Thank you for taking the time to reply to me Igor. I do appreciate it.
I have today downloaded beta 5 of v4.0 and I can confirm that the ROOT\LEGACY_PARPORT\0000 device is no longer visible. Even better news is that my SATA / eSATA devices are now finally showing in the list!!
If I am not mistaken, I even think that my eSATA device was listed in the visible items list while my regular (internal) SATA devices were in the hidden list. I can't be sure if that was definitely the case because after installing I did move a few things back and forth just to test the software, but if SafelyRemove is making this distinction (as the initial setting - which user can override if they choose) then that is really very good.
Detection seems to be working fine. When I plug in my Icy Dock eSATA external HD enclosure, I get a notification balloon saying that the device has been connected. However, unfortunately I still can not stop the device using SafelyRemove. When I click on the relevant icon to shut down the device, I see the following dialog.
No feedback report was automatically generated, so I'm sorry I can't give you more technical details about the exact nature of the error.
I have tried disconnecting and reconnecting the drive, and also I tried it again immediately after performing a reboot (to be sure that no processes were locking the drive), but the same problem occurs. I did also try leaving it for a long time, just in case the process was slow, but that didn't make any difference either.
Once the dialog shown above has been closed, the drive remains fully accessible from Explorer and clicking on the SafelyRemove tray icon to attempt to shut down the device again results in a very brief flash of a dialog (which happens so quickly that it can not be read). I think it's the dialog that has the animated icon saying that the device is trying to be disconnected, but I can't be sure because the dialog only stays on screen for a fraction of a second.
If I just pull the eSATA lead out, the Windows built-in 'Unplug or Eject Hardware' dialog appears warning me about having not safely shut down the device.
With regards to a slightly different point, I notice that version 4 has fixed the icon display issue on the Look and Feel options tab. As you probably already know, Windows 2000 can not display 32bit icons (it can't do 8bit alpha blending) and so graduated transparency in XP icons looks really ugly when viewed in Windows 2000. The icons on the Look and Feel tab used to have white jagged fringes around them in v3.3, but they now render perfectly and look great on Windows 2000.
It is nice to see such attention to small details, especially on a program like this where these details would be easy to ignore because of having to deal with more important complicated low level hardware issues. The attention to the interface as well as the functionality makes SafelyRemove feel very professional.