Why you need to eject your flash/external drive before pulling it out

Eject flash drive

The reign of Compact Disks is almost over but flash drives are here to stay.

The biggest benefit out of this is laptops get to be much thinner.

Also, as opposed to waiting for the CD track to eject, with a flash drive most people opt to just pull out as soon as copying is complete. But is this advisable to just pull out a drive before ejecting?

The first benefit of ejecting your drive is that it prevents your data/file from getting corrupted.

If your system is busy writing something on to the drive, failing to eject it before you pull it out might corrupt the file you were copying and make it unreadable later on.

This could affect both the file that was being copied and the copied file.

A video file such as a movie in the process of copying will be unreadable if the drive is removed seconds before it actually completes.

The ejecting option helps prepare your drive for removal and disconnects it from the computer.

Even when left unplugged, your computer will no longer be communicating with it.

What if my computer is done copying on to the drive? If you are done using an external drive and have closed every file you were working on, it is still not advisable to just pull out the drive.

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This is because while you might have closed everything, your computer might still be copying data in the background.

Windows, Linux and Mac users have a feature that speeds up the copying process, this feature is called Write Caching.

It allows your computer to first store files in the temporary memory before it quickly sends them to a drive.

Write Caching allows your PC to first collect all your files you intend to share as it waits for an opportune time to do multiple transfers.

This process speeds up the entire file sharing process but leaves your files vulnerable.

The computer might show you that the file sharing process is complete when it is not really done.

If pulled out before this entire process is done, your files might get corrupted.

This feature is enabled by default on Mac OS and Linux OS but has to be activated by a user on Windows OS.

When can you just pull out a drive? Never, it is not advisable to just pull out a flash drive.

You might be able to do it today and have no negative consequences but this practice can land you in trouble.

It is a bad practice and should be avoided. Always wait for your system to tell you when it’s safe to remove your media.


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