Ah, I see. But what if you plug your iPod in and you don't eject it from iTunes? Can I still "safely remove hardware" if that icon isn't there?
just disconnect it.. it doesnt matter as long as nothing is being transfered to your ipod.
That depends on whether there is anything in the buffer waiting to be written.
If you dont have the icon viisble then you can always rightclick the drive in 'MyComputer' and use the remove/eject option