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Disconnecting Devices "Safely" - How?


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#1 JayJax

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:25 PM

Sorry if this should be posted elsewhere.

 

I have devices that I sometimes connect (usually by USB cord) to either my Windows 8.1 Laptop or less often to my I-Mac (Snow-Leopard I believe) computers and they all warn somewhere to "eject" or some such language before disconnecting but I'm not quite sure of a consistent means of doing so.   Things like a micro-card I have better luck remembering where to find them but other things like my Camera and a reader (Kindle) - it says to EJECT but how/where do I find them to do so?   I must have been out of class the day that was covered?   I just got this new Kindle reader that has the same advice and I really don't wanna cause any of the damage they WARN about?  Nothing I've read elaborates as to the "how to eject" - they just say to do it?  Maybe somewhere in the overwhelming volume of literature each device seems to come with it describes the procedure but who can honestly read all that - who has the desire or the time?

 

Can somebody offer some advice/instructions?


Edited by JayJax, 11 September 2017 - 07:26 PM.


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#2 Just_One_Question

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:38 PM

My computer > Right-click on the the thing that you want to safely eject > Choose Eject from the options you are presented with when you have right-clicked on your Camera, for example. That's it.:)



#3 JayJax

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:02 PM

My computer > Right-click on the the thing that you want to safely eject > Choose Eject from the options you are presented with when you have right-clicked on your Camera, for example. That's it. :)

But where do I find these to right-click on them?  I know I must seem beyond stupid  probably because I am- brain drain?



#4 Just_One_Question

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:09 PM

Don't worry, you're not stupid at all. As I said, when you connect something to your computer, such as a USB drive, your phone, camera or something else, it pops up in My Computer in your Windows machine. Do you know where/what My computer is? It should be on your desktop. You get into My computer and then you should see various folders such as Documents, Music, Local Disk C, Local Disk D. Under does folders you should be able to find a folder with a picture and the name of the device you have connected to your computer, for example a USB drive. You right-click on it, then press Eject and you are good to go. I feel like I am not explaining it in the best way I could, so feel free to ask more questions if it's unclear.:)



#5 JayJax

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:56 PM

Don't worry, you're not stupid at all. As I said, when you connect something to your computer, such as a USB drive, your phone, camera or something else, it pops up in My Computer in your Windows machine. Do you know where/what My computer is? It should be on your desktop. You get into My computer and then you should see various folders such as Documents, Music, Local Disk C, Local Disk D. Under does folders you should be able to find a folder with a picture and the name of the device you have connected to your computer, for example a USB drive. You right-click on it, then press Eject and you are good to go. I feel like I am not explaining it in the best way I could, so feel free to ask more questions if it's unclear. :)

I find "This PC" but it doesn't say anything in it about the folders.   I searched "My Computer" and got a message that "this app won't run" something about the monitor ratio or some such thing.   I'll try exploring and see what I can find thanks.  That's the thing though when you're wanting/needing to disconnect a device sometimes there isn't time to search for whatever you need.


Edited by JayJax, 11 September 2017 - 09:01 PM.


#6 Just_One_Question

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 09:17 PM

It is This PC, not My Computer, sorry, my mistake! So, when you have something connected to your computer, when you open This PC, you will have under Local Disk C and Local Disk D an icon which represents whatever it is that you have connected. You right-click on it and then choose Eject.

You can try, go to This PC, right-click on DVD-RW, click on Eject and your DVD drive will open. :)


Edited by Just_One_Question, 11 September 2017 - 09:17 PM.


#7 JayJax

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:27 PM

It is This PC, not My Computer, sorry, my mistake! So, when you have something connected to your computer, when you open This PC, you will have under Local Disk C and Local Disk D an icon which represents whatever it is that you have connected. You right-click on it and then choose Eject.

You can try, go to This PC, right-click on DVD-RW, click on Eject and your DVD drive will open. :)

Yes, your suggestion worked exactly - so the next time I have other devices these should also appear?  Right now all it shoes is my DVD Drive and my hard disk?   Thanks - hopefully this is a centralized place to look for these items.   I will test it out this evening with my camera.  Appreciate your help very much!


Edited by JayJax, 12 September 2017 - 01:29 PM.


#8 Just_One_Question

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:06 PM

Yes, you are right. Whenever you connect a new device to your computer, it will show up in This PC and you can safely Eject it from there.:)



#9 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 05:56 PM

Two other ways to do it, the first is the way I usually do it.

