USB Disk Ejector for unplugging external media

usbdiskejector_icon Microsoft got some small things in Windows interface wrong. And some – very wrong. Unplugging external media is one of such.

Feature itself is good – it makes sure that no data is being read or written when you attempt to take your flash drive (or whatever else) out. But usability sucks – you must find and click tiny icon in tray, try to understand mess of entries in menu and choose right one.

Luckily there are few good tools that replace that process completely. USB Disk Ejector is the one I prefer.

Clicking

usbdiskejector_interface

Straightforward running single and portable executable gets you graphical interface. It lists all removable media found with volume letters and names of actual hardware. Double click or pressing enter on any of them attempts to eject it.

In case first attempt fails second one is made immediately.

Scripting

App has some command line arguments. They are actually more deep and interesting than GUI functionality. Check manual for full list and I want to focus on most useful one.

/REMOVETHIS ejects drive USB Disk Ejector is running from. This mode is also used automatically if you try to eject such drive in graphical interface.

This means two things:

  • you can actually carry Ejector on the media you need ejecting and use it on any PC;
  • you can script ejecting into some portable launcher and make it perform eject automatically and never bother doing it manually again.

Other command line options allow some tricks with creating shortcuts that eject drives on clicking or pressing hotkey.

Things lacking

My main complaint about app is not showing media labels and custom icons. It’s not very important but could further improve usability. Especially considering that actual brand of device and hardware inside of it can be different. For example my external Prestigio drive is shown as Toshiba.

Overall

Freeware, solid and easy to use app. Function set appeals to anyone from users to power users.

Home&download page http://quick.mixnmojo.com/software#usbdiskeject

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8 Comments

  • “But usability sucks – you must find and click tiny icon in tray, try to understand mess of entries in menu and choose right one.”

    Not really IMO :) Left click the icon instead. A list of devices will pop up, just select the one you want to unplug and that’s it.

  • @Ky

    I meant left-clicking. Double-clicking makes mess even worse.

    And best case is single flash drive… But worst case is few SATA HDD that may get in that menu as unpluggable, card-reader that may create multiply devices and letters… Add external HDD, mobile phone, one-two flash drives… And it is completely unusable. :)

    I really don’t understand why Windows doesn’t get updates to such dumb interface decisions once in a while.

  • I’ve unplugged all my USB devices without ejecting them, and nothing has every happened to them. I simply make sure they aren’t being written or read from.

    Never caused me a problem. Did that after I saw a post on Lifehacker about it…

    Heck, I bet I can eject my brain, and put it back in and nothing should happen. =P

  • >I’ve unplugged all my USB devices without ejecting them, and nothing has every happened to them. I simply make sure they aren’t being written or read from.

    “I alway walk across the road on the red light and wasn’t ever hit by a car!” :)

    Personally I am less worried about flash drive (under heavy use they die anyway) and more about my data.

  • I’ve used this before in a script I wrote using autohotkey
    It was a tad clunky and thinking about probably had one too many steps but served its purpose while I was in school.

  • @Jeketem

    Actually I still use it in similar way, my custom launcher I coded in AutoIt calls it to unplug external drives.

    You dropped it because have no more need or moved on to some better solution? :)

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