Safely remove hardware icon

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Geopelia, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Geopelia

    Geopelia Guest

    Why would an icon "Safely remove hardware" suddenly appear on the tray? I
    have no intention of removing any hardware.
    Has the computer suddenly decided I ought to remove something?

    "Add hardware" is on the control panel, but I can't see "Remove hardware".

    I leave all that to a computer man, anyway.
     
    Geopelia, Mar 20, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Geopelia

    Malcolm Guest

    You have probably plugged in a USB device, camera usb drive etc?
     
    Malcolm, Mar 20, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Geopelia

    Crash Guest

    Hi Geo,

    Just to amplify what Malcolm has said - you most likely have plugged
    in a USB device of some sort. There is a plethora of such devices -
    such as a digital camera, usb drive, mouse, keyboard, scanner etc.
    When you plugged this device in then Windows detected the device and
    displayed the 'safely remove hardware' icon.

    USB devices are designed to be 'hot-swappable' - which means you can
    plug them in and unplug them at any time without rebooting. When you
    plug something in Windows XP usually detects the new device
    automatically, however it is much harder to automatically detect that
    a device has been unplugged. The 'safely remove hardware' icon
    provides a way for you to tell Windows that you are about to unplug
    the device. Double-click the icon (it is always safe to do this) and
    you will see a list of devices (probably only 1 but there can be
    more). You can simply click on 'close' or 'properties' if you wish -
    nothing will have been done ('properties' will cause a list of the
    device properties) - or you can select a device and click on 'stop'.
    Windows will now 'turn off' the device and once this has been done you
    can physically unplug it.

    If the (or all) the USB device(s) are to be permanently plugged in
    then simply ignore this icon.

    I hope this helps.

    Crash.
     
    Crash, Mar 20, 2008
    #3
  4. Geopelia

    peterwn Guest

    Always go through the proper removal protocol when removing external
    memory cards, memory sticks, cameras, external hard drives etc. This
    applies to Windows, Linux or any other operating system. This ensures
    any buffers are flushed, files are completely written and 'FAT's' and
    directory data up updated (Or equivalents such as inodes on other file
    system types). Otherwise you risk screwing up the file ystem and
    losing data, especially with any file you have 'open' or writing.

    It would not be too silly if there was a 'lock' on USB ports similar
    to the 'lock' on CD drives.
     
    peterwn, Mar 20, 2008
    #4
  5. Geopelia

    Dave Doe Guest

    >,
    says...
    What lock on CD drives?

    It would piss a lot of folk off if there was some kind of mechanical
    lock on USB attached devices...

    Case in point: most of my clients now backup to USB removable drives
    (tape backups are history and expensive). Most have no access to the
    server console - so they just pull cable out of the drive, and put the
    next drive in (I educate them to ensuring the delay the swap for at
    least ten seconds).

    I've yet to see any problem - the drives are never 'stopped' via the
    safely remove hardware method (as said they have no access to the
    console).

    I do the same thing on my Server - there's no way I'm going to bother
    with turning the monitor on, or remoting on, and using the 'safely
    remove hardware' method. Waste of my time.
     
    Dave Doe, Mar 20, 2008
    #5
  6. On Linux, you can mount the drive sync, use a journalling filesystem ...
    what's the problem? :)
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 20, 2008
    #6
  7. Geopelia

    Richard Guest

    You can use ntfs and no write cache on windows too, but the problem is
    that no hardware devices will do anything but fat so your stuck with that.

    What would be better is if there was an eject button/light on the plug
    of the usb device so you could press it and it would do a force close of
    all files on the device and unmount it then light up to let you know you
    can unplug it.
     
    Richard, Mar 21, 2008
    #7
  8. Really? I wasn't aware that any of the flash drives actually cared what
    filesystem you used on them.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 21, 2008
    #8
  9. Geopelia

    peterwn Guest

    You will notice that you cannot open the CD drive when burning a CD.
    While under Windows you can always release a CD, Linux often 'locks'
    the drawer while the CD is 'mounted'. You need to un-mount or 'eject'
    the CD to physically remove it.
    Be as it may, it would be there to protect people from their own
    idiocy.
    OK if that works then it is OK, but one woud hope that people do
    random checks on the back-ups to ensure that the data is actually
    there and readable. Telecom has got into bad strife twice when
    backups of telephone exchange databases failed to restore. Heads
    rolled (including a second level manager) in one of these instances.
    See above.
     
    peterwn, Mar 21, 2008
    #9
  10. Geopelia

    peterwn Guest

    If you use a memory stick out of a blister pack, it is formatted in
    FAT and hence is immediately usable under Windows or Linux, There is
    no reason why it cannot be re-formatted to ext3, NTFS etc or even
    mixed partitions. The only worry with messing around in this way is
    if it compromises any mechanisms to spread writes evenly across the
    memory, since there is a finite limit to the number of writes before
    the memory wears out. I admit total ignorance in this area.
     
    peterwn, Mar 21, 2008
    #10
  11. Geopelia

    Dave Doe Guest

    What good is a backup that isn't tested? Mine are routinely tested,
    including image restores (entire boot drives).
     
