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Author Topic: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)  (Read 4339 times)

SKesselman

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-Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« on: September 27, 2009, 04:52:54 AM »
Hi,
Can someone please tell me what bad things will happen if I just unplug something from the USB, without "Safely remove"ing it?
Simply unplugging external devices/peripherals (a printer, a digital camera & a smartphone) doesn't seem to affect anything.
Does this apply only to certain types of hardware, or what?

Thanks.
-Sarah

mouser

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 04:57:00 AM »
wait for the experts to chime in, but i believe the real danger in prematurely unplugging a USB device is if it's a USB storage device of some sort that you have written TO (reading from shouldn't pose any risk).

in this case -- what you have worry about is that the operating system may not have actually finished writing to the drive even though it looks for all intents and purposes like it has.

other than that, it's hard to think what harm could really be caused.

lanux128

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 05:49:54 AM »
i concur with what mouser said. if you have to remove "recklessly", then at least enable the "Optimize for quick removal" option within your removable drive settings. you can read more about this option here.

jgpaiva

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 06:16:19 AM »
Here's a topic from 2007 about the dangers of not using the "safely remove" option. It's more directed at external disks, however.

hpearce

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 06:37:29 AM »
I use this now, so much easier http://for-free-on-i...nses-again-hurry-up/
Windows 7 SP1 (TM) Home Premium 64-bit .. Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8400 @ 2.26 GHz / 2.27 GHz .. 4GB RAM .. NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS .. Gateway P-7805u FX

lanux128

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 06:46:09 AM »
another "usb ejector" - USB Disk Ejector. this freeware also supports command-line parameters, can easily be run from Farr.

f0dder

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 11:57:31 AM »
Even with "optimize for quick removal", I'd still use "safely remove" to be 100% on the safe side. That will ensure all data is flushed and the filesystem is clean, and will notify you if there's programs still trying to access the device.

Do non-storage devices even show up on safely remove?
- carpe noctem

SKesselman

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 12:07:31 PM »
Do non-storage devices even show up on safely remove?
Yes. All things USB show up. That's really why I'm asking - with my external drives, I'm happy to wait; with my printer or headset, it's so tedious...
-Sarah

f0dder

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 12:16:29 PM »
Hm, I don't think neither my printer nor my scanner shows up on the list - I always just yank those out anyway :)
- carpe noctem

SKesselman

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 12:20:21 PM »
Hm, I don't think neither my printer nor my scanner shows up on the list - I always just yank those out anyway :)

 :D OK, question answered. Thanks!
-Sarah

Innuendo

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 12:52:05 PM »
If I recall correctly, the latest versions of Windows don't turn on a write cache for USB devices so they should be safe to just "yank out" unlike back in the Win98 days when doing so would surely corrupt your data.

I'm reading/writing from USB flash drives all day long & I'll confess that I'm a yank and run kind of person and never mess with "safely remove". I've been practicing this 'bad behavior' for a couple years now and data has never gotten corrupted.

But don't use my bad behavior as an excuse for you to act badly as well. :)

Ehtyar

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 06:24:16 PM »
Even with "optimize for quick removal", I'd still use "safely remove" to be 100% on the safe side. That will ensure all data is flushed and the filesystem is clean, and will notify you if there's programs still trying to access the device.
Amen. However, it is extremely frustrating when Windows refuses to eject a device despite there being no open handles to it. I find that in this case, there are no adverse effects to simply yanking the device.

Ehtyar.

f0dder

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 06:38:45 PM »
Even with "optimize for quick removal", I'd still use "safely remove" to be 100% on the safe side. That will ensure all data is flushed and the filesystem is clean, and will notify you if there's programs still trying to access the device.
Amen. However, it is extremely frustrating when Windows refuses to eject a device despite there being no open handles to it. I find that in this case, there are no adverse effects to simply yanking the device.
I haven't experienced that?

However, I find that tortoisesvn's cache service often has a lock on an usb drive - killing the process fixes the problem :)
- carpe noctem

lanux128

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 08:46:27 PM »
if clicking/locating the 'safely remove' icon on the systray is tedious for you, then you can create a shortcut on the desktop with the following parameter.

%windir%\System32\RUNDLL32.EXE shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

executing this shortcut will show the 'safely remove' dialog. plus you can also check the "Display device components" option which will display more info about the device, useful if you have more than one thumb drive plugged in at a time.

4wd

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2009, 12:02:05 AM »
Even with "optimize for quick removal", I'd still use "safely remove" to be 100% on the safe side. That will ensure all data is flushed and the filesystem is clean, and will notify you if there's programs still trying to access the device.
Amen. However, it is extremely frustrating when Windows refuses to eject a device despite there being no open handles to it. I find that in this case, there are no adverse effects to simply yanking the device.
I haven't experienced that?

However, I find that tortoisesvn's cache service often has a lock on an usb drive - killing the process fixes the problem :)

I used to get it a fair bit which I attributed to the "Shell Media Handler" in XP.  According to nlite info it can be responsible for keeping a lock on media files, (it's used for popup media file info and thumbnails of video files, IIRC).

However, ever since I started removing it and all the WMP components about the only thing that now holds a lock is Everything, (I should probably go through it's prefs and specify exactly which drives to only index....but it's so much easier to just exit it :) ).

f0dder

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Re: -Recklessly- remove hardware (from USB)
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2009, 12:04:21 AM »
4wd: ah yes, shell media handler can be a lot of trouble - I haven't had that component installed for the last.. 5? years, so hadn't thought about it :). It's especially a problem when you use 3rd party codecs; with unstable codecs (as those found in codec packs) and slightly corrupted media files, you get anything ranging from file locks to constant explorer crashes.
- carpe noctem