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.
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.