Comments

twindizzle2009's picture
twindizzle2009
-2

first!

Spizzy's picture
Spizzy
0

anytime I've just ripped mine out, it's ALWAYS erased any new information, AND, if I'm particularly lucky, corrupts what was already there, so I also safely remove XD

Ska Spooner's picture
Ska Spooner
0

Good ol peer preasure!
"Risking files lifes for a thrill!"

shadeofred's picture
shadeofred
0

As long as there's no data transferring in or out of the drive, Isn't it fine to just take it out? o_o

Alexie_Dennison's picture
Alexie_Dennison
0

:O Should be fine. But I herd it could eventually corrupt it. But I have had mine for like 5 years and it only died because the usb bit fell out

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
0

I'm studying informatics although that dosn't matter much on the subject but actually it depends how you set up your pc if it matters to safely remove it or not...

as previously stated it is only risky to remove it while data transfers take place but that's not of muc concern if you use a journaled file system (ext3 ext4 ntfs) nearly every usb stick is formatted with fat

but the newly written data can be lost and it will be if removing it while writing and then there is a feature of most modern OS (like windows) which actually don't write every change to your usb stick untill you tell it to safely remove it just keeps them in memory to write them once a fixed amount of data is accumulated to
a) increase perfomance
b) make the usb stick live longer (every write access wears down the quality of it)

but you can turn off this feature

most time it is more safe to safely remove the stick but if set up correctly it dosn't matter (this setting is per PC not per stick)
but you can format it with ntfs (if using windows(*nix can also handle it)) or ext3/4 (if using *nix) to prevent data loss of data already on the stick (done per stick not per pc)

in either way if you only read data from the stick you can remove it without checking the safely remove button (note that word,open office etc place temporary files on it while opening files from the stick even if only viewing)

kwsn's picture
kwsn
0

actually, for USB sticks, if it has a light on it and it's flashing, you shouldn't remove it for any reason really. However, on WinXP and later (I'm not sure about mac/linux), if it's not flashing you can just pull it out and nothing bad will happen. Win2k and earlier will whine however if you just take it out.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
0

I dunno, kswn, that might not be entirely accurate. Many operating systems (Windows XP included) cache reads and writes into memory before actually committing them to the media. While I understand where you're coming from, it's totally possible that even if the light isn't blinking that there's still uncommitted writes to the disk, including potentially critical filesystem information.

Of course, I'm sure as developers you and I would try to commit data as quickly as possible to external devices to prevent data loss, but hey, I'm just saying. ;)

Also good lord shadeofred your icon is literally the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
0

funny, i've run into the same exact situation numerous times in my office. half the engineers are telling me to rip it out, and the other half are telling me that the earth will implode if i do that.

as others pointed out, windows (since at least XP) does use write caching to optimize performance. however, this is not an issue with any drive that windows classifies as 'removable'. if a drive is designated removable, windows disables write caching by default; it is part of "optimize for quick removal". in fact, in the device settings, windows itself tells you that you can disconnect the device without using the safe removal icon if you choose to optimize the device for quick removal (which, again, is the default).

of course, if the light's blinking, things are different - don't yank it out. you'll lose data that way, almost every time. and the earth will implode.

kriztov
0

wow, I was going to nerd it up with the USB issue, but it looks like I've been beaten to the punch here. Oh well, there's always the facebook page.

SpilledInkGuy's picture
SpilledInkGuy
0

Can I stop holding my breath now (I THINK I'm still here)!?

ConnorElzaim's picture
ConnorElzaim
0

I never thought of it like that before. X3

Comic's picture
Comic
0

I dealt with this just the other day... I yanked it out too >D

Kuipo's picture
Kuipo
0

I love this! I get into this SAME thing every time I'm giving someone their USB stick back. Love it!

