Why do you need to safely eject the USB?

Summary: Often times, we unplug our USB drive from the system suddenly. Learn why it is really necessary to safely eject the USB before unplugging it. And how you can recover your lost data from any formatted/deleted USB.

Is it really necessary to safely eject the USB before unplugging it?

We all know that to unplug the USB from the computer, it is advisable to safely remove it. The computer displays a message to safely eject the USB if we don’t follow the appropriate method. What does that even mean? Why is it advised to safely remove the USB? Is there any illeffect of unsafe ejection of USB? What if you don’t safely eject the USB? The Blog answers all such questions and guides the users why safely ejecting the USB is indeed the correct procedure.

Why do you need to safely eject the USB?

Figure 1.1 illustrates the Safe To Remove Hardware message

Obviously, when the data is being transferred from the USB to the computer or vice versa, or lets say the USB is in use, then we don’t simply remove it as it may corrupt the data stored on it. Quite often, when we are in a hurry, we automatically remove the USB or the connected hardware without clicking the safely to remove icon. Hardly have we known that this simple act of removal is enough to destroy our own files. Just to save a couple of seconds, we put our data stored on the USB at risk. How?

In case you’re still wondering why there is a need to safely eject the USB, then the following reasons will make you think twice.

Lets’ take a look.

  1. Abrupt removal of USB may corrupt data

One of the main reasons why you need to follow the appropriate ejection procedure is that the Operating System uses a process called write caching. When the file is ready in the execution state, then the Operating System doesn’t immediately write the file to the drive; instead, it caches the file and waits until other read/write operations are completed. When you remove the USB, while the cache is still in use, then your data may get corrupt. Safely removing the USB clears the cache and the remaining data and stops any process going on in the background.

Further, this is the reason why there is a delay of a few seconds after clicking the Safe to Remove Hardware option and being notified that it’s safe to remove the USB.

  1. Damages the logical file system

Another effect of unsafe ejection of USB is that it may damage the logical file system. The unsafe ejection of USB sometimes damages the cells. Single Layer Cell (SLC), Multi-Layer Cell (MLC) and Triple Layer Cell (TLC) are usually three major cell types. These cells hold internal drive information and if they are damaged, then the information turns inaccessible. Let’s suppose you’ve stored all your important multimedia files on the USB, then in the case of the damaged logical file system, you need to use a photo recovery to retrieve your lost photos, audios, and video files. If there is corruption in images, you can repair the images with the help of JPEG Repair Software. Therefore, to prevent damaging the logical file system, it is necessary that you follow the appropriate steps to safely eject the USB.

  1. Avoid abrupt ejection of the USB even when it is not in active use

You should avoid abruptly unplugging the USB while it is reading/writing information or even when it’s not in active use as this may corrupt some data stored on it. As already explained that write caching doesn’t write the data immediately and while the system waits for the requests, some of the information is stored in the system’s RAM. Abruptly removing the USB may corrupt the data. Furthermore, when the USB is safely ejected, then it notifies the Operating System that the USB is being removed and to take the appropriate action. For instance, if the transfer of files is not complete, then it notifies the user about it.

  1. Enable write caching

In Windows, write caching is disabled by default. The advantage of this feature is that it adds an extra layer of security when users abruptly remove the USB. Moreover, abruptly ejecting the USB may change the pointers and file size; therefore, proper ejection of USB should be followed.

You can enable write caching in Windows Operating System. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Control Panel, select Device Manager and select the USB drive
  2. Right-click on it, select Properties and click Policies tab, select Better performance option and enable write caching on the device

select the USB drive

Figure 1.2 illustrates to select the USB drive

choose enable write caching

Figure 1.3 illustrates to choose to enable write caching

Next time while removing the USB you have to ensure that you eject via clicking the safely eject the hardware icon.

 Use a Photo Recovery Software

 All in all, if you have lost your multimedia files, then using a photo recovery software is your last resort. Stellar Photo Recovery efficiently recovers lost or deleted multimedia files. The software is very easy and doesn’t require any technical know-how.

Use a Repair Software

There can be various reasons, which can corrupt or damage your Pictures or Videos.

Stellar Repair for Photo is one such software to repair damaged and corrupt JPEG files .

Stellar Repair for Video is a tool for repairing corrupt or damaged MOV and other video files.

Wrapping Up!

Improper ejection of the USB may result in data loss and the probability is quite high. Safely ejecting the USB ensures that there is no risk of losing the data stored on it. Even when the USB device is not active, it may still be in use as some background program may still be running; therefore, always safely eject the USB as we can never anticipate the effect of unsafe ejection of USB.

  1. Atelier Cunha December 19, 2018
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  5. Cammy February 15, 2018
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  6. Shailendra Kumar November 20, 2017
  7. Emmie November 8, 2017

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