USB - Safely Remove Hardware utility


J

JohnB

The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System Tray.... does
anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that made me
wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I was at someone's
laptop and I had plugged in and later removed my USB pen drive. He
commented that I should be using the SRH utility "because he had burned up a
USB pen drive by *not* using it". I have several of those drives and have
never had an issue... and like I said, I've never used that utility to
disconnect a USB device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive - and did not
use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different Maxtor OneTouch drive into
the same machine, Windows didn't recognize it. I tried several different
USB ports... same thing. So I used the SRH utility to *Stop* the USB mass
storage device in there. Then I plugged the drive in, and Windows
recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if you use it.
I've always been under the impression USB devices were hot-swappable and
didn't require any user-intervention, such as using that utility

TIA
 
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B

Big_Al

JohnB said:
The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System Tray....
does anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that made me
wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I was at someone's
laptop and I had plugged in and later removed my USB pen drive. He
commented that I should be using the SRH utility "because he had burned
up a USB pen drive by *not* using it". I have several of those drives
and have never had an issue... and like I said, I've never used that
utility to disconnect a USB device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive - and did
not use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different Maxtor OneTouch
drive into the same machine, Windows didn't recognize it. I tried
several different USB ports... same thing. So I used the SRH utility to
*Stop* the USB mass storage device in there. Then I plugged the drive
in, and Windows recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if you use
it. I've always been under the impression USB devices were hot-swappable
and didn't require any user-intervention, such as using that utility

TIA

I used to never use it, for like 2 years. I have a built in SD card
reader in my laptop. It works fine to just pull the chip out and put it
back in. No issue, and months go by and it works. But when I loaded
SP3, it seems now that my system demands that I use it. If I pull the
thumb drive or SD chip out now without the SRH, it will not detect again
till I reboot.

PS. I even used the free chat help with Microsoft since it was a SP3
change (in my eyes), and they connected to my pc and played around and
came up with the comment that SRH was needed to make it work.

So I guess I vote that SRH is needed.
 
J

John Wunderlich

The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System
Tray.... does anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that
made me wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I was
at someone's laptop and I had plugged in and later removed my USB
pen drive. He commented that I should be using the SRH utility
"because he had burned up a USB pen drive by *not* using it". I
have several of those drives and have never had an issue... and
like I said, I've never used that utility to disconnect a USB
device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive -
and did not use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different
Maxtor OneTouch drive into the same machine, Windows didn't
recognize it. I tried several different USB ports... same thing.
So I used the SRH utility to *Stop* the USB mass storage device in
there. Then I plugged the drive in, and Windows recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if
you use it. I've always been under the impression USB devices were
hot-swappable and didn't require any user-intervention, such as
using that utility

TIA

With your USB drive inserted, double-click "My Computer" then right-
click on the USB Drive -> Properties -> "Hardware" Tab -> [Select USB
Drive] -> Properties -> "Policies" Tab.

If your drive is configured for "Optimize for Quick Removal", then it
seems that the SRH is not technically needed (although I wouldn't pull
it out while a write were in progress).

If it is set for "Optimize for Performance", then you should probably
use the SRH tool.

-- John
 
U

Unknown

I use it all the time. It's primary purpose is to 'park' the heads on an
external drive. Since the drive is external it can be knocked over or
otherwise shocked which could damage the heads. If moving the external drive
from one computer to another you want to insure the heads are parked. I do a
backup followed by a safely remove hardware, then power off my harddrive.
 
J

JohnB

Huh, I didn't know about that setting. It was set to "Optimize for Quick
Removal". I'm guessing all USB devices default to that setting. I also
plugged in my pen drive and it was also set to that.

*technically* I shouldn't have to use SRH, but apprently with this device I
do. I like Big Al's explanation. Another un-documented *feature* that
Microsoft added for us.




John Wunderlich said:
The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System
Tray.... does anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that
made me wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I was
at someone's laptop and I had plugged in and later removed my USB
pen drive. He commented that I should be using the SRH utility
"because he had burned up a USB pen drive by *not* using it". I
have several of those drives and have never had an issue... and
like I said, I've never used that utility to disconnect a USB
device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive -
and did not use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different
Maxtor OneTouch drive into the same machine, Windows didn't
recognize it. I tried several different USB ports... same thing.
So I used the SRH utility to *Stop* the USB mass storage device in
there. Then I plugged the drive in, and Windows recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if
you use it. I've always been under the impression USB devices were
hot-swappable and didn't require any user-intervention, such as
using that utility

TIA

With your USB drive inserted, double-click "My Computer" then right-
click on the USB Drive -> Properties -> "Hardware" Tab -> [Select USB
Drive] -> Properties -> "Policies" Tab.

