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I recently purchased a large HDD along with the following HDD enclosure:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173043

It has a simple on-off switch on the back.

When I want to turn this thing off, do I simply just flip the switch? I assume the switch simply kills the power to the HDD, but isn't that potentially a bad thing in the case that the HDD is still reading/writing?

I used to have a Seagate external HDD and it had a button on the front that I had to hold down for a second or two before it would turn off, but it at least appeared to sort of go through a shutdown procedure where it probably would stop the HDD activity before cutting power.

So with this external HDD, I'm a little bit leery about that power switch and understanding exactly what it does. Is this how all HDD enclosures are?

EDIT: I'm running the drive in Ubuntu Server. So there is no 'ejecting' the drive lol

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Mine has a switch, but it also has an activity light. I make sure that's not blinking before shutting it off. –  Phoshi Feb 16 '10 at 18:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would not turn off the power knowing the hard drive is busy. When to turn it off depends on if you have multiple file systems installed. Perhaps you don't want all file systems to be unmounted.

To be safe, you might consider performing an unmount first.

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about the Ubuntu thing, you can easily umount it

in case you don't know how to umount ... assume that the External HDD has the dir /dev/sda1 press

Alt + F2

then type

konsole

then

umount /dev/sda1

or use the sudo command if it needs root permissions.

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It's highly recommended that you first eject the drive. If you're using Windows, just click on the system tray icon that looks like a USB flash disk and choose to eject the drive.

After that, you should be safe to pull the plug and/or turn of the power.

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Correct. If it can't eject, then something is still going on with the drive (I usually just wait a few seconds.) Flipping the back switch could kill a write operation in progress, so it's definitely part two of a two-part process. I've seen the eject process not work at times, however. I'd usually try to make sure nothing's going on and then turn off the drive anyway. That's the exception and not the rule. –  MetalMikester Feb 16 '10 at 18:23
    
His edit said he's using Ubuntu, so this answer is moot. However, I wanted to add that because this enclosure supports eSATA, I would assume that's the interface being used. And in that case, you will not see the drive listed in the "Safely Remove Hardware" dialogs. –  hemp May 20 '10 at 20:33

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