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Sorry if this question as been asked before, but I could not find any that specifically answers this. I have a USB dock with 2 3.5" hard drives to save things I don't need regularly. It often spins down and stay idle for long periods of time. It also spins up and down again without my interaction (which I believe to be windows or other background stuff I may have installed).

  • Is it safe to power off the dock when the hard drives spin down?
  • Or after 2 or more minutes of it happening?
  • Never power it off until you use the Safely Remove Hardware option and windows confirms it?Obviously 1 or 2 clicks more does not bother me, but most times I forget to do it.
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  • Your #3 is the proper procedure, i.e. the drive has to have all filesystems unmounted to be safe for disconnect & power-down. This is crucial if it's the drive that is putting itself to sleep rather than the PC.
    – sawdust
    Mar 9, 2021 at 5:00
  • "Is it safe to power off the dock when the hard drives spin down?" Yes, I have been doing this for years, never had any issues.
    – Moab
    Mar 9, 2021 at 16:07
  • I think @sawdust makes a good point saying the drive may be putting itself to sleep (or the dock). Moab, while you may never experience any issues it does not mean it's 100% safe. I never had any issues either, but that does not mean I will not start using the Safely Remove Hardware confirmation for the extra peace of mind. If I remember to, obviously.
    – LuisR
    Mar 9, 2021 at 16:41

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Never power it off until you use the Safely Remove Hardware option and windows confirms it.

I find it annoying sometimes. I have no choice but to shutdown Windows if I want to disconnect the device.

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    True. If Windows cannot confirm its removal you know it's not safe. I also prefer to use shutdown on those occasions rather than commands or apps.
    – LuisR
    Mar 9, 2021 at 16:52

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