In Windows7 64bit (first version, before SP1), when transferring files from hard disk to a usb thumb drive : Is the transfer truly fully and perfectly completed once the transfer window is gone by itself? Or did i need, during all these years, to go through the safe usb unplugging procedure?

I'm not asking about the need for the procedure in general, but only about my particular case in order to know if I might have corrupted some important data in the past.

  • Duplicate answers are frowned upon – Ramhound May 18 at 17:17
  • A duplicate of what ? Take the time to read please, my question is not about the Safely Remove process in general, but about a particular case. – judelaw May 18 at 19:34
  • 2
    "I would be pleased to receive answers from more than one person just to be sure." - This is what I was talking about. There aren't multiple answers to this question. – Ramhound May 18 at 22:43
  • If the usb drive settings are set for quick removal, then yes it is safe, by default your W7 version is set for quick removal by default, but is always safer to eject it properly. – Moab May 19 at 23:24

This Microsoft article sums up the subject in a very complete manner:
Windows 10, version 1809 and later: Change in default removal policy for external storage media.

Beginning in Windows 10 version 1809, Microsoft changed the default policy on removable devices from Better performance to Quick removal. This modes are defined by Microsoft as:

Quick removal. This policy manages storage operations in a manner that keeps the device ready to remove at any time. You can remove the device without using the Safely Remove Hardware process. However, to do this, Windows cannot cache disk write operations. This may degrade system performance.

Better performance. This policy manages storage operations in a manner that improves system performance. When this policy is in effect, Windows can cache write operations to the external device. However, you must use the Safely Remove Hardware process to remove the external drive. The Safely Remove Hardware process protects the integrity of data on the device by making sure that all cached operations finish.

The answer is then :

When the dialog terminates, then the copy is finished as far as the copying application is concerned, but it is not completed as regarding Windows. The data may still be partially in memory and in the process of being flushed to the USB disk or key.

During all these years up to Windows 10 version 1809, you really needed to safely remove the disk. Although, even in the Better performance mode, removing the disk after a few minutes with no disk activity and without doing safely remove, was still safe enough (I did it often enough without ever losing data).

From Windows 10 version 1809, this is less required, but don't think that you can remove the disk while it's still making noises or otherwise indicating that it's busy. Safely remove is still present in the tray bar and is there to stay, and people like myself will keep on using it, just in case.

  • you didn't answer the question – judelaw May 18 at 19:19
  • What did you expect that is missing here? – harrymc May 18 at 20:20
  • If you wanted to hear whether unplugging immediately when the windows disappears is safe, then the answer is "No", as said above, if you have not let Windows have a few seconds to really finish flushing out the data. The data is still in RAM when the window disappears. It is safer (but not safe) with the latest Windows version. – harrymc May 18 at 20:39

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