I've seen a lot of warnings to always use the "Safely remove hardware" icon in the notification area (a.k.a. "system tray") before disconnecting a drive formatted as NTFS, implying dire consequences for failure to do so. (These consequence are generally attributed to write caching.)
Rarely, however, do I see anything about what those consequences might be. Furthermore, since NTFS is a journaling filesystem, actual filesystem corruption should not be one of them.
So I imagine the main thing that can go wrong is that something you believe you have saved will not have made it out to the disk yet when you yank the drive; in the worst case, this could result in corruption of files, but not of the filesystem, right?
So, my questions are
- Is there some other type of problem I haven't thought of?
- How long might Windows hold off on writes; i.e., how far "back in time" might the filesystem go due to surprise removal? (Presumably there are also space limits?)
- I don't need to do anything special to get Windows to play back the journal, do I? (If so, what?)
(I ask because, thanks to my ADD, it's not a matter of if I will forget, but rather of when I will do so.)