Why You Need to Safely Remove Device from Your Computer

Oct 27, 2015
avesdesign

There’s one question that many people ask themselves constantly: ‘Do I have to choose the option to Safely Remove Device from the computer or should I just unplug it?’. And to be honest, many people choose to simply unplug whatever hardware they’re using rather than choosing the Safely Remove Device option. So here’s the answer to the question, is it safe to just unplug the hardware from the USB port, or you should choose the Safely Remove Device option first.

When you plug in some hardware into the USB ports, especially flash drive or external hard drive, your computer thinks that he can write and read data from it (sometimes cached data) all the time. Basically if caching occurs on the external drive (instead on your computer RAM memory) and your computer suddenly lost contact with the external device, the data transfer may be interrupted and the information may be damaged or even lost.

Why You Need to Safely Remove Device from Your Computer

This is why all operating systems have the Safely Remove Device option that also can be called eject, unmount or safely remove device. It basically tells the computer to stop reading and writing data on the device. If you just unplug your external device while the computer writes some data on it, this data can become corrupted or it can be lost forever. The Safely Remove Device option does these three things

  • Notifies you if some programs still use some files from our external device
  • Warns all programs that the external device will be removed
  • Stops all active transfers to the external device

In the past 15-20 years, the old computers had a mechanism that provided protection to your data. When the CD or floppy disk was inserted into the CD or floppy disk drive, the drive triggered a mechanism that told the computer that everything is ready for operation. Some of these devices even had a mechanical part that kept the disc in the drive while the data is read. This is why you couldn’t eject the CD from the drive while the computer was reading it, no mater how many times you pressed the eject button.

But when it comes to today’s external hard drives and USB flash drives, there is absolutely nothing to prevent you from simply pulling the device off from the USB port. This can lead to corrupted files, lost data and sometimes you’ll even have to restart the computer. Therefore, in order to keep your computer and external device working properly you should definitely use the Safely Remove Device option.

Of course, you can always just pull off your device from the USB port, without using the Safely Remove Device option, but have in mind that some programs may not accept that some files that they were using from the external drive have just disappeared into thin air. This may cause your programs to crash and you’ll have to restart your computer.

The good news is that modern operating systems can reduce the possibility of file damage to a minimum. Windows even has the option ‘Optimize for Quick Removal’. If you have this option enabled, then you don’t have to worry too much about just unplugging your device from the USB drive. Finally, you are the one who can decide if you’re going to use the Safely Remove Device option or not, the choice is yours.

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