I have a netbook connected to two USB HDDs when I'm at home, and most of the time when I take it with me I shut it down and then disconnect it. But sometimes (mostly monday mornings ;) ) if I'm in a hurry, I may just tell it to sleep and then disconnect everything. Is this safe? Does Windows 7 eject the drives or write the buffers to disk so that there's no risk of data corruption, or do I need to do the "safely remove hardware" routine before putting the PC to sleep?
Running Windows 7 Home Premium x32. Note that the drives are for data storage and no apps are running from them.
EDIT: I've noticed that my drive powers down before the computer goes into sleep mode. This seems to suggest that Windows automatically performs the same actions before dropping to a lower power state as it does when I safely remove the USB HDD.