Every time I plug a Digital Camera or an iPod/iPhone in my PC, it’s categorized under “Portable Devices” on My Computer. Normally when it’s a USB Drive, you can easily Right+Click and hit Eject on its Drive on My Computer or from the tray icon bar. But how do I do this on Portable Devices especially on pricey gadgets like a tablet or DSLR?
In general, you can just pull out the device, if you’re not “accessing” or “synching” the device. Meaning, there should be no file operation ongoing. If its a camera, just turn off the camera and then disconnect or remove the USB cable.
With the exception of external hard drives and USB drives, you can simply rip that iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (*note pre-touch generations are unable to do this) straight from its USB cord, with the peace of mind knowing your data is safe. The only time when you should not do this is during a sync or software update.
For the non-believers, you can even see in Apple’s official user manual documentation (who reads those things anyway?) that you can remove the device as long as it does not currently say “Sync in Progress.” And for the inquisitive folks out there who, like us, want to know why it is ok to eject, the answer lies in the way the device interacts with the computer.
For one, the devices are not read as a mounted drive, unlike external hard drive, flash drives, camera cards, etc.
The second is due to the new devices having their own dedicated processors.
Consequently, database management is handled on the device itself, rather than through the computer.
So in the past, when you rip the cord out unexpectedly, it could have interrupted a database process that could corrupt the drive. But now, more modern devices are less dependent on the computer which is why you’re not cutting the life cord when you remove it without “ejecting”.
The reason for Safely Remove is that there might be a file operation ongoing, then one *must not* interrupt the device, or the files can be corrupted (more serious if it’s a “write/save” operation — in some cases, when it’s just a “read” operation, unceremoniously pulling out the device (not safely remove) may not necessarily damage/corrupt the file system; but play it safe anyway by using the “Safely Remove Hardware”)
You can also use a third party software like the USB Disk Ejector.
With the bevy of portable storage drives available these days, it is important to understand the unique procedural steps to safely remove your drives from your computer. These steps are crucial to prevent data loss and the corruption of the hard drive.