Rob Verger, writing for Popular Science:
Pull a USB flash drive out of your Mac without first clicking to
eject it, and you’ll get a stern, shameful warning: “Disk Not
But do you really need to eject a thumb drive the right way?
Probably not. Just wait for it to finish copying your data, give
it a few seconds, then yank. To be on the cautious side, be more
conservative with external hard drives, especially the old ones
that actually spin.
That’s not the official procedure, nor the most conservative
approach. And in a worst-case scenario, you risk corrupting a file
or — even more unlikely — the entire storage device.
This is terrible advice. It’s akin to saying you probably don’t need to wear a seat belt because it’s unlikely anything bad will happen. Imagine a few dozen people saying they drive without a seat belt every day and nothing’s ever gone wrong, so it must be OK. (The breakdown in this analogy is that with seat belts, you know instantly when you need to be wearing one. With USB drives, you might not discover for months or years that you’ve got a corrupt file that was only partially written to disk when you yanked the drive.)
I see a bunch of “just pull out the drive and not worry about it” Mac users on Twitter celebrating this article, and I don’t get it. On the Mac you have to do something on screen when you eject a drive. Either you properly eject it before unplugging the drive — one click in the Finder sidebar — or you need to dismiss the alert you’ll get about having removed a drive that wasn’t properly ejected. Why not take the course of action that guarantees data integrity?
★ Tuesday, 17 July 2018