 

(1)   At the right hand end of the taskbar - it may be in 'hidden icons' behind the upside down chevrons - you will find a button which, in Win 10, looks like a white cyclinder with a blob on top of it. Clicking on this will bring up the 'Safely remove hardware' box. Click on the item you want to remove and a second or two later you will get a message. It will be either 'May be safely removed' or 'This device is still in use and cannot be removed'. In the latter case try and find out what is keeping it 'in use'.

 

(2)   Turn the computer off, then anything can be safely removed.

 

There is a reason for this procedure. If the system is still writing to the device you can scramble the contents.

 

Chris Cosgrove

 

I just realised that you are using 8/8.1 not 10.  I have seen some variants on 8.1 which uses the icon above but there are probably the majority which use what looks like a USB plug with a green tick superimposed.


Edited by Chris Cosgrove, 12 September 2017 - 06:00 PM.


#10 JayJax

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:24 PM

Yes, you are right. Whenever you connect a new device to your computer, it will show up in This PC and you can safely Eject it from there. :)

 

Gave it a try this evening with a couple different devices and it worked fine so thanks again :bananas:



#11 JayJax

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:38 PM

Two other ways to do it, the first is the way I usually do it.

 

(1)   At the right hand end of the taskbar - it may be in 'hidden icons' behind the upside down chevrons - you will find a button which, in Win 10, looks like a white cyclinder with a blob on top of it. Clicking on this will bring up the 'Safely remove hardware' box. Click on the item you want to remove and a second or two later you will get a message. It will be either 'May be safely removed' or 'This device is still in use and cannot be removed'. In the latter case try and find out what is keeping it 'in use'.

 

(2)   Turn the computer off, then anything can be safely removed.

 

There is a reason for this procedure. If the system is still writing to the device you can scramble the contents.

 

Chris Cosgrove

 

I just realised that you are using 8/8.1 not 10.  I have seen some variants on 8.1 which uses the icon above but there are probably the majority which use what looks like a USB plug with a green tick superimposed.

 

Thanks for the alternatives.  I don't see anything right off like the method you outlined for Windows 10 but since I will probably be replacing my laptop in the not-too-distant-future its good to know.    I like your last "simple-fix" alternative - if all else fails beats the heck out of kicking myself :nono:   for a costly screw-up on my part.


Edited by JayJax, 12 September 2017 - 08:41 PM.


#12 compbuff

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:31 PM

There is also a useful app that you can by (Free to try for 30 days) called 'USB Safely Remove' that not only safely removes any app connected for you (when you install the app you can access it from 'Show hidden icons from the bottom right hand corner of the taskbar as explained by Chris above).

 

This app goes further than the built in Windows safely remove tool where you can't find out what is stopping it being removed, as can happen when in use with other processes. If the device cannot be stopped it will show you the programs that is preventing the device from being stopped and lets you close those programs or just the files they opened on the device. It works with any device -USB, SATA, Firewire, PMCIA etc and has a few other useful features as well. 

 

I have used and purchased the software which can be a lifesaver sometimes. The product's website is as follows should you want to take a look:

 

http://safelyremove.com/order.htm?ver=6.0.8.1261&ostype=win64&sm=quickmenu_b&name=SafelyRemove&FirstRunDT=060920170103&RunCount=12


Edited by compbuff, 14 September 2017 - 12:32 PM.


#13 britechguy

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:08 PM

Two other ways to do it, the first is the way I usually do it.
 
(1)   At the right hand end of the taskbar - it may be in 'hidden icons' behind the upside down chevrons - you will find a button which, in Win 10, looks like a white cyclinder with a blob on top of it. Clicking on this will bring up the 'Safely remove hardware' box. Click on the item you want to remove and a second or two later you will get a message. It will be either 'May be safely removed' or 'This device is still in use and cannot be removed'. In the latter case try and find out what is keeping it 'in use'.


Which, if I do it at all, is always how I do it since the devices connected, and only those, are enumerated upon right click. There's nothing else to confuse the issue.
 
 

There is a reason for this procedure. If the system is still writing to the device you can scramble the contents.


And you've hit the nail on the head as to when it's necessary, and why, with the very rarest of exceptions, I never use the "Eject" function and never have.

Windows has, for decades (I can't speak to OSX), been set up not to buffer anything waiting for an "Eject" to finish writing, and for precisely the reason you note. Many people were pulling out their USB connections and losing the last "buffer's worth" of the data being written to the device.

Since this feature is now turned off, when processes finish writing to an external USB device the buffer is flushed immediately and the write completed.

For reading it's entirely irrelevant as far as data damage on the USB device goes.  Of course, if you pull it while it's being read then whatever is doing the reading will, of course, lose its incoming data source.

