How to disconnect an external HD?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by beethoven, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    I am "trained" to properly disconnect any external harddrive (USB) before unplugging it. I am using the normal "safely remove hardware and eject media" function in Win10 for that.
    I am not even sure if this policy is still necessary or is a remnant from the old days.

    I recently connected a WD drive with external enclosure and an on/off button. Do I still need to do the above procedure in this case or can I just turn the device off on the enclosure in such a case. I find that the device often appears to be inactive (only used for backups) and going through the above procedure seems to awake the device first which seems redunant.
     
  2. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    I read in Win10 that for UFDs that as long as you weren't transferring files you can safely remove them without using the recommended way to disconnect, but I'm not sure with HDDs. For safety, I would still use the recommended procedure. You would only be saving a few seconds and potentially risk damaging files. Why take the risk?
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I just pull it out.
     
  4. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    Oh!
     
  5. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Brian K

    <------ Read my avatar

    lol
     
  6. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Brian, in that case I guess using the on/off button would do the same, right?
     
  7. jadinolf

    jadinolf Registered Member

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    Works for me. :)
     
  8. A_mouse

    A_mouse Registered Member

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    Check in the device Manager and see if the drive is marked for quick removal or not in the Policies tab.

    If you use it plugged in a lot and rely on it as a second drive, as well as for transfers, I recommend thinking about using it in better performance mode, and remembering to always eject.
     
  9. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    not sure where to look for it exactly? The drive is shown under Portable devices / WD Ext Backup but properties does not show a policies tab (only General / Driver/ Details/ Events) . Under details I can see a subsection of Removal policy default = 0000001.
    When accessing the safe remove function - the drive is shown as USB to ATA/ATAPI Bridge
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I use "Quick removal (default)".

    qr.png
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    beethoven,

    Is this different? Disk Management, find your USB HD, right click in the Disk "X" square on the left, Properties. Do you see a Policies tab?
     
  12. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Brian, using Disk Management and opening properties for this drive, I can see General/Tools/Hardware/Sharing/Security/ReadyBoost/PreviousVersions/Quota/Customize but no policies - digging deeper though I can find under Hardware a listing of all harddrives, including this WD though here it is listed as JMicron Generic SCSI Disk Device. Properties for this show policies and the Quick Removal is ticked as default
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    You clicked Properties for the partition and not Properties for the Disk "X" square on the left.
     
  14. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Brian, you are correct (of course) but I misunderstood what you meant by X on the left. Yes, clicking on that box opens the same policy tab and Quick Removal is ticked as default.
     
  15. A_mouse

    A_mouse Registered Member

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    You looked in the wrong part of the Device Manager. Portable drives is lower down.
    drives.jpg
     
  16. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    A_Mouse - that's true seems that both your path and Brian's path lead to the same outcome - with quick removal enabled
     
  17. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    That's what I do. I just wait a few seconds first.
     
  18. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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  19. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Ha - seems I have to decide whether I prefer "degraded system performance" or the "risk of losing data". I think I go with the first.
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I've run speed tests on Quick removal and Better performance. I get the same result with either choice.
     
  21. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Brian, I am not sure exactly what degraded performance actually means but this drive is just sitting there and receiving regular data backups or images. As long as they are safe and processes run reliably, I don't care if the process takes a few seconds longer during the day.
    Most times this is running in the background and I would not even notice.
     
  22. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It never was a set-in-concrete rule. It was there for those devices where Windows delayed writes to a device so Windows could return resources back to the user and other programs more quickly. This was frequently a problem back in the day when hard drives were much slower and came with tiny (as small as 2MB) built in buffers. Today's hard drives are much faster and typically come with much larger (32MB or larger) integrated buffers.

    Even going back to XP, I always set those devices for "Quick write" so any caches and buffers would quickly clear (all data would be written to the disk immediately) and I could remove the drive without having to go through that Safely Remove option.

    I'm with roger_m. I wait a few seconds after writing (saving) anything to the drive, then I just pull it out.

    HOWEVER comma - If I have opened a file from that external drive, or especially if I am "running a program" from that external drive, I make sure I have saved any opened files and exited or closed out that program before pulling the plug. But frankly, except for service calls, I rarely ever run programs from an external drive. I use them primarily to backup data files only.

    Having said all that, it does not hurt anything to go through that Safely remove option - especially with external hard drives.
     
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