Originally Posted by the_scotsman
meh...as said above, just wait for the "drive active" light to stop then unplug it...
In the last 15 years since I started using computers, I have never used the "safely remove hardware" with external drives and USB sticks, and NEVER had one problem...
yea well my data are too precious to take any chances, granted the chances of corruption are very slim if you unplug while led activity light is inactive.... and usb sticks are fine for just unplugging anytime, but not 500gb usb hard drives... they made that safely remove hardware feature for a purpose. while obviously no physical damage will come to the drive from unplugging it directly, i lost a hard drive of data AND a sd card to corruption of files last year (alot of files stored on the drive became unreadable or uncopyable), ever since then, i started using safely remove, no problem since, this is the only 100% guarantee way to know your antivirus or windows or whatever program in the background isnt accessing the drive at the moment, especially if you didnt turn off recycle bin for external drives or windows indexing (which i did turn off)