Let me explain what that "Safely remove device" icon really does.
Originally Posted by lesnar1234
Windows tries to be newbie-friendly, and provides a system to prevent inexperienced/careless users from causing filesystem corruption when they deliberately (Or accidentally) unplug the device when Windows/some program is writing data to the disk. If data caching was enabled, Windows caches data and needs to know when the disk is going to be disconnected, so that it can flush the data to the disk (Prevent data-loss).
Windows 98 supported USB mass storage devices (With a 3rd party driver) too - but didn't come with that "Safely remove device" icon (So we users had to be sure that the disk wasn't in use before we unplugged it).
You're right that the disk is spinning when you unplug the disk (Actually, this is also true when you use Windows... not only OPL) - but modern HDDs (Since the 1990s) are designed to automatically park their heads when power is lost.
So in other words - don't worry. As long as you take care of your disk, everything will be fine.
Somehow... even though it's written that you CAN unplug your device without notifying Windows first (If you didn't enable data caching/"Maximum Performance")... it may not be so wise to do that.
actually from what i understand there is an option in windows which allows your external device to be unplugged on the fly.
I don't know why... but I had lost lots of data that way with Windows XP (It still caches/reads/writes data behind my back!!) when I used NTFS on my disk.
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