Safely remove hardware; even when restarting?

By barissener ·
So let's say I have a flash drive or an external HD plugged in, and I am about to restart my computer. Do I need to safely remove the usb drive or the external HD before I restart? Or is it safe to just restart or shut down the computer without safely removing?

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I wouldn't bet on it ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Safely remove hardware; e ...

Moreover, if you leave a thumb drive attached, there is every likelihood that your system will not boot properly. At the very least, the boot sequence will be noticeably longer while the contents of the thumb drive are scanned on boot.

You might even have a Bootable thumb drive!

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Experience has taught me....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Safely remove hardware; e ...

I've never seen anything in writing anywhere specifically stating the correct procedure, one way or another. However, experience has taught me to always safely remove thumb drives and external HDD's before restarting the computer. That way, you're assured that the drive is 'stopped', all writing has been completed and documents aren't left open when you click Shut Down.

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Give serious thought to WHY you click on 'Shut Down' ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Safely remove hardware; e ...

Each time a PC user chooses to power down their system, they invariably follow the long established routine of selecting 'Start' then opting for 'Shut Down' - but not many users ever query whether this is necessary. Equally any users foolish enough to simply hold the power button in until the PSU cuts out, knows (or at least SHOULD know) that they are running the risk of the computer failing to boot upon the next start.

This 'Shut Down' method allows for command codes to be sent to all open files to (hopefully shut down, for any open processes to stop running, for all system files to shutdown in an orderly fashion, and for the read/write heads on each hard disk drive, to move into it's Parked State. Once all of these operations (sometimes including Windows Updates that have yet to be installed) have completed successfully - the PC will power down.

Unfortunately, the scope of influence for these processes does NOT extend to external usb devices - that's why the Safe Removal option now exists.

So just ask yourself: Do you want to risk wrecking your internal drives by forcing your system to power-down abruptly or do you want to follow the established procedure?

If so, why query the 'Safe Removal' method for your modern external usb drive devices??

Don't be fooled into thinking that 'Restart' is in any way different to the above - it is not. The only reason that is differs is that you don't have to press the power switch to start-up again.


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Depends on how much you like the Data on the Devices

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Safely remove hardware; e ...

If you do not use the Safely Remove Option particularly with Mechanical Devices like HDD's you will eventually damage the Partition Information on the Drive making it necessary to employ some sort of Data Recovery Application to recover your Data. In a Best Case Scenario you will just loose the Data and Format the Drive and be off and ruining again. Worst Case Scenario you will pay some Data Recovery House 60K or more and then find out that the Read Write Heads came into contact with the Platters when the power was removed as the system shut down and the Platters have now been damaged beyond the ability to recover any Data.

External HDD Do Not get the same shut down signals as they would when fitted internally.

The same Applies to a lesser extent with Thumb Drives which are just effectively RAM Modules as there are no moving parts in these there is less of a chance to damage things but they are susceptible to voltage events. So while they are less likely to suffer any Mechanical Damage they can suffer Electrical Damage which renders then totally useless and impossible to recover anything from if it was required.

I would say let the person who has to pay chose how to proceed but you must be aware that in the case of something bad happening it's very easy to chew up $60,000.00 and still have very little to show for it. If for argument Sake that is the only Tax Record that you have and it gets destroyed be prepared to spend time in Jail for Tax Evasion or worse still a considerably larger Legal Bill then what the Data Recovery House charges.


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