Eject USB devices quickly and safely with ProEject

One of the things that continue to puzzle me is why ejecting a USB drive remains such a labor intensive affair, even on Windows 7.

Luckily, this software can spare you ever having to go hunting for the “safely remove hardware” icon in the system tray ever again.

ProEject is a small, free program that can safely eject mounted drives at the press of a button.

It will clear the registry and folders of traces that USB drives can leave behind, such as the MRU (most recently used) sections of the Windows Registry, entries created in the “Run on Startup” key, shortcuts created in the SendTo, Recent, Quick Launch, Pinned (for Windows 7) and the Windows Firewall.

It can also be placed and run from the same drive that you want to eject, in order to automatically eject the drive without a lot of messing around.

PROS:

  • Can utilize a host of external tools: including AutoStart.exe, DevEject.exe, EjectMedia.exe, RemoveDrive.exe, USB_Disk_Eject.exe, USBDeview.exe, TrueCrypt.exe (to auto detect and dismount a TrueCrypt drive, Unlocker.exe, and Handle.exe). See the readme in the ProEject folder.
  • Cleans the registry and hard drive: of traces leftover by your ejected USB volume.
  • Nice little dialog: that displays all connected drives (see screenshot above). Much better than the standard context menu you get from the Windows default safe eject.
  • Can be run from the USB drive: to eject it, making it easy to eject your USB with ProEject from wherever you might be using it.
  • Command line: usage is supported.

CONS:

  • Doesn’t seem to integrate with Unlocker: to automatically find and remove locking handles, despite the claim in the readme that it does (I tried many times, including setting both to run as administrator, etc)
  • Insists on minimizing to the system tray: i.e. it doesn’t always re-appear when you double click the ProEjecticon pinned in the taskbar or the desktop (even when you uncheck ‘display tray icon when in ProEject mode). This might seem nitpicky, but I would like to avoid hunting in the system tray whenever I need to eject a USB drive. Also, once a drive is ejected, the ProEject dialog can sometimes not refresh, even when the user attempts to do so manually.
  • Tends to trigger security software: partially because of what it does. I expect to get lots of comments/emails from freaked readers, but this software has an extremely good VirusTotal profile (see here; only 4/43 flag as positive, which is a very good result).

The verdict: a great program; I love that it can work with other programs and utilize them as plugins. It does feel like beta software; it needs a few quirks ironed out and better documentation. However, it is an exciting tool and I am looking to future versions with anticipation.

Version Tested: 1.0.0.0

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 473K).


 
 
 
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Aug 4, 2011
Samer Kurdi
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  • http://www.rlvision.com Dan

    I’ve used USB Disk Ejector for some years now. I put this tiny little application in the root of all my usb-drives/sticks and when I need to eject the drive it is always easy to find this handy util :-)

    http://quick.mixnmojo.com/software/usb-disk-ejector

  • Rabbit Prey

    Right – I had a slight issue with this one… it installed okay, then in the preferences I selected to use the GUI, everything seemed fine. Then it suddenly informed me that it was removing the C: drive, all my windows shut down, everything I had pinned to the taskbar / start menu no longer worked, Pokki (which had taken ages to set up) was completely uninstalled and all my startup programs were wiped.
    Don’t think I’ll be using this one again.

  • softwarespot

    First of all I must say sorry, I have no idea why this would happen because many hours of testing (from so many users) has gone into this. I have a couple of questions though.

    1. Is Windows (XP to 7) installed on the C:\ drive? Because ProEject is setup not to eject the @HomeDrive, which is usually C:\
    2. When you downloaded a fresh copy, where was ProEject.dat? Because upon first run of ProEject.exe the GUI should be displayed.

    Once again I’m sorry that this happened to you and I’m taking extra measure to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

  • softwarespot

    The last comment should have read: Once again I’m sorry that this happened to you and I’m taking extra measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

    • Samer

      @ softwarespot: thanks for the comments.

      I should mention to readers that I received an email from the author of this software above stating that he has fixed some of the false positive issues; ProEject now has a squeaky clean VirusTotal profile (See it here)

      He also indicated that he is looking into implementing some of the suggestions above in the next couple of weeks (thanks, man!)

  • gpc111

    This one works well on my XP SP2 system. I like it a lot better than USB Safely Remove. Thank you for sharing and thank you to the author.

  • Danny

    It is strange that you would find removing a drive “labor intensive” in win7 since the default setting is to allow quick removal – meaning you can yank it any time it isn’t writing. Any labor involved, at least in win7, is of your own making.

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  • John Robie

    Maybe it’s just me, but in Win7 I usually have to click the USB system tray icon several times just to make the dialog appear. If not labor intensive, that’s at the very least unnecessarily stupid.

  • Samer

    @ Danny: this depends on your device’s “Policies” settings. I typically have mine set to “better performance” for my two 1-TB backup drives.

    But you’re right, there is a psychological component; when I have my iPhone, Kindle, and two backup drives connected that I have spent a good chunk on, you can bet I am going to use the “safely remove hardware” prompt, rather than just yank em.

  • Pingback: ProEject: Finally Something That Disconnects USB Devices Correctly | techenthusiast.net

  • Ivan

    Eject PRO just gives the list of all the system drives even non removable ones, which is very confusing.

    There is much better alternative: USB Safely Remove, which shows you what programs lock device, let you eject with hotkeys, return a device without replugging and much more. A paid one, but until Aug 12th you can request the license for free: http://safelyremove.com/giveawaygaotd11.htm

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  • http://softwarespot.wordpress.com softwarespot

    A new beta version is available which tackles all the problems from above and the suggestions provided by Samer.