If your drive is configured for "Optimize for Quick Removal", then it
seems that the SRH is not technically needed (although I wouldn't pull
it out while a write were in progress).

If it is set for "Optimize for Performance", then you should probably
use the SRH tool.

-- John
 
J

John Wunderlich

John Wunderlich said:
The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System
Tray.... does anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that
made me wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I
was at someone's laptop and I had plugged in and later removed
my USB pen drive. He commented that I should be using the SRH
utility "because he had burned up a USB pen drive by *not* using
it". I have several of those drives and have never had an
issue... and like I said, I've never used that utility to
disconnect a USB device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive -
and did not use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different
Maxtor OneTouch drive into the same machine, Windows didn't
recognize it. I tried several different USB ports... same
thing. So I used the SRH utility to *Stop* the USB mass storage
device in there. Then I plugged the drive in, and Windows
recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if
you use it. I've always been under the impression USB devices
were hot-swappable and didn't require any user-intervention,
such as using that utility

TIA

With your USB drive inserted, double-click "My Computer" then
right- click on the USB Drive -> Properties -> "Hardware" Tab ->
[Select USB Drive] -> Properties -> "Policies" Tab.

If your drive is configured for "Optimize for Quick Removal",
then it seems that the SRH is not technically needed (although I
wouldn't pull it out while a write were in progress).

If it is set for "Optimize for Performance", then you should
probably use the SRH tool.

-- John

Huh, I didn't know about that setting. It was set to "Optimize
for Quick Removal". I'm guessing all USB devices default to that
setting. I also plugged in my pen drive and it was also set to
that.

*technically* I shouldn't have to use SRH, but apprently with this
device I do. I like Big Al's explanation. Another un-documented
*feature* that Microsoft added for us.

Good to know. Thanks.
I tend to always use SRH on the "ounce of prevention" principle anyway.

-- John
 
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B

Big_Al

John said:
John Wunderlich said:
The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System
Tray.... does anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that
made me wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I
was at someone's laptop and I had plugged in and later removed
my USB pen drive. He commented that I should be using the SRH
utility "because he had burned up a USB pen drive by *not* using
it". I have several of those drives and have never had an
issue... and like I said, I've never used that utility to
disconnect a USB device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive -
and did not use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different
Maxtor OneTouch drive into the same machine, Windows didn't
recognize it. I tried several different USB ports... same
thing. So I used the SRH utility to *Stop* the USB mass storage
device in there. Then I plugged the drive in, and Windows
recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if
you use it. I've always been under the impression USB devices
were hot-swappable and didn't require any user-intervention,
such as using that utility

TIA

With your USB drive inserted, double-click "My Computer" then
right- click on the USB Drive -> Properties -> "Hardware" Tab ->
[Select USB Drive] -> Properties -> "Policies" Tab.

If your drive is configured for "Optimize for Quick Removal",
then it seems that the SRH is not technically needed (although I
wouldn't pull it out while a write were in progress).

If it is set for "Optimize for Performance", then you should
probably use the SRH tool.

-- John
Huh, I didn't know about that setting. It was set to "Optimize
for Quick Removal". I'm guessing all USB devices default to that
setting. I also plugged in my pen drive and it was also set to
that.

*technically* I shouldn't have to use SRH, but apprently with this
device I do. I like Big Al's explanation. Another un-documented
*feature* that Microsoft added for us.

Good to know. Thanks.
I tend to always use SRH on the "ounce of prevention" principle anyway.

-- John

Supposedly also it flushes the write buffer too to make sure that all
data is written. I would favor this rationale for using it more than
anything else. Kinda keeps you honest. And considering I put some of
my best data on the thumb drives / USB HDs, then I kinda like knowing
I'm doing everything to protect the data.
 
L

Lil' Dave

JohnB said:
The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System Tray.... does
anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that made me
wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I was at someone's
laptop and I had plugged in and later removed my USB pen drive. He
commented that I should be using the SRH utility "because he had burned up
a USB pen drive by *not* using it". I have several of those drives and
have never had an issue... and like I said, I've never used that utility
to disconnect a USB device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive - and did
not use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different Maxtor OneTouch drive
into the same machine, Windows didn't recognize it. I tried several
different USB ports... same thing. So I used the SRH utility to *Stop*
the USB mass storage device in there. Then I plugged the drive in, and
Windows recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if you use
it. I've always been under the impression USB devices were hot-swappable
and didn't require any user-intervention, such as using that utility

TIA

Concur with most responses, except the parking heads response.

While using SRH, I've noticed that sometimes something must be occurring
even though the activity light is off on the external enclosure. SRH says
something is still accessing, to try again later. Usually, an immediate
retry of SRH allows removal. Seen this with both Firewire and USB2
enclosures for ide hard drives.

