Laptops For Dummies, 6th Edition
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Removing a USB external storage device involves more than simply unplugging it. To remove a USB external storage device, you must follow certain steps to ensure that data is not lost from the device.

Just as you have a proper way to shut down your computer, you have a proper way to remove a USB storage device:

  1. Locate the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the system tray.


    The icon is different for Windows Vista and Windows XP. It’s also pretty small.

  2. Click the Safely Remove Hardware icon.


    A pop-up menu appears (after a brief pause), listing the removable storage devices attached to your computer.

  3. Click the device you want to remove.


    If all goes well, you see an announcement that the device can be safely removed.

  4. Unplug or remove the device.


The whole idea here is that you don’t want to yank a storage device from your laptop before your software is done using it. Despite the fact that USB hardware can be hot-swapped, unplugging something that’s in use means that you can lose files — a bad thing.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Dan Gookin has been an author, editor, ghostwriter, and a public official. He's written more than a dozen Dummies books on technology, with a special focus on PCs, the Android operating system, and Microsoft products. And in 1991, he was the author of the very first Dummies book, DOS For Dummies, which started the whole enterprise.

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