Medic's picture
Medic
0

I used to use a USB stick for a lot of the stuff I do at work before I created a share on my external hard drive. When I yank that sucker out like it's no big deal, often I get a horrified look or one of these: ಠ_ಠ

Jam's picture
Jam
1

You all just can't HANDLE how extreme I am. USB removal is the RUSSIAN ROULETTE of office duties!! (I'm very relieved that others have shared this experience, though... I'm excited about how much I'm learning about USB removal)

rbos's picture
rbos
0

As a general rule, you can yank it if you haven't written any data to it. Modern operating systems do write caching, that is, they hold written data in memory so that they can write the data when the system is idle. If data were written as soon as it were available to be written, it would cause unnecessary slowdowns from the end user perspective. So you hold onto it for a few seconds.

Another reason to cache comes from rotary disk drives. Writing is an expensive operation, so it's more efficient to write large amounts of data than small amounts of data. If you cache writes, then more data may come down the pike shortly, making it more sensible to do one long write instead of several short ones.

So, as a general rule, don't pull it if you've saved something.

A caveat is that even if you don't specifically save anything, most filesystems have basic housekeeping that will modify bits on the media. For instance, when you access a file, the access timestamp might get updated. Some filesystems dynamically defragment files when they're accessed. Stuff like that.

Pulling a drive without having specifically modified anything can still cause troubles because of those housekeeping tasks, but the chances are pretty low.

Jay's picture
Jay
0

Wow, educational.

I'm pretty inconsistent. I generally safely remove the large external hard drives (where I keep valuable stuff), whereas I just pull out USB sticks fairly often.

But it's not really for sure. Inconsistent, as mentioned before.

Peep_erz's picture
Peep_erz
0

I do a safely remove hardware because I don't like the confused sound my computer gives me.

Tenchi555's picture
Tenchi555
0

I always do a safely remove hardware now because one time I didn't and all the files on the flash drive became corrupt. Luckily they were still on the computer and fine. The flash drive itself is dead now too, so it could have easily just been something else but I'd rather not risk losing my work.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
0

This comic is awesome, you can't believe how much of a debate you get in I.T. when that comes up!

Just make sure none of the files are in use and then it's fine, as long as the drive isn't being accessed at the time you're removing it, you're golden. "Safely remove hardware" just stops the device from being accessed for sure.

When you're an engineer I guess though, playing Russian roulette with your flash drive is pretty fun.

Kira's picture
Kira
0

*giggles* it never lets me remove anything for some reason.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
0

This comic is awesome, you can't believe how much of a debate you get in I.T. when that comes up!

Just make sure none of the files are in use and then it's fine, as long as the drive isn't being accessed at the time you're removing it, you're golden. "Safely remove hardware" just stops the device from being accessed for sure.

When you're an engineer I guess though, playing Russian roulette with your flash drive is pretty fun.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
0

Meep, don't hit refresh on a page when you've just added a comment, it apparently posts it again @_@.

Ktrd's picture
Ktrd
0

I hate when people do this D:
~ Once my cousin broke my USB apart (plastic ones), because he raised it istead of pulling backward... Hard time getting the other half off the 'puter T-T

harving's picture
harving
0

Jajaja that was sometime a civil war with friends too, but as always, main problem was storage capacity instead removal procedures. Nice comic

Konoton's picture
Konoton
0

I coulden't even think of removing mu USB without safely removing hardware.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
0

Haha, I used to be that adventurous and yank it out whenever I wanted....only to eventually find out that it led to several drive formats because it couldn't be read properly.

edcalaban's picture
edcalaban
0

I did this until I busted a flashdrive and lost about a weeks worth of 3dsmax files. So not fun.

pgn674
0

Fact: As of Windows XP Service Pack 2, released in 2004, you can remove USB-keys without safely removing them as long as the light isn't flashing, as SP2 defaulted all USB-keys to write-through instead of caching. However, if you're not sure whether some program running on your computer will cry if you remove the USB-key, you can use Safely Remove to check for that. The file system will be OK if you don't, but certain programs and their files may blow up.

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