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 Home » Freeware Downloads » Hard Disk Utilities and Cloning » HotSwap!   
File - Download HotSwap!

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This program turns a SATA hard drive into a hot swap hard drive.

It does the same thing as you can remove device from Device Manager but it provides much friendly user interface as you remove the removable device from the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the notification area. It also ensures that all data are written and flushed to the disk before the device to be hot-swapped, so you can use SATA/eSATA drive as a removable device much alike USB/IEEE1394 drive.

Supported Hardware and OS

Windows Vista / 7 / Server 2008 / 8 / 10 (32-bit and 64-bit)

SATA Host Controller (AHCI mode enabled in BIOS) (e.g. Intel Controller Hub (ICH), JMicron JMB363)

Silicon Image SATA Host Controller (SiI3112A, SiI3114, SiI3132, etc)

Silicon Image SATA-PATA (Parallel ATA) Bridge Controller (SiI3611)

If Silicon Image controller is used, the driver will spin-down the drive upon device removable.

Directions for use

Extract the downloaded file and run HotSwap!.EXE, the icon will appear in the notification area. The program will automatically start up when user logs on.

Left click the icon, a menu will pop up listing drives.

To remove a drive, select the drive from the popup menu. A balloon will pop up saying that the device is safely hot-swapped and you can power off the drive to remove it from the system. The drive listed in grey is either selected as non-hotswap device or in use by Windows therefore cannot be removed.

Left click the icon while pressing Ctrl key, another menu will pop up and you can select a drive. Once the drive is selected in this menu, it won't appear in the drive listing menu.

Right click the icon, the configuration menu will pop up.

Configuration Menu

Scan for hardware changes

Does the same thing as you can do on Device Manager. This is used if the system doesn't automatially recognize new device.

[Device type]

Fixed disk drives
Removable disk drives
BD/DVD/CD-ROM drives
Safely removable devices
Non-hotswap devices

By default, only Fixed disk drives are listed in the popup menu. You can configure other type of devices to be included in the popup menu. The drives removable from the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon can be included. The non-hotswap devices also can be included but not selectable for removable.


Chinese - Simplified
Chinese - Traditional
Czech (02/13/2017 Updated!)
Greek (02/13/2017 Updated!)

Select the language for the user interface.


Starts automatically when the user logs on.

Display PDO

Display Physical Device Object (PDO) name instead and it is uniquely assigned to the deivce by Windows.


Spin-down the drive upon the device removable.

Offline (02/13/2017 Updated!)

Take the drive offline before removing the device.


Deletes the registry, disables the auto startup and then closes the program. You can then remove the program file.


Pops up a dialog showing the usage along with listing devices removable from the command line mode therefore only devices that have drive letter assigned. Invalid command line switch will also result popping up the usage dialog.


Opens this homepage.


Displays version information.


Closes the program.
Command line mode examples

Remove a device for hot-swapping

HotSwap! C:
HotSwap! C:\MountPoint
HotSwap! \Device\00000080
HotSwap! \Device\Ide\IdeDeviceP1T0L0-1
HotSwap! DISK=7
HotSwap! \\?\Volume{d2361e8a-2978-10dc-9c18-816e6f6a6963}\

Suppress message popup

HotSwap! C: -Q

Scan for hardware changes

HotSwap! -S

Wildcard characters for PDO

HotSwap! \Device\Ide\IdeDeviceP1T0L0-?
HotSwap! \Device\Ide\IdeDeviceP1*
HotSwap! \*\Ide\*P1T0L0*
HotSwap! *P1T0L0??


The requested operation completed successfully.


The requested operation failed.


The command line switch was invalid.


The device was not found.


The requested operation was not supported.


The requested operation failed unexpectedly.

What's the advantage of SATA/eSATA drives over USB/IEEE1394 drives?

The performance is much better than when converting to USB or IEEE1394. Generally speaking, USB maxes out at around 35MB/sec and IEEE1394(S400) maxes out at around 40MB/sec, whereas SATA/eSATA can go higher as much as 150MB/sec or 300MB/sec. Also the "Turn off hard disks" setting in the Power Schemes is applicable to SATA/eSATA drives.