An oddity I've noticed about the policies tab for the hard drive within the
enclosure. An old Firewire only enclosure I have uses the non-cache type
selection per windows installation of same. The newer USB/Firewire combo
enclosure for ide drives use the cached type that requires SRH. Don't
matter if USB or Firewire connected.
 
J

JohnB

I don't buy the "parking heads" thing either. Parking the heads is an "old
school" thing. Modern drives park the head when powered off. Sounds like
urban legend to me.
 
U

Unknown

You run SRH BEFORE powering off the external drive.
JohnB said:
I don't buy the "parking heads" thing either. Parking the heads is an "old
school" thing. Modern drives park the head when powered off. Sounds like
urban legend to me.
 
B

Bob I

Probably flushing the cache. Parking heads isn't a "command" that I
believe applies to voice coil head actuators.
You run SRH BEFORE powering off the external drive.
 
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U

Unknown

If you have an external drive, perform any operation such as read or backup
then, use SRH and listen closely. Watch the lights on the drive.
 
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J

John John (MVP)

No, it ensures that all the data is flushed to the disk.

When removing a device from a bus that supports hot plugging, if the
Safely Remove Hardware icon appears in the notification area, use the
Safely Remove Hardware application as explained later to ensure a safe
removal of hardware from the system. The Safely Remove Hardware
application informs Windows that the user intends to remove a device.
This gives Windows an opportunity to prepare for the removal by taking
steps such as halting data transfers to the device and unloading device
drivers.

When hardware is removed from a running system without using the Safely
Remove Hardware application, it is often referred to as surprise removal
because the operating system is not notified in advance of the removal.
Surprise removal is particularly a concern for storage devices for which
write caching is enabled, because when such devices are surprise
removed, data loss or corruption might occur. To reduce the likelihood
of data loss or corruption as a result of surprise removal of
consumer-oriented storage devices, Windows XP Professional disables
write caching by default for these devices (such as cameras that include
IEEE 1394 or USB storage, small form factor storage devices such as
compact flash, and so on). While write caching policy addresses this
particular issue, it is recommended that users continue to use the
Safely Remove Hardware application when it appears in the notification
area. Also, disabling write caching might slow the performance of
consumer-oriented storage devices.

[end quote]

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457107.aspx
 
J

JohnB

The elusive and mysterious explanation of SRH has been found!!

Thanks for posting that.


John John (MVP) said:
No, it ensures that all the data is flushed to the disk.

When removing a device from a bus that supports hot plugging, if the
Safely Remove Hardware icon appears in the notification area, use the
Safely Remove Hardware application as explained later to ensure a safe
removal of hardware from the system. The Safely Remove Hardware
application informs Windows that the user intends to remove a device. This
gives Windows an opportunity to prepare for the removal by taking steps
such as halting data transfers to the device and unloading device drivers.

When hardware is removed from a running system without using the Safely
Remove Hardware application, it is often referred to as surprise removal
because the operating system is not notified in advance of the removal.
Surprise removal is particularly a concern for storage devices for which
write caching is enabled, because when such devices are surprise removed,
data loss or corruption might occur. To reduce the likelihood of data loss
or corruption as a result of surprise removal of consumer-oriented storage
devices, Windows XP Professional disables write caching by default for
these devices (such as cameras that include IEEE 1394 or USB storage,
small form factor storage devices such as compact flash, and so on). While
write caching policy addresses this particular issue, it is recommended
that users continue to use the Safely Remove Hardware application when it
appears in the notification area. Also, disabling write caching might slow
the performance of consumer-oriented storage devices.

[end quote]

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457107.aspx


That is precisely what SRH does, makes sure heads are retracted. .
 
U

Unknown

If you can, please explain. When I do a backup to my external drive and it
finishes, I shut down my backup program.
I use a Seagate HD. At this point, I click SRH and the HD sounds as though
the heads are retracting. I then shut the power off on the HD. I am not
using XP Pro.
John John (MVP) said:
No, it ensures that all the data is flushed to the disk.

When removing a device from a bus that supports hot plugging, if the
Safely Remove Hardware icon appears in the notification area, use the
Safely Remove Hardware application as explained later to ensure a safe
removal of hardware from the system. The Safely Remove Hardware
application informs Windows that the user intends to remove a device. This
gives Windows an opportunity to prepare for the removal by taking steps
such as halting data transfers to the device and unloading device drivers.

