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  Solution for: "Safely Remove Hardware" shows only dots AN...nters" not loading 
 Date Written 
Dr. Peaceful Jan 25, 2012, 12:54pm EST Report Abuse
I've encountered this problem, and managed to fixed it. I am posting the solutions here, so anyone with the same problem can try to fix it using the solutions.

Problem Symptoms: Right clicking on the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" tray icon, the context menu is not showing any attached removable devices, but rather just 3 (non-functioning) dots "...". Clicking on the "Open Devices and Printers" option in the same context menu, opens the Devices and Printers window, but it fails to show any devices and the loading progress indicator (green bar) is going eternally. Attaching a removable device (e.g. USB drive) appears to function normally. But if one needs to "Safely Remove" the device, it proves to be hard to do so without the device being listed.

Possible Problem Cause: The problem is hardware related. Likely, one or more of the hardware configurations was corrupted and/or malfunctioning, causing the "Devices and Printer" window to hang, and subsequently causing attached removable devices failed to be listed in the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" tray context menu.

Possible Solution: The solution that worked for me, and seemed to be the best approach, was to boot Windows into Safe Mode. While in Safe Mode, both "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" and "Devices and Printers" worked as normally would. In the "Devices and Printers" window, I was able to see a device (a printer in my case) that has a yellow triangle exclamation sign. I removed that problem device and rebooted Windows normally, and the problem was gone.

Other Solutions: There are other solutions in the net and I listed them below. But first try the Safe Mode solution above, if it doesn't work, then try the ones below. It all depends on what kind of hardware problem and/or configuration corruption you have. Solutions ranged from:
1. Restarting hardware services, such as ones for Bluetooth and Printers Spooler.
2. Removing problem devices, if exist, in the Device Manager.
3. Run "sfc /scannow" and/or "chkdsk" in command prompt to try to fix file corruptions.
4. Removing corrupted user profile(s).
5. Reformatting / Restore Windows [Last Resort only!]

Here is a thread in another forum regarding the same problem.

I've summarized all the solutions here in HWA. Hope it helps!

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john albrich Jan 25, 2012, 02:04pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Solution for: "Safely Remove Hardware" shows only dots AND "Devices and Printers" not loading
Thanks for the solution tip and the links to other possible resolutions.

When I've encountered such problems, before trying anything at all I also make a backup of the system drive and the device(s) in question. Thus, can always "go back" to a known state in which things at least were functional, just in case something goes wrong with a "repair" action.

Dr. Peaceful Jan 25, 2012, 02:29pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Solution for: "Safely Remove Hardware" shows only dots AND "Devices and Printers" not loading
Ditto to John. Especially important to backup before you try to run "sfc /scannow" (replaces system files), removing entire user profile, or restoring Windows (No. 3, 4, 5 in my instructions above respectively). These three are non-specific solutions, trying to eliminate all possible sources of the problem, rather than fixing it specifically.

Want to stress again, do the Safe Mode solution first, which seems to be the most appropriate solution in this case. Only if it does not work, then try the other solutions, as you see fit.



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