Do you safely eject USB flash drives off computers? Or do you merely unplug them? Well as it turns out, all those years of ejecting USB drives for safety reasons do not need to be done at all. Microsoft recently has all but confirmed this rumour.
Why Eject a USB Drive?
A USB drive needs to be ejected supposedly to prevent data from being lost or corrupted when you unplug a USB key. This is especially true if you were in the midst of transferring a file. If you disconnect the flash drive mid-way then obviously the file transfer process will be interrupted, leading to a loss in data.
Even when you are not transferring files, a file transfer process may be going on in the background called caching. (basically caching is when there is a small amount of data in the queue that also needs to be transferred)
Supposedly the caching data can cause corruption in your data if you merely yank out the flash drive. This rumour is put to rest now though. Microsoft has more or less confirmed that for operating system 7 and upwards, they have implemented a code into their software that disables write caching.
What does this mean? It means you no longer need to eject USB drives safely.
But before you merrily go about randomly unplugging flash memory drives, you need to check into your device properties to ensure the Quick Removal setting is activated.
Also commonsense prevails. If your USB drive is clearly in use, Do not Pull Out.
It also makes sense to have back up copies of your relevant data as well.
Caring for Promotional USBs
Knowing that you can remove a flash drive without using the safe eject icons, does not mean your data will be secure on a promotional USB. You still need to take care of it, by storing it in room temperature environments, not getting it wet, and not expose your flash drive to physical shocks.