Your Ad Here

Sep 29, 2008

How To Safely Remove External Devices

The Hassle: I disconnected an external USB drive, but I can still see it in Windows Explorer. And every few seconds I get a 'Delayed Write Failed' error message. It's a pain in the neck--and confusing.

The Fix: The case of the phantom flash drive, eh? The Safely Remove Hardware tool (the green arrow in the system tray) is meant to complete any reads or writes and then flush disk buffers on the device. Not using it--and just disconnecting the device--is a game of high-tech Russian roulette that can result in corrupted files.

You probably know the safest way to disconnect such hardware: Click the green arrow icon, highlight the device, and click Stop.

If you're constantly swapping flash drives and other USB external add-ons, you might want some extra help. USB Safely Remove--a handy, $20 program--gives you more ways to handle multiple USB devices. For instance, the tool allows you to stop peripherals via keyboard shortcuts and lets advanced users employ command-line batch files to stop multiple gadgets.