Yes folks, amazing as it may seem, I have recently come across a bevy of users who just yank the plug from the USB connection (on the computer) without first ensuring it is safe to do so. They have been extremely lucky, so far, not to loose any important data from those devices.
A USB device is anything which connects to your computer via one of the USB inputs. The devices which can be seriously affected are those which have the ability to store data; camera, flash drive, external hard drive, iPod, etc. Whenever the device is connected via USB it becomes a part of the system and, as such, could be in use at any given time. If you happen to pull the plug, without first taking the necessary precautions, you may well cause corruption to the files on that device.
To ensure that does not happen please follow this simple procedure:
Whenever a USB device is connected to the computer you should see a little icon in the notification area of the taskbar...i.e. at the far right hand side of the taskbar. The icon resembles a tiny flash drive with a white tick inside a green circle overlaying it. If you hover the mouse cursor over this icon you will get this message..."Safely Remove Hardware".
Simply right click on that icon and then left click on the message to.."Safely Remove Hardware".
A new window will open with a list of all currently connected USB devices (for most users this will be just the one item). Select the device you wish to disconnect (left click on it) and then click on the Stop button.
A new window will open containing a description (including the assigned drive letter) of the device. Make sure it is the one you wish to remove and then click the OK button.
You should receive this message..."This device can now be safely removed from the computer".
Click OK and then Close.
Unplug the device.
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How To: Remove USB device SAFELY!!
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