Can I safely unplug a USB hard drive while my laptop is closed?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bollweevil, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. bollweevil macrumors 6502

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    #1
    If my laptop is closed, can I simply unplug a Time Machine USB backup drive, or must I open the laptop and "eject" the drive properly? I have been doing the latter just to be careful. Thanks.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    Definitely best to open and eject. It properly unmounts the drive so you don't have data errors, plus unplugging a drive while your computer is asleep will wake it up.
     
  3. Apple 26.2 Contributor

    Apple 26.2

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    #3
    Can you? Yes, but it's safest to eject as mentioned above.
     
  4. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

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    #4
    I agree. I learnt the hard way that that is safer: I lost about 400gb of movies stored on an external HD after doing this a couple times, and ruined a perfectly great WD drive.
     
  5. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I understand if its asleep, but does it harm the hdd even if the pc is completely shut off?
     
  6. Apple 26.2 Contributor

    Apple 26.2

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    #6
    The possibility exists.
     
  7. Hansr macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    No not if it's shut down. If it's in sleep then it can cause issues.
     
  8. shmegal325i macrumors member

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  9. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #9
    If a computer is shut down, doesn't it perform the similar "eject" command during the shut down routine?

    Once it is off, the drive is already "ejected" and would be identical to unmounting it manually in the OS and then unplugging it.

    In the case of sleep though, it will be more proper to wake and eject.

    Btw unmounting errors are not serious enough to wipe a whole drive, it just means it may become less compatible with more sensitive devices -and this lasts only until it is properly remounted and unmounted again.

    It's not that serious.
     

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