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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

Unplugging External Units/Drives
Windows OS, Safe

 11:45 am on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do you casually remove peripherals from your PC assuming it is safe to do so since they are hot pluggable/swappable/drives.?

If you do you risk losing data, if "write caching" is enabled, since the OS may not have transferred all the data to the unit.
Before removing any such unit, to avoid losing data or hanging the Windows OS, try this:

1) Double Click on the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the bottom right hand corner of your screen (notification area).
It's the one with the green arrow. A window will open listing all the relevant removable unit.
2) Select the unit you wish to unplug.
3)Click the "Stop" button

Windows will now finish writing any data, and close the unit.

MS link:
[microsoft.com ]



 6:39 pm on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is a good idea.


 12:10 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good advice. A lot of people take this whole plug-and-play environment a bit too lightly. I'm always warning people not to be pulling out USB and Firewire cables without going thru the proper steps.


 12:30 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Note sure about Firewire but I seem to recall that USB was designed so that you can just unplug stuff. HOWEVER, MS had real problems getting the device drivers to work properly (under NT) so they botched it (shock!).

Of course, write-behind caching should be disabled by default on all removable drives. I have write-behind caching disabled on all drives - the performance penalty is barely noticable.



 12:45 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can seriously hurt some USB keys if you pull them while one of their interior files is being referenced ..most aren't so delicate if it's only the overall files list which is on display ..

Best thing is to think about doing it ..and do the "pray" part of "plug and" while letting doze shut it down gently ..

The exception being when someones virus is trying to format your key or whatever ..then unplug fast and pray later ..


 3:32 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is no such icon at the bottom right hand corner of my screen or on the task bar.

I've been using Windows daily since 95 and don't ever recall seeing a "Notification Area."


 3:44 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh, ok so they call that area at the far end of the task bar the notification area but it always has been known as the "tray" to me.

And one must go to "Properties" and click "custom notifications."

Windows UI. There is no need to explain this stuff, it's so intuitive, y'know...


 4:43 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

You should only see that icon [images.google.com] in your system tray if you have one of the removable devices plugged in (and in some cases powered on).


 5:19 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks, this is helpful to me. I am planning to begin using an external hard drive soon instead of CD R.

I have just been powering up (and down) printer and camera--I guess this applies with those too.


 8:10 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some are more hardy than others, but in general it's a good habit to look for the "shutdown icon" before unplugging or powering down things. You never know when you may corrupt something.


 9:38 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would hope that if devices are still powered on and you do a Restart or Shutdown, that windows would safely close all units.

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