External USB devices are, by design, supposed to be hot swappable. If you know that you are not currently writing something to a given drive (which has never been tricky for me to determine - if I'm not using any program that's been writing to the device and the activity light is either out or not blinking) they're plug/unplug at will.

Eject is, for the most part, an anachronism. If you ejected in the middle of some program using the device and the data stream was very far from complete (as in it's in the middle of writing a ton of data) you're still screwing up that result, as it yanks the storage device out from under the process in mid-stream.

Here's a screen shot of the USB devices icon that shows up in the Notification Area/System Tray or hidden in the notification overflow area accessed by the notification chevron, ^

 

             Attached File  USB_Device_In_Notification_Area.jpg   972bytes   1 downloads

 

My recollection is that it looks pretty much the same in Windows 8 and forward, and in earlier versions of Windows it looks pretty much like a tiny rendering of a thumb drive.


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#14 JayJax

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 07:25 PM

There is also a useful app that you can by (Free to try for 30 days) called 'USB Safely Remove' that not only safely removes any app connected for you (when you install the app you can access it from 'Show hidden icons from the bottom right hand corner of the taskbar as explained by Chris above).

 

This app goes further than the built in Windows safely remove tool where you can't find out what is stopping it being removed, as can happen when in use with other processes. If the device cannot be stopped it will show you the programs that is preventing the device from being stopped and lets you close those programs or just the files they opened on the device. It works with any device -USB, SATA, Firewire, PMCIA etc and has a few other useful features as well. 

 

I have used and purchased the software which can be a lifesaver sometimes. The product's website is as follows should you want to take a look:

 

http://safelyremove.com/order.htm?ver=6.0.8.1261&ostype=win64&sm=quickmenu_b&name=SafelyRemove&FirstRunDT=060920170103&RunCount=12

 

Thanks, I will check it out !



#15 JayJax

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 07:33 PM

 

Two other ways to do it, the first is the way I usually do it.
 
(1)   At the right hand end of the taskbar - it may be in 'hidden icons' behind the upside down chevrons - you will find a button which, in Win 10, looks like a white cyclinder with a blob on top of it. Clicking on this will bring up the 'Safely remove hardware' box. Click on the item you want to remove and a second or two later you will get a message. It will be either 'May be safely removed' or 'This device is still in use and cannot be removed'. In the latter case try and find out what is keeping it 'in use'.


Which, if I do it at all, is always how I do it since the devices connected, and only those, are enumerated upon right click. There's nothing else to confuse the issue.
 
 

There is a reason for this procedure. If the system is still writing to the device you can scramble the contents.


And you've hit the nail on the head as to when it's necessary, and why, with the very rarest of exceptions, I never use the "Eject" function and never have.

Windows has, for decades (I can't speak to OSX), been set up not to buffer anything waiting for an "Eject" to finish writing, and for precisely the reason you note. Many people were pulling out their USB connections and losing the last "buffer's worth" of the data being written to the device.

Since this feature is now turned off, when processes finish writing to an external USB device the buffer is flushed immediately and the write completed.

For reading it's entirely irrelevant as far as data damage on the USB device goes.  Of course, if you pull it while it's being read then whatever is doing the reading will, of course, lose its incoming data source.

External USB devices are, by design, supposed to be hot swappable. If you know that you are not currently writing something to a given drive (which has never been tricky for me to determine - if I'm not using any program that's been writing to the device and the activity light is either out or not blinking) they're plug/unplug at will.

Eject is, for the most part, an anachronism. If you ejected in the middle of some program using the device and the data stream was very far from complete (as in it's in the middle of writing a ton of data) you're still screwing up that result, as it yanks the storage device out from under the process in mid-stream.

Here's a screen shot of the USB devices icon that shows up in the Notification Area/System Tray or hidden in the notification overflow area accessed by the notification chevron, ^

 

             attachicon.gifUSB_Device_In_Notification_Area.jpg

 

My recollection is that it looks pretty much the same in Windows 8 and forward, and in earlier versions of Windows it looks pretty much like a tiny rendering of a thumb drive.

 

 

I guess this is "over my head" as after reading it I'm confused.  I get parts of what you are saying but not sure how to tie it all together. 

 

If "eject" is an anachronism --- would I be correct in assuming based on what you said that if all I am doing with the device connected by USB to my Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 laptop is charging the device it would be safe to unplug without concern about "eject"?   I don't want to put words in your mouth?


Edited by JayJax, 14 September 2017 - 07:35 PM.





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