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Safely remove hardware question


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#1 jch02140

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:29 PM

I am wondering if it will somewhat damage my external harddrive system if I shutdown windows without doing the safely remove hardware first? I am fear it might be some invisible damage to the harddrive system that I can't physically see it...

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#2 Eyesee

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:27 PM

Possibly
I am bad about removing USB flash drives without going through the removal proceedure and have ruined a few in the past.
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#3 caperjac

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 06:18 PM

Pretty sure that when you shut down window it will shut down the usb device [does for me anyway i do it all the time both with external hdd and thumbdrive ]and not damage anything on the device ,i have damaged thumbdrives by pulling them out without doing the safely remove hardware first,but never by leaving them running when i turn off windows

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#4 dc3

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:10 PM

Unlike flash drives, external hdds are hot swappable.

This doesn't mean that a modicum of forethought shouldn't be used prior to disconnecting an external hdd. I would make sure that any applications or files open at the time should be closed before uninstalling the drive. Any time that you abruptly end an application that is running you run the risk of damaging files.

Edited to add...

When the computer is turned off, there is no longer any voltage on the USB bus. When you use the "safely remove external device" feature it turns of the voltage to that port.

Edited by dc3, 22 September 2010 - 10:12 PM.

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#5 ReviverSoft

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 08:33 AM

I would like to add to dc3's post, by stating that the computer also ends all running processes, during the Windows shut down process.
So, with no R/W activity and power to the HDD, it's pretty safe. :thumbsup:

Although, if you do not use the external that often, you should probably disconnect it safely, until the next use.
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#6 dpunisher

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 09:22 AM

To be honest, I have never used the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature with any flash storage or USB hard drive, ever. I just unplug them and go on my way. Not saying it is right by any means, but I never noticed any problems.

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#7 dc3

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 10:24 AM

You have been lucky is all I can say. Removing flash drives in this manner is a good way to lose the data on it, or even damage it.

As I posted previously, external hdds are hot swappable. That means that you can plug and unplug them with the computer on.

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#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:27 PM

On my other system, which used XP, I dutifully used Safely remove hardware. Unfortunately, everytime I used it, I got a message saying something to the effect that it wasn't working, you can't do that, whatever. So I ended up pulling out whatever was connected. No damage done to anything, so I guess I was one of the lucky ones.

#9 dc3

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:37 PM

On my other system, which used XP, I dutifully used Safely remove hardware. Unfortunately, everytime I used it, I got a message saying something to the effect that it wasn't working, you can't do that, whatever. So I ended up pulling out whatever was connected. No damage done to anything, so I guess I was one of the lucky ones.


I've had that happen occasionally. Interestingly enough this happens occasionally with my SanDisk, but not with my PNY, go figure.

When this happens, I usually will wait till I shut down the computer to remove it. Some of the information on these is transported from one location to another. Losing the data would be costly time wise.

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#10 jch02140

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:38 PM

So it is safe to say that shutting down computer is equivalent to using safely remove hardware function in windows?...

#11 dc3

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:51 PM

As far as safely removing flash drives? Yes.

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#12 jch02140

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:19 PM

I see. Would portable drives also the same?...


Sorry about the constant inquiries. I just want to be safe... >_<"

#13 dc3

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:45 PM

You need to be more specific when you mention "portable drives". I'm assuming that you are referring to external drives attached via a USB port. If this is the case, then this could be a hdd or optical drive of which both are hot swappable.

Edited by dc3, 23 September 2010 - 01:46 PM.

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#14 vnsmith6

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:31 AM

I do believe that it is put there for a certain function.. safely removed is put there for it to protect our computer.. so I guess shutting it down without doing so might affect your pc.. not constant but in the long run.. so if you really wanted to be safe, might as well take a little of your time in doing so..

#15 dc3

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:52 AM

The safely remove is to protect the data on the flash drive.

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