    Dave Doe, Mar 21, 2008
    #11
  12. Geopelia

    Dave Doe Guest

    Never put anything on a FAT or FAT32 drive that you care about.
     
    Dave Doe, Mar 21, 2008
    #12
  13. I believe by 'hardware device' he means a device which uses the storage
    itself e.g. music player or camera. Lowest common denominator and all
    that, so very few of these can cope with anything other than FAT16 or
    FAT32.
     
    Roger Johnstone, Mar 21, 2008
    #13
  14. Geopelia

    Geopelia Guest

    Thank you everyone, most of your advice is over my head, but I'll save all
    your posts for future reference.

    I have found out what happened. The icon went off when I switched off the
    printer, so it must have been a warning for that. I wonder why I haven't
    seen it before. Perhaps the time the printer is left on triggers it?

    But why can't it just say "Turn off the printer" instead of going on about
    removing hardware and scaring people?

    Everybody here is so helpful, it is much appreciated. Dumb, aren't I?

    Geopelia
     
    Geopelia, Mar 21, 2008
    #14
  15. How would the use of a more advanced filesystem possibly make any difference
    to such a mechanism?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 21, 2008
    #15
  16. Geopelia

    Max Burke Guest

    Dave Doe wrote
    They're probably set for quick removal.

    To check this:
    Double click the safely remove hardware icon.
    Select the device.
    Click Properties.
    Select the Policies Tab

    Select Optimise for quick removal:
    This disables Disk Caching on the disk and in Windows for the drive and
    allows disconnection without using the Safely remove hardware option.
    (I have 5 USB hard drives setup like this and have never had any problems
    with them)

    [or]
    Select Optimise for Performance:
    This enables Disk Caching and requires using the Safely remove Hardware
    option BEFORE physically disconnecting the drive.
     
    Max Burke, Mar 21, 2008
    #16
  17. Shouldn't have been that. The "safety" aspect is specifically for devices
    where you can suffer data loss if they're not properly cleaned up by the OS
    before being removed--i.e. storage devices. No way a printer could come
    under this category. Unless ... is it a multifunction device? Or does it
    have a card reader or something on it?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 21, 2008
    #17
  18. Geopelia

    Max Burke Guest

    Perhaps you'd like to have a look at the 5 external USB hard drives I have
    plugged into this computer. All are set to NOT Cache (write) in Windows or
    on the drive, and all are NTFS drives.

    To check this for yourself:
    Double click the safely remove hardware icon.
    Select the device.
    Click Properties.
    Select the Policies Tab

    Select Optimise for quick removal:
    This disables Disk Caching on the disk and in Windows for the drive and
    allows disconnection without using the Safely remove hardware option.
    (I have 5 USB hard drives setup like this and have never had any problems
    with them)

    [or]
    Select Optimise for Performance:
    This enables Disk Caching and requires using the Safely remove Hardware
    option BEFORE physically disconnecting the drive.
     
    Max Burke, Mar 21, 2008
    #18
  19. Geopelia

    Geopelia Guest

    It prints and copies, also prints from the computer. I wouldn't know about a
    card reader. It has pictbridge, but I don't have a digital camera. It's
    supposed to have Image Zone for altering photos etc, but I didn't get some
    disc for that with the machine.
    hp 1315.

    Geopelia
     
    Geopelia, Mar 21, 2008
    #19
  20. Geopelia

    Max Burke Guest

    Geopelia wrote: Thank you everyone, most of your advice is over my head,
    It would seem your printer is plugged in to a USB port on your computer,
    like mine is.
    I just turn my printer on and off as needed and never bother with the Safely
    remove hardware option for the printer.

    Windows XP automatically recognises if the printer is on or off without any
    requirement to safely remove the hardware.

    It's the same when I plug my iPod (with an 80GB hard drive) in and unplug
    it. Windows automatically recognises that it's plugged in, and when I have
    unplugged it, without me having to play around with the safely remove
    hardware icon.

    Then there's the multi-memory card reader I have plugged in permanently to a
    USB port. Windows XP recognises when I have plugged in a a memory
    card/memory stick and when it's removed, all without me having to play
    around with the safely remove hardware option.
    That icon has probably always been there you probably haven't noticed it
    before...
    No. As read somewhere sometime.... The only dumb questions are the ones
    that aren't asked, especially when it comes to computers
     
    Max Burke, Mar 21, 2008
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.