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Many USB sticks (thumb drives) have little lights that indicate they are active (for example many SanDisk thumb drives).

Under Windows XP, when you "Safely Remove USB Mass Storage Device" XP conveniently switches the lights off.

Under Windows 7, the lights stay on. I realize this is a "mere bagatelle" (but I DO find it surprisingly useful), but is it possible to restore that functionality? Registry? Whatever?

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Answer below. Though you might find this interesting? Or amusing? Or not? "USB Flash Pen Drive Won't Turn Off?" pcqanda.com/dc/… –  therube May 24 '11 at 6:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub\HubG via regedit, Set DisableOnSoftRemove (DWORD) to 1.

The Microsoft Support KB 2401954 explains the behavior: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2401954

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In Windows 7, as long as you've safely removed that drive or have seen that prompt it should be fine. The light staying on may just be the drive itself. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/how-to-safely-remove-usb-drive-in-windows-7/661309ac-a390-4f8a-86b4-b78bb380976c

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