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Is it safe to disconnect an external drive any time?

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NickNielsen Moderator
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Technically, yes, but thumbdrives and external hard drives are removable devices, not removable media devices. The eject command is reserved for removable media devices.

To (hopefully) clarify, a removable media drive allows you to change the software or data available from the drive without actually changing the drive. For example, you can eject a disc from your DVD drive, you have removed the media. You can insert a new disc without removing the actual drive itself. When you remove a thumbdrive, the flash memory inside the drive goes with it; the device is removable, but the media is not.