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Old 12. Dec 2017, 07:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Problem with ejecting external hard disk

I connected a Seagate 1TB external hard disk drive to the computer via a USB cable. In the computer it appears in the list of Hard Disk Drives and therefore the right click menu item 'eject' does not appear. This is true for both Windows 7 and XP. The instructions remind the user that proper 'eject' function must be used to avoid loosing data. Is there any tweek I can do get the 'eject' function to appear in the right click menu?

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Old 12. Dec 2017, 07:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you followed these instructions?

http://knowledge.seagate.com/article...S/FAQ/192211en
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Old 12. Dec 2017, 07:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you followed these instructions?

http://knowledge.seagate.com/article...S/FAQ/192211en
Thank you. I just did this and removed the Hard Disk. This method was not shown in the instructions that came with the device.

If the computer is shut down and the hard disk is removed is it as safe as the above procedure?
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Old 12. Dec 2017, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the computer is shut down and the hard disk is removed is it as safe as the above procedure?
As far as I'm aware, Windows finishes whatever 'suspended' write processes it has stored on shutdown making it safe to remove the disk but maybe someone more technically minded can comment.
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Old 13. Dec 2017, 09:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as I'm aware, Windows finishes whatever 'suspended' write processes it has stored on shutdown making it safe to remove the disk but maybe someone more technically minded can comment.
Correct. Technically, if you knew that the computer wasn't writing anything to the disk, you could take it out without using the eject function - but since you can't be sure (the system might decide to check something on the disk right the moment you want to take it out - in which case you might mess something up), you eject it. When you have shut the computer down, you can definitely safely unplug the hard drive, since when the computer is shut down, by definition, it can't write to the disk anymore. You can even do that when the computer is in sleep mode - at least with standard sleep mode (I don't know what the situation is with some of the active sleep modes in Windows 8+ on newer hardware) - because the computer, again, by definition, can't write anything to the disk while it is in that kind of "old-fashioned" sleep mode. The only thing that might happen there is that a program on your computer gets confused since a disk drive has suddenly disappeared, possibly making that particular program freeze or crash, although it's highly unlikely - but it won't harm the contents of the drive.
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Old 14. Dec 2017, 12:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If I disable write caching can I simply pull out the drive without any of these precautions or is it bad practice to disable write caching?
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Old 15. Dec 2017, 04:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It definitely reduces the chances of something going wrong if you do remove it without ejecting it first (and I think the risk for thumb drives is very small), but I still wouldn't recommend it. I would recommend fixing the problem that you can't eject it first - and if you need an intermediate solution, just put the computer to sleep before you unplug it, of course making sure that it actually is asleep before you unplug it, and if it helps you sleep at night, disable write caching as well - you just might see a slight degradation in terms of performance.
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Old 18. Dec 2017, 04:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I will keep using the eject function and leave write caching enabled. After all, it doesn't take much time or effort to use the eject function and I am quite used to doing it that way. As you imply I think that is the safest way to go about it.

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Old 19. Dec 2017, 11:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The risks also vary depending upon the filesystem of the USB drive. For Windows formatted drives the most common filesystems are FAT and NTFS.

NTFS is transactional so it has a log of 'changes' (transactions) and any incomplete transactions can be rerun to ensure they complete correctly.

With the older FAT file system there is no transaction logging so problems with incompletely written changes cannot be discovered without checking the integrity of the file system and the content of each files data. That's why you usually have to run a disk check (or CHKDSK as it was originally called in MSDOS/PCDOS) to find and fix those errors.

Most USB sticks are formatted using FAT/FAT32/etc which is why many problems are not discovered until long after the device was pulled out incorrectly. Typically, you go to open the file and get an error at that time even though the problem was created a long time earlier.
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Old 20. Dec 2017, 03:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Disabling write cacheing will not make removing the disk any safer.
It will in fact slow down the overall performance of your machine since it will have to wait for the writes to be completed before it can do something else.
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