Spooky USB HD general query

This is just something which spooked me out. PC #1->plugged in USB HDD, removed it, plugged into PC #2 modified file structure + edited a text file on it on a different PC, plugged it back in to PC #1.
The old file structure was still there, and the text file was the old version.

Re-plugged into PC#1 and the new stuff could be seen (although I don't know what was different about the replug)

I'm curious, I suppose it cached stuff from the USB drive and worked from the cache, but this must be quite a persistent cache, and how do I know when I'm working on the Cache? How do I clear the cache if I want to be sure what I'm looking at?
Silas2Asked:
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Dan CraciunConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
You can click on the "Safely remove hardware" icon next to the clock. This will force the cache to be written to the external device.

HTH,
Dan
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dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It appears that PC #1 did not recognize the first disconnection and the reconnection and thus the file structure was the same on reconnection.

Did you do just a straight pull out without informing the OS that you wanted to disconnect the drive?
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Silas2Author Commented:
Oh, that's what the safely remove does, it clears the cache! I always wondered what the point was.
So with USB HDD's it's (the OS) really working from a local drive and caching loads of stuff onto that.
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Darr247Commented:
You can also optimize the drive for data safety instead of speed, but you have to do that on every computer you plug it into. Since this question's already closed, I'll let you figure out how to do that on your own.
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