the convenience of the tray icon.

Is there a common BIOS setting to disable hot-swappability?

Eject internal SATA drives

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1  
Upon upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 RTM, my SATA drives no longer show in the Safely Remove Hardware menu, can you confirm that this is still an issue for you on the RTM version of Windows 7? –  bdukes Aug 27 '09 at 16:30
    
Hopefully it's been fixed - I'll find out soon enough... –  sblair Aug 28 '09 at 18:12
6  
I wonder, how stable W7 runs after ejecting the boot HDD. Can you eject the CPU or the mainboard, too? –  maaartinus Feb 14 '11 at 5:06
    
Same problem in my Windows 8.1, and I guess this will be the same in all Windowses from 2000 through XP, Vista, 7 and 8. I suggest you add more tags ;) –  LogicDaemon Feb 16 at 8:52

5 Answers 5

up vote 32 down vote accepted

The answer really depends on what driver you're set up with. I have a 6 port SATA connector (Intel ICH9 - 2922) and I use the default MS-AHCI driver. If you're in the same boat, create a couple of new keys here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci

_

\Controller0\Channel0
            \Channel1
            \Channel2
            \Channel3
            \Channel4
            \Channel5

Now create a new DWORD - name: TreatAsInternalPort, value: 1 under each of the ChannelN keys. Now reboot for the changes to take effect and the drives should no longer show up under 'Safely Remove..'

Geeky stuff:

The root cause of the problem is the SATA driver incorrectly determined that your internal SATA port is external. So, if you look at the 'Capabilities' value for your drive(s) under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\IDE\..\.. its probably set at 0x4 which makes it removable (as per the bit flag ORing done of the values below) Once you add the setting to the registry, the SATA driver now returns a different Capabilities value (most probably 0) and the drive stops showing up under 'Safely Remove..'

//from inc/api/cfgmgr32.h (WINDDK)
#define CM_DEVCAP_LOCKSUPPORTED     (0x00000001)
#define CM_DEVCAP_EJECTSUPPORTED    (0x00000002)
#define CM_DEVCAP_REMOVABLE         (0x00000004)
#define CM_DEVCAP_DOCKDEVICE        (0x00000008)
#define CM_DEVCAP_UNIQUEID          (0x00000010)
#define CM_DEVCAP_SILENTINSTALL     (0x00000020)
#define CM_DEVCAP_RAWDEVICEOK       (0x00000040)
#define CM_DEVCAP_SURPRISEREMOVALOK (0x00000080)
#define CM_DEVCAP_HARDWAREDISABLED  (0x00000100)
#define CM_DEVCAP_NONDYNAMIC        (0x00000200)
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Excellent work! –  sblair Mar 17 '10 at 18:02
2  
To determine which controller is which you can comapre the number values under ...\Msahci\enum with HardwareIds in device manager properties dialogue's details tab. –  Richard Jun 14 '10 at 22:50
    
@Kapil: Please have a look at (superuser.com/questions/420584/…) [this] question when convenient. Thanks in advance. –  Raheel Khan May 5 '12 at 0:00
    
Based on the answer, I've got regedit script for quick dirty work. –  LogicDaemon Dec 21 '13 at 10:48
    
this no longer works for 8... :( –  user1643156 Mar 6 at 19:35

It is a BIOS level options. In newer boards there are options in the BIOS to disable hot swapping (when you use AHCU/RAID as a controller). So when the hot swap settings disabled in the BIOS there will be no eject for SATA drives that appear in the system tray.

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If you have an NVIDIA chipset, the following registry edit should work for you ...

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\nvata] 
"DisableRemovable"=dword:00000001

Check out this description for more details.

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1  
Yeah, I found this workaround on Google, but it didn't work for me. –  sblair Jul 25 '09 at 22:41

Not sure about how common is it, but in CMOS (BIOS) Setup on Asrock motherboards the option called "Hotswap" modifies the behaviour. It's available for each SATA channel. Also, there is "External SATA" option, but it's off by default and I didn't touch it.

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I believe this by design to help prevent data loss, regardless of whether the disk is fixed or removable.

  1. Hold down the Windows key and press Pause/Break to get the System dialog box up
  2. Click the Device Manager link on the left
  3. Expand Disk drives
  4. Right-click a drive and select Properties
  5. Click on the Polices tab

Taken from the dialog box above:

Quick Removal - Disables write caching on the device and in Windows, but you can disconnect the device safely without using the Safely Remove hardware notification icon.

Better performance (default) - Enables write caching in Windows, but you must use the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon to disconnect the device safely.

So, the current solution from Microsoft is to enable Quick Removal for any fixed drives (see above steps).

Alternatively, (my recommendation) is to remove the icon altogether with the free Icon Remover tool. I have tested and can confirm it works in Windows 7. It comes with an undo button to, which also works.

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3  
The first option doesn't solve the problem (and even if it did, I wouldn't like to disable write caching). The second option will work - except with a slight inconvenience when I need to, say, eject a USB drive. But, the comment above suggests this has been fixed for RTM anyway. –  sblair Aug 28 '09 at 18:07
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I'm running RTM - same 'feature'. –  Kez Aug 28 '09 at 18:47
    
Icon Remover seems to be the best solution - still a bit inconvenient though... –  sblair Oct 22 '09 at 23:52
    
Not so clever program which will hide USB flash drive too :) –  Denis Barmenkov Jan 5 '13 at 17:11

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