When I start my computer with my USB 128Mb pen in position it is recognised and works fine. When I remove it (correctly) and reinsert it the computer fails to recognise the drive in explorer and my computer. In Device manager however it claims the drivers are loaded ok.
I agree that 99% of the time it is fine to just unplug a memory pen without 'safely remove ...'
However, if you do have any sort of file open on the memorystick at the time you could loose data.
Using 'safely remove...' as a matter of course prevents you from making this mistake.
On the other subject of needing a reboot before plugging it in again - this is not so for me. I click 'safely remove..', the drive light goes out, I remove, I reinsert, the drive light comes on again and it is recognised. This is true both in the frontside USB ports and a powered hub. I am not saying it never works the way you mention but it is not always that way.
I have to say, though, that my memory stick is plug an available rather than plug and play - whenever I plug it in. I have tried everything I can think of (including the autofix mentioned above) to get the autoplay to work - no joy.
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