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How to remove USB stick the right way in Mac OS X

Let me show you the best way to avoid losing your data, when removing an usb stick or drive from your Apple Mac computer.

  Author: mat | Version: 10.8 Mountain Lion | 9th September 2012 |  

When you remove a USB key or a drive from your Apple computer, you get the warning that The disk was not ejected properly. If possible, always eject disk before unplugging it or turning it off.

Sometimes removing the usb stick or drive directly from the computer can cause a damage to the documents and files stored on that usb device.


The best way to avoid this and to really go safe, before your remove the USB device, open Finder.


And in the Finder window find your USB device in the left pane, usually at the bottom and click the Eject button next to it (see picture).


And that is all, now you can remove your USB stick or any other USB device without the fear of losing anything stored on it.

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XMaster, 11th Sep 2012, 3:27 PM
Is this procedure really necessary?

Because this is one of the most annoying things with USB keys that you always have to make additional clicks before you can remove the key.
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mat, 12th Sep 2012, 12:19 AM
I wouldn't say it's necessary, it's just a percussion step recommended to take before removing the usb drive. To explain why it's a better option to eject usb keys.

If you are copying something to an usb drive and you remove the usb drive before the writing process is finished it will obviously corrupt the data. But the thing is even if all the data has been successfully written and the process is completely finished you can still corrupt the data. Majority of operating systems, not only Mac OS X, use a temporary fast memory location called cache, to speed up the process of writing data to usb drives and when you press the eject button prior to pulling the stick out, the operating system makes sure that all the actions in progress are finished so you can remove your usb drive/stick safely.

But yes this things don't happen very often, it all goes down to how safe of a person you are.

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podtalje, 14th Sep 2012, 4:29 PM
What mat is saying is correct.

But in general most operating system are aware when you are using using USB key or USB HDD and in case of USB they limit usage of this cache to minimum.

So when using USB key it is usually enough if you wait a few seconds after file operations have finished. Of course if you wanna be absolutely sure I would recommend that you still use the Eject functionality.

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