When you want to disconnect a USB pen/flash drive from the socket, it is important to ‘inform’ Windows XP before you do so. Here's how:
Note: It's not exactly obvious that you have to do this, but the consequences of not doing so can be disastrous (you'll discover at the worst possible moment that the file isn't on the USB drive, and you are miles from the PC that has it). When you copy a file to a USB drive, Windows does not always write the file to the drive immediately — it may wait until the computer is inactive, in order to improve overall performance. By telling Windows you are about to remove the drive, you are forcing Windows to write any pending files to the drive.
The quick and simple way to remove a USB Flash drive is to click once on the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the System Tray. Then click on the “Safely remove USB Mass Storage Device” button. See below.
The following is the long–winded method, which gives more control, and which might be useful in more complicated situations.
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Content last updated: 2005-03-21