Why you shouldn’t pull out your USB drive without Eject?
We've all practices to remove our USB Drive out of our computers instead of ejecting them properly, though the judgemental pop up telling us we really shouldn't have done that.
The question is - Does it actually do anything when you safely eject your disk before removing it?
Waiting those extra seconds to safely eject could help to properly save your data and software.
The risk really depends on your operating system, and what you're actually doing with your USB Drive.
You do risk confusing your computer. Symptoms could include - lost data, corrupted file systems, crashing programs, or hanging computers requiring a reboot.
That means pulling your external drive out without warning could result in the file you just saved being lost forever - even if you saved it hours ago.
Actually, ejecting the drive is a way of telling the computer that it's time to stop the writing. When you remove a flash drive without warning the computer first, it might not have finished writing to the drive.
USB drives however they have no physical moving parts so thankfully just unplugging the drive without ejecting it first isn’t going to cause physical damage. However, it can cause magnetic damage.
The system is always using the drive when it’s connected. Even if you’ve not written anything to the drive for a while, the system could still be using it. Some pieces of software use the drive in the background, which is why sometimes when you go to eject a USB drive you get a message saying that system is unable to eject the disc at present because something else is using it.
So, if you pull the drive whilst the cache is writing to the drive, not only could you lose the data in the cache, but you could also damage the filesystem on the USB, and in some extreme cases actually damage the USB drive itself - causing all data loss. Sometimes if the drive was still being written to when you pulled it when you next plug it in you might get a message from the system saying that it’s detected errors on the drive, would you like to fix them - if confirm that, after it’s complete you might find some error contains that gets corrupted in the drive.
So, basically, don’t bother risking it. People have claimed that a USB stopped working after being removed without properly exit.
So, unless you want to change the data on your key, wait for few seconds and let the system do its job by properly releasing the key. Just Make sure to eject on PC/Laptop or Unmount on Android Phones the USB Before removal.
Finally, it’s best to play it safe when dealing with something like an external hard drive (although it may be hard to corrupt a modern, solid-state external drive). If you’re using one to make backups of your computer, it’s best to hit eject. That rule applies even more so to an old, spinning drive. It takes much longer to write information to a spinning drive than it does something with solid-state storage, and since it has moving parts, it is more susceptible to damage.
Safe Removal does a number of essential things and is, in fact, the only assuredly secure way to remove a USB flash drive. You probably don’t need it most of the time, but it is a good habit to have since data loss sucks.
Keep your big external drives safe by safely ejecting them, but there's no need to be nervous about removing a USB stick as long as you've let any transfers complete.
Photograph by Nomad_Soul