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Question: Removing a external hard drive without ejecting.

Hello

I was wondering if there was any way to remove an external drive without having to hit eject on the computer?

I remember years ago using windows you could set it up so you didnt need to properly eject, as all the writing was done when you asked it to and nothing was done upon eject, so it was possible.

Is there a setting for this, or some kind of trick? Would make things a little easier.


Thanks

iMac 20" 2.4ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.2)

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Jan 5, 2010 7:13 AM in response to seroeone In response to seroeone

You should always eject the disk before unplugging. You may think all the writing is done, but you cannot be sure unless doing a proper eject.

If you just unplug the drive, you may be lucky for a while, but one day all your data will be gone because the disk's directory catalog got corrupted when the system couldn't properly close the drive because you unplugged it without first ejecting. Some shortcuts aren't worth the risks.

Jan 5, 2010 7:13 AM

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Jan 5, 2010 10:52 AM in response to seroeone In response to seroeone

I remember years ago using windows you could set it up so you didnt need to properly eject, as all the writing was done when you asked it to and nothing was done upon eject, so it was possible.


You can still disable write caching in Windows. Without write caching, the hard drive is only "ready" after the writing is done. So going through "Safely Remove Hardware" didn't do much, if anything, other than report to Windows.

However, that does NOT mean it was safer. If you disconnect a disk while it's writing, you can corrupt the data. It doesn't matter if the writing is "direct" or "from cache." What disabling write caching did was make it quicker for you to disconnect a drive when you knew that the drive was ready. The "cost" was that your computer as a whole would not be "ready" until the writing was done. With write caching, the drive could continue writing in the background while you continued using the computer (more or less) normally. So you "pay" for the writing now or later (when you use "safely remove hardware" wizard, a.k.a. eject.) But it still takes the same amount of time to write to the disk overall.

So if you "know for certain", you can disconnect a disk without ejecting. But since all drives have some cache built-in (and are getting larger) and most drives don't have tools to directly configure the cache, you will almost never know with 100% certainty. As the saying goes, there are two kinds of people. Those that have lost data, and those that will lose data. Best to just continue using Eject.

Jan 5, 2010 10:52 AM

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Question: Removing a external hard drive without ejecting.