I have Samsung SSD 840 Pro installed and running in my desktop computer. I have important data on this drive.

Can I remove the drive from my computer (detach it from all the cables) without loosing any sensitive data on the drive? If yes, how long can the drive be removed from the computer before it starts losing data?

  • 5
    Regardless of the answer, it should go without saying that you should never do anything else with your sensitive data without backing it up first. I mean, seriously.
    – BoltClock
    Jun 11, 2014 at 10:29
  • The problem with detatching a drive is more what is in the write-ahead cache. That's why ye should head to hotplug.dll, and ask it to stop the device in question. Jun 11, 2014 at 10:34
  • 3
    Can you clarify - do you mean detach while powered on (in which case hotplug solutions are relevant) or when it and the computer are powered down (in which case you really don't have a problem until you reach years of storage)
    – Rory Alsop
    Jun 11, 2014 at 10:37

3 Answers 3


If you properly power down your system and unplug the SSD, the data stored in the flash cells will remain there for several years, according to Wikipedia.


Your drive is non-volatile storage. Meaning anything that is present on the drive will remain there for at least a few years. It is a hard drive after all, intended to store information without the need to constant power.

One note I'd like to add to all the others regarding disconnecting it while powered is - in Windows you can make the drive work like a very large thumb drive and eliminate most forms of data corruption stemming from a sudden disconnect. The difference is in a single policy change - whether you have write caching enabled on the device in question, which for your generic thumb drives defaults to off, allowing quick removal, while for larger devices defaults to on, on the assumption they'll be a more permanent part of the system.
The setting can be found in the device's properties(from the device manager) under the "Policies" tab.


If you pull the drive, it will close all open handles to any files on the drive - potentially corrupting them. There is also a good possibility that windows will crash as it doesn't handle hard drives the same as removable drives... so you might as well shut it down properly!

That said, if you have removed the drive - there is a good chance it will still work apart from the few possibly corrupt files as SATA is a hot swappable technology, but again - why take that riaks with data?

The only acception to this is the system disk - which if removed, would kill the machine and possibly wreck the drive immediately.

  • Why do you assume he wants to do it with the power on?
    – Ramhound
    Jun 11, 2014 at 10:52
  • misread the question... was answering on eon another forum at the same time which asked about removing an SSD with the power on.. genuine mix up
    – Fazer87
    Jun 11, 2014 at 11:18
  • 1
    @Ramhound - the OP never said whether he meant to hot plug or not. Jun 11, 2014 at 13:32

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