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I have just read that in Windows Vista and above, when you "Safely Remove" a device the USB port is not disabled and data can still be transferred. I know that you can change this behavior so that the port is disabled, but without this 'fix' is there any point in safely removing devices?

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marked as duplicate by techie007, Karan, gronostaj, Jens Erat, Raystafarian Jul 14 '13 at 11:02

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Yes. If you value your data use "Safely Remove" option. Windows is lazy it does not immediately flush all data back to the USB stick. When you use "Safely Remove" option it writes and flushes any remaining data in memory back to the USB device. Otherwise you can damage the files/folder or even the filesystem itself.

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Thanks for your answer. So it doesn't matter that in Windows Vista when you safely remove a device it doesn't actually power down the USB port like in XP? –  Andy Jul 13 '13 at 17:48
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@Andy - The main concern is flushing writes to the device. If you haven't written anything to it, you may be ok not "Safely Removing", but it's always safer to do so. –  tjameson Jul 13 '13 at 17:52
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If the device is NTFS, there may be automatic writes behind the scene, such as a files last access time. Doubt you'd loose data at such meta-data being updated, but hey, why take the risk? –  Jeremy J Starcher Jul 13 '13 at 20:27
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