The “Safely Remove Hardware” icon was included with Windows XP and Vista to provide a “safe” way to disconnect removable devices. According to Microsoft, you are supposed to use this icon, instead of just unplugging your removable devices (such as USB flash drives, eSATA drives, etc.). Realistically, as long as the device isn’t being written too, you can usually just yank it out.
The “Safely Remove Hardware” icon seems to annoy people who either know not to unplug a device while it is in use, or have “removable” devices that stay permanently attached to their computer. Using the program below, you can effectively remove the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon from your system tray.
- Download this file  to a convenient location (such as your desktop).
- Go to your download location, and double-click on “HideSRHi.exe”.
- The “Safely Remove Hardware” icon should disappear from your system tray shortly after performing step 2.
- Delete the “HideSRHi.exe” from your download location.
If you ever want the icon back, you can remove the “hidesrhi.exe” entry from your start-up group. I would recommend using a program such as this: //blog.ryantadams.com/2007/12/10/startup-control-panel/ 
Thanks to Len Norris for his help with this problem.
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