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Seagate external drive switch turns on but not off

I have a new external disk 400GB for backup.  The I/O switch will turn on, but the only way I can shut off the drive is to kill the power.  Is this;
a.  bad for the disk
b.  likely to progress to not being able to turn the disk on.

Thanks for insight.
2 Solutions
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
external disk, over usb, I guess?
then, you should have the USB "unplug device" icon (if you have windows os, please specify)
after unplugging the device from the os, it is safe to switch of the power of the drive.

note that usually, powering off a drive is not bad for the drive itself, but you might loose some data depending on certain factors...
cornell256Author Commented:
It is USB and firewire, but I use firewire for transfer.  Looks like that is in the system tray, so that's a great idea.
And i'll do it that way.

What do you think the risk is of the button failing altogether?  I don't want to return the drive but I did just buy it so could do so.  I'd have to do 15 hours of backups again  :&(
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
>What do you think the risk is of the button failing altogether?
what do you mean exactly?
if you "unplug" the drive, it will tell you when done, which will only be the case when all file operations on the disk are completed (ie there are no open files on the disk)
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nobusbiljart fanCommented:
if a new drive cannot be turned off, i would ask for a warranty replacement.  It certainly is not a good sign.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Are you sure it won't turn off?  Most COMPUTERS won't turn off unless you hold the power button in for several seconds.  This is often to prevent "accidentally" turning off the computer.  I suspect your external drive might have the same "feature".  Try holding the power button in for as long as 10 seconds.  (5 usually does the trick).

As for disconnecting from the computer, I agree with angelIII's comments - disconnect it through the icon in the system tray BEFORE powering off.  This is intended to help prevent data loss by ensuring the drive is "stopped" in windows when there is nothing being written to it and not in the middle of a write.
cornell256Author Commented:
leew - bingo.  Holding the button for a few seconds turns it off.  thanks.  Good to be reminded about turning it off in the system tray, too.  Thanks everyone.
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