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Storix 20GB USB HD and Windows 2000

Posted on 2002-07-03
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
A friend of mine recently installed a Storix USB drive.

He was expecting a truly hot-swappable drive, but was dismayed to find out that the drive appears to need to be manually ejected (via the eject hardware systray icon) in Windows 2000.

I'm not familiar with these drives; has anyone played around with these and discovered a way to eliminate the need to manually eject the device?
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Question by:Zoplax
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jhance earned 50 total points
ID: 7127057
With many USB devices are can safely (althought Windows will complain) eject them or unplug them without causing problem.

With a disk drive you must NEVER unplug it HOT or you run the very significant risk of trashing files or the entire filesystem.

Windows may have files open or have cached unwritten data for the drive.  If you unplug it without warning you are asking for trouble.

Windows does support ejecting drives like this but you must tell Windows you want to remove it.  Windows will then write any unwritten data, close any open files, and then tell you it's safe to unplug the drive.
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 7127278
You can try turning off all caching for the drive and then remove it when you want to anyway.  Right-click the drive in My Computer - Properties - Hardware - highlight drive - Properties - Disk Properties - uncheck "write cache enabled".

While this will PROBABLY work if you are careful, keep in mind USB is rather slow and may still be writing even after Windows is ready to go again.  Make sure the activity light on the unit has stopped blinking away.  I don't guarantee this scheme will never crash and burn, data-wise, but it sounds pretty good.
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 7127411
Whether caching is on or not, you DO NOT know whether or not Windows is writing to the drive or not....
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 7127829
Did I promise that it was foolproof?  And does it not have an activity light to let you know when there is activity?

But this is all besides the point.  Zoplax, the definition of 'hot swappable' is that the system does not need to be turned off to add or remove the device.  At no time does "hot swappable" promise anything about just yanking the device without notifying the operating system, although there are some types of devices that the OS does not care about.  If these types of devices led you or your friend to believe this was part of the definition, you were mistaken.
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Author Comment

by:Zoplax
ID: 7133014
Thanks, talked with my friend and they prefer to take the safe route.  Plus this drive doesn't appear to have an activity light, only a power LED which stays on steadily.
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