When hardware is removed from a running system without using the Safely
Remove Hardware application, it is often referred to as surprise removal
because the operating system is not notified in advance of the removal.
Surprise removal is particularly a concern for storage devices for which
write caching is enabled, because when such devices are surprise removed,
data loss or corruption might occur. To reduce the likelihood of data loss
or corruption as a result of surprise removal of consumer-oriented storage
devices, Windows XP Professional disables write caching by default for
these devices (such as cameras that include IEEE 1394 or USB storage,
small form factor storage devices such as compact flash, and so on). While
write caching policy addresses this particular issue, it is recommended
that users continue to use the Safely Remove Hardware application when it
appears in the notification area. Also, disabling write caching might slow
the performance of consumer-oriented storage devices.

[end quote]

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457107.aspx


That is precisely what SRH does, makes sure heads are retracted. .
 
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B

Bob I

It is probable that this is a new Seagate has the power saving feature
that turns off power to the actuator when further access is not required
and then the heads retract(and you can hear that) because the power to
drive the actuator is off. Flushing the cache and disabling access would
cause the drive to act like that. Please understand that SRH does not
park the heads or send a command to do so. The drive would do that on
it's own programing. Now on the other hand Linux has a "bug" that causes
that harddrive to start and stop the heads every 10 seconds or so making
a few people quite worried.
If you can, please explain. When I do a backup to my external drive and it
finishes, I shut down my backup program.
I use a Seagate HD. At this point, I click SRH and the HD sounds as though
the heads are retracting. I then shut the power off on the HD. I am not
using XP Pro.
No, it ensures that all the data is flushed to the disk.

When removing a device from a bus that supports hot plugging, if the
Safely Remove Hardware icon appears in the notification area, use the
Safely Remove Hardware application as explained later to ensure a safe
removal of hardware from the system. The Safely Remove Hardware
application informs Windows that the user intends to remove a device. This
gives Windows an opportunity to prepare for the removal by taking steps
such as halting data transfers to the device and unloading device drivers.

When hardware is removed from a running system without using the Safely
Remove Hardware application, it is often referred to as surprise removal
because the operating system is not notified in advance of the removal.
Surprise removal is particularly a concern for storage devices for which
write caching is enabled, because when such devices are surprise removed,
data loss or corruption might occur. To reduce the likelihood of data loss
or corruption as a result of surprise removal of consumer-oriented storage
devices, Windows XP Professional disables write caching by default for
these devices (such as cameras that include IEEE 1394 or USB storage,
small form factor storage devices such as compact flash, and so on). While
write caching policy addresses this particular issue, it is recommended
that users continue to use the Safely Remove Hardware application when it
appears in the notification area. Also, disabling write caching might slow
the performance of consumer-oriented storage devices.

[end quote]

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457107.aspx



Unknown wrote:

That is precisely what SRH does, makes sure heads are retracted. .


Same place they are after power fails, retracted.

Unknown wrote:



Where are heads when HD is being shipped? Parked???



Probably flushing the cache. Parking heads isn't a "command" that I
believe applies to voice coil head actuators.

Unknown wrote:




You run SRH BEFORE powering off the external drive.




I don't buy the "parking heads" thing either. Parking the heads is
an "old school" thing. Modern drives park the head when powered off.
Sounds like urban legend to me.










The "Safely Remove Hardware" utility that sits in the System
Tray.... does anyone use that?

I have never used it. But recently a couple things came up that
made me wonder if I should be using it. A couple weeks ago I was
at someone's laptop and I had plugged in and later removed my USB
pen drive. He commented that I should be using the SRH utility
"because he had burned up a USB pen drive by *not* using it". I
have several of those drives and have never had an issue... and
like I said, I've never used that utility to disconnect a USB
device before unplugging it.

But today I had unplugged a Maxtor OneTouch external USB drive -
and did not use the SRH utility. When I plugged a different Maxtor
OneTouch drive into the same machine, Windows didn't recognize it.
I tried several different USB ports... same thing. So I used the
SRH utility to *Stop* the USB mass storage device in there. Then I
plugged the drive in, and Windows recognized it.

Just wondering what other people say about this utility, and if you
use it. I've always been under the impression USB devices were
hot-swappable and didn't require any user-intervention, such as
using that utility

TIA

Concur with most responses, except the parking heads response.

While using SRH, I've noticed that sometimes something must be
occurring even though the activity light is off on the external
enclosure. SRH says something is still accessing, to try again
later. Usually, an immediate retry of SRH allows removal. Seen this
with both Firewire and USB2 enclosures for ide hard drives.

An oddity I've noticed about the policies tab for the hard drive
within the enclosure. An old Firewire only enclosure I have uses
the non-cache type selection per windows installation of same. The
newer USB/Firewire combo enclosure for ide drives use the cached
type that requires SRH. Don't matter if USB or Firewire connected.
 
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