Removing external hard drive - 2 questions

lynnalexandraJanuary 31, 2011

I want to remove my external hard drive from my pc (XP) so I can open up my case and change the second hard drive. I wanted to click the safely remove hardware icon - but it's not there anymore. I'm assuming I have to safely remove this hard drive (which is connected via esata port). How can I do this if I can't find the icon. Where did the icon go?

My second question is the order of operations. Do I turn off the hard drive first (it is an on/off switch), disconnect from pc first, turn off pc first? disconnect from power adapter? What is the order of shutting things down and disconnecting them to safely remove my hard drive.

Then I have the reverse question. When I reattach the hard drive, what's the order of operation? connect to pc while it's off? then turn it on? then turn pc on?

And if it's an external hard drive without an on/off switch, what's the order.

Now that we're trying to be more diligent about backing up our data, my family has a few external hard drives, so I want to be sure I'm doing this correctly so we don't damage the files or the drive itself.

Thank you.


PS - I also wonder if I shut off the pc, does that circumvent the need to safely remove hardware? If I can't find the safely remove hardware icon, can I do this by shutting down the computer first - then turn off ext. hard drive - then disconnect from pc?

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Brand? Model?

I ask as I did a basic Google search and there are numerous answers, but they tend to get dedicated to specific units. Using the brand name along with "esata disconnect" (sans quotes) might point you in the right direction.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 7:20PM
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Shutting the computer down will work.... be sure to disconnect
power to external drive before removing the usb plug

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Not sure if you mean computer brand or external drive. The computer is a Dell Inspiron 530. The hard drive is a Cavalry CAXM3702to (CX series).

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 7:29PM
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Once you turn off the external drive, it should be safe to remove it safely. I lose that little icon, too. See if it is among the "hidden icons" by clicking just to the left of the visible icons in your notification area.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 9:19PM
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Grandms - I checked hidden icons and it wasn't there. So I just did it by turning off the computer.

Canibus - since I have an on/off switch, if I turn that off, is it sufficient to do that first - then disconnect the esata cable? I did unplug it - but may have turned it off, disconnected from pc, and then unplugged power.

These are such important things - the order of shut down and disconnection. It's something I never thought about until very recently - and several people I've talked to since had no idea about the safely remove hardware button - or the order of disconnecting,powering down an external drive. The people I talked to just unplugged the drive - and so far they've been very, very lucky.

When I reconnect the ext. drive, just want to be sure I have the order correct:
computer off
connect external drive to power adapter and plug it in
connect esata (or usb) cable to computer
turn on the hard drive (or do I turn it on before connecting to pc?)
turn on the computer

I'm asking bc. I just got an external drive for my daughter's computer and the instructions don't say anything about whether the computer has to be off or on before connecting the ext. drive.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 9:44PM
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turn the switch off is sufficient... I always use the safely remove icon, then turn the switch off...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:49AM
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