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Is it safe to disconnect an external drive any time?

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If we are saying all mechanical drives now will automatically park themselves when they lose power as what Slayer_ has said, then external drives are mechanical drives, aren't they? Mine is a Western Digital. So I suppose I simply need to turn off the power to the drive and then disconnect it.

On second thoughts however we might not know what could be happening in the background.

I fully agree with what pw2much said that to be safe, we still need to use the Safely Remove option.