What's the problem hot-swapping the drives without first removing them?

Windows doesn't expect the drive to be removed therefore the volume and the files may get corrupted if the drive is removed inappropriately. The followings are the typical system events indicationing the problem.

"{Delayed Write Failed} Windows was unable to save all the data for the file . The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere."

"The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur."

"The device disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal."

Why "The device 'X' cannot be stopped because a program is still accessing it." warning pops up?

This represents that HotSwap! failed to lock the volumes for exclusive access therefore the device cannot be removed because someone else is still accessing to the volumes. Try closing folders and files on the volume, then try again.

As of Version, the volumes are taken offline before the device being removed, the device is now more successfully removed.

Why "The device 'X' cannot be uninstalled right now because the device requested a system restart." error pops up?

Although HotSwap! ensures that the volumes are not in use before attempting to remove the device, however, Windows will deny removing the device if there is any reference remains on the device. This is often caused by the file system filter driver not handling the detach request appropriately but it is also caused by the file system itself. If this problem persists, you have to restart the system. If you have anti-virus software installed on your system, you may try uninstalling it to see if it fixes the problem.

As of Version, the volumes are taken offline before the device being removed, the device is now more successfully removed.

Why Windows locks up for seconds after the drive is plugged in?

Windows locks up (for 7 to 10 sec with 3.5" hard disk drives and 3 sec with 2.5" hard disk drives) while the disk spins up and the drive being recognized after the drive is powered on. It is unconfirmed, however, looks like the driver is holding the system while it is recognizing the drive.

Why Windows gets hard hang after the drive is powered on?

It is confirmed to happen when the hard drives are sharing the same power cable in which case if Windows is installed on one of the hard drives sharing the power cable, the hard drive becomes unstable and Windows stops working. This can be fixed by connecting the hard drives to individual power cables.

Why the drive doesn't spin-down after the drive is removed?

HotSwap! sends ATA standby command to the device through ATA pass through I/O request. However, there are requirements to get ATA pass through I/O request to work.

ATA pass through I/O request is available in Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows XP x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 and later.

ATA pass through I/O request is available only for IDE miniport driver like Windows inbox ATA/ATAPI drivers atapi.sys and msahci.sys but not SCSI miniport driver used by the most 3rd party storage driver.

The drive has to support ATA standby command.

Does HotSwap! support Windows 2000?

Windows 2000 is no longer supported as of Version Please use Version

Does HotSwap! support Windows XP and Server 2003?

Windows XP and Server 2003 are no longer supported as of Version Please use Version

Why Windows Defender blocks to autostart and UAC requests for permission to run?

Autostart was changed to use Task Scheduler as of Version Please upgrade to Version or later.

Why the drive doesn't appear in HotSwap! while Explorer can see the volumes on the drive?

This is often caused by the drive being recognized as unknown class device rather than disk class device and CD/DVD class device. Once the drive is recognized as an unknown class device, it persists across the system reboot. You can fix this problem by uninstalling "Disk Drive" from Device Manager and then performs "Scan for hardware changes".

Why not only eSATA drive but also internal drive appear in the drive listing menu?

HotSwap! cannot distinguish the drive whether internal or external from the information available from Windows. If you don't want the drive to appear in the drive listing menu, you can do so by marking the drive as non-hotswap device.

Why Windows asks "Do You Want To Scan And Fix Removable Disk" for the drive removed on Windows 8? (02/13/2017 Updated!)

Windows 8 seems leaving the dirty bit on the volume when the drive is taken offline. Try turning off the offline option from the configuration menu.


Version (02/13/2017)

New feature to support Windows 10.

New feature to change offline option.

New feature to support Czech. (Thanks to MartinKa for Czech translation)

New feature to support Greek. (Thanks to Dennis Johnson for Greek translation)

Changed the development to Windows 10 SDK/WDK.

Continue below for the main download link.

Downloads Views Developer Last Update Version Size Type Rank
4,953 8,795 Kazuyuki Nakayama <img src=""border="0"> Apr 08, 2017 - 03:52 165.7KB ZIP 5/5, out of 56 Votes.
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