What does “Safely Remove Hardware” mean?

By · Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

What does “Safely Remove Hardware” meanFor anyone who has ever plugged in a USB device such as a USB flash drives or external storage, you may have noticed that you will have a bubble that appears that says “Safely Remove Hardware”. Or if you have used the device and are familiar with your bottom right taskbar, you will have noticed a USB icon that says the same message.

The “Safely Remove Hardware” message is actually there to help you prevent accidental damage to your PC or your storage device. If you were to remove or unplug your device from your computer while it is transferring files, you could lose some information or seriously damage your device and possibly your computer. Never under any circumstances remove a USB storage device while it is transferring files.

Many storage devices have a LED light somewhere on the device that alerts you when transferring is in progress. If you wish to remove the device, you will first need to make sure that no more information is being transferred. Once information transfer has stopped, it should now be safe to remove your device from the USB port, but we urge you to use the Safely Remove Hardware option as it’s the only sure way that you will not lose information or accidentally damage your device.

What the “Safely Remove Hardware” option does is tells your computer to stop sending or receiving information from your portable USB device. This ensures that no information is lost as well as protects both pieces of technology from damage. Once your computer has stopped all transferring, it will alert you telling you it is now safe to remove your device.

If you are unable to find the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box, you can still remove your device safely. All you have to do is:
1. Double-click on My Computer,
2. Locate your USB device
3. Right-click to pull up the option menu
4. Select “Eject”

When done properly, your computer will safely stop all information transfer and you can then pull out your USB device.

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