Thursday, February 16, 2012

Should I Eject USB drives before Removing Them? examines a question that has long been in the back of my mind, "Do I Really Need to Eject USB Drives Before Removing Them"? USB Drives, also called thumb drives, flash drives, etc, are inserted into one of the USB ports and can be just as easily removed at anytime. But you may have noticed an Eject Option and the words, it is now safe to remove the media, after Ejecting. What's unsafe about pulling a drive out?
"Obviously, yanking out a drive while it's being written to could corrupt the data. However, even if the drive isn't actively being written to, you could still corrupt the data. By default, most operating systems use what's called write caching to get better performance out of your computer ... — the OS waits to [write files] until it has a number of requests to fulfill, and then it fulfills them all at once ... When you hit that eject button, it tells your OS to flush the cache—that is, make sure all pending actions have been performed—so you can safely unplug the drive without any data corruption."
Bottom Line

Now MS Windows is a bit odd when it comes to USB drives. Most of the time it recognizes the drive as "removable", disabling write caching, making it safe to remove the drive without ejecting. But it's not a sure thing and you can not ALWAYS count on this for every USB drive manufactured. So it's a best practice to always click on Eject first, wait for the safe message, then remove the drive.



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December 18, 2012 at 3:32 AM  

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