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Windows 7: Catastrophic Crash After Removing Unspecified Device

29 Aug 2017   #11
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
External HDD are very sensitive to shock damages. On the /hardware-devices of this forum you going to find hundreds of cases of external drives that failed. And I'm not talking about logical failures that can be fixed by check disk or a format. I'm talking about hardware permanent failures.
Don't trust them to keep data you can't loose.
As you have a Desktop, buy an internal drive to do the backups.
That's good to know. I've been lucky with the Glyph. I've had it for several years, but then it's a premium drive. The passport though is just your basic WD drive. So far, so good, but I'll consider your advice on getting an internal drive for backups. I have plenty of slots available.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Aug 2017   #12
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
If by "uninstall" you mean the procedure I described when you want to unplug an external drive, yes. You should always do that.

Also, I agree with what Megahertz07 said about external USB hard drives being unreliable. I have had two fail, and two friends of mine each had an external USB hard drive failure. Here's how I worked around that problem: I got a long SATA data cable and a long SATA power cable, I plugged them in inside of my computer case, and I extended them out of the case. Now, whenever I want to do a backup, I power down, connect my internal SATA hard drive to the cables, power up, then do a backup. I then go through the same steps to remove the drive when the backup is done. In this way, I have all of the advantages of both an internal drive (speed, reliability) and an external drive (portability).

(I keep the internal drive stored in a static bag when not in use.)
Actually, I was referring to uninstalling the drivers, as you described earlier, then restarting computer, presumably so that Windows would then find and reinstall them correctly.

I definitely will be properly disconnecting all external drives from now on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2017   #13
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

My Glyph ext drive does not require drivers (pug and play?). I plan on keeping it connected. If I need to use it with the other computer, I will shut down my music rig and then disconnect it.

As to the mouse dongle, I understand you to mean that it's ok to swap it back and forth? No need to use the eject utility?

My take away from this is that it looks like it was one of my external drives that caused the problem. If I am careful not to disconnect them while machine is running, I should be OK, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Aug 2017   #14
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

The only reason to "disable" a external drive before removing it is that it may be writing data to the disk. If you pull it out it can interrupt a writing operation and the data and allocation table is corrupted.
On a Mouse, keyboard etc this doesn't happen as there is no data being written on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2017   #15
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

You don't need to uninstall any drivers when you disconnect any external drive. What you need to do is unmount or eject the drive ("unmount" and "eject" are two different ways of describing the same thing). There are two ways to unmount/eject a drive:
(1) Right-click on the drive icon in File Manager and choose unmount or eject (one of those words will be listed).
(2) Click on the "eject media" icon which is by the clock, then click on the item you want to eject/unmount in the list it shows you.

After you have done either of the above steps, wait till Windows tells you it is safe to unplug the device, and then unplug it.

What if Windows tells you that the drive is in use? In that case, you should not unplug it; rather, you should close whatever program is using the drive, so that Windows can then release its hold on the drive, thereby making it safe to unplug. But if you can't free up the drive no matter what you try, then the safest way to unplug the drive is to first log out of Windows, then power down the computer, then unplug the drive.

Of course, you could simply unplug the drive without first unmounting it. But doing so will create an orphaned listing in Device Manager. One or two orphaned listings probably aren't a problem; but if there are a lot of them, you could have problems. But I prefer not to have any orphaned listings, so I will follow the above steps every time I want to unplug an external drive.

(I'll bet there were lots of orphaned listings when you first posted about your computer crashing whenever you would unplug the drive.)

Now, what about the mouse dongle? The rule is, if you click on the "eject media" icon (by the clock), and the mouse dongle shows up in the list of devices, you should click on the listing for the mouse dongle in order to "unmount" it before you unplug it. But if it doesn't show up in this list, then you can unplug it at any time without first "unmounting" it. If the mouse dongle doesn't appear in this list, then it's not going to appear in the future, so you can safely unplug it whenever you want without checking this list. But if it appears in this list once, it will appear every time; therefore, you will know that you have to unmount it every time you want to unplug it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2017   #16
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
The only reason to "disable" a external drive before removing it is that it may be writing data to the disk. If you pull it out it can interrupt a writing operation and the data and allocation table is corrupted.
On a Mouse, keyboard etc this doesn't happen as there is no data being written on it.
Thanks, appreciate the help. One more question: I forgot to mention the other thing I swap between the two computers. I use an external audio interface, a Steinberg UR-22. It's my "soundcard." It's only hookup to the computer is a USB line. My speakers plug into it, as well as my midi keyboard. It enables me to use my music DAW, Reaper, but it also gives me premium sound on my old computer. I almost never have both "awake" at the same time; I usually put one to sleep or shut it down before using the other. But sometimes I do, for example if I'm updating on one while working on the other. I have my monitor plugged in to both, I just hit a button on it and it switches to the other computer. Would this also be a problem? It doesn't involve writing data, so I would think not, but what do you think?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2017   #17
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
You don't need to uninstall any drivers when you disconnect any external drive. What you need to do is unmount or eject the drive ("unmount" and "eject" are two different ways of describing the same thing). There are two ways to unmount/eject a drive:
(1) Right-click on the drive icon in File Manager and choose unmount or eject (one of those words will be listed).
(2) Click on the "eject media" icon which is by the clock, then click on the item you want to eject/unmount in the list it shows you.

After you have done either of the above steps, wait till Windows tells you it is safe to unplug the device, and then unplug it.

What if Windows tells you that the drive is in use? In that case, you should not unplug it; rather, you should close whatever program is using the drive, so that Windows can then release its hold on the drive, thereby making it safe to unplug. But if you can't free up the drive no matter what you try, then the safest way to unplug the drive is to first log out of Windows, then power down the computer, then unplug the drive.

Of course, you could simply unplug the drive without first unmounting it. But doing so will create an orphaned listing in Device Manager. One or two orphaned listings probably aren't a problem; but if there are a lot of them, you could have problems. But I prefer not to have any orphaned listings, so I will follow the above steps every time I want to unplug an external drive.

(I'll bet there were lots of orphaned listings when you first posted about your computer crashing whenever you would unplug the drive.)

Now, what about the mouse dongle? The rule is, if you click on the "eject media" icon (by the clock), and the mouse dongle shows up in the list of devices, you should click on the listing for the mouse dongle in order to "unmount" it before you unplug it. But if it doesn't show up in this list, then you can unplug it at any time without first "unmounting" it. If the mouse dongle doesn't appear in this list, then it's not going to appear in the future, so you can safely unplug it whenever you want without checking this list. But if it appears in this list once, it will appear every time; therefore, you will know that you have to unmount it every time you want to unplug it.
This is really great advice, I'm going to print it out so I have it permanently. I'll check my various devices to see if they show up in the Eject utility.

I should point out that this problem arose because of the need to not only save Windows backups, but to save my music projects on something other than my C drive. I usually use a usb thumb drive, but I periodically also save on the Glyph drive. I also use Box.com so I have offsite as well. And I sometimes need to install something I have saved on the Glyph, like a synth for example, on the music computer. In other words, the Glyph functions as a transfer device between the two computers. I guess I just need to be more careful about disconnecting it. It's only a problem because in order for the old computer to see the Glyph, it has to be disconnected from the music computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2017   #18
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Well, I have discovered that the UR-22 audio interface shows up in the Eject utility. So, that could be the issue, in addition to the external drives. From now on I will unmount it before disconnecting.

Again, thanks for all the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2017   #19
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

A related question on this: What if my music computer is asleep? Can I unplug the USB for my audio interface then? This computer shuts down so completely when asleep, you'd swear it was actually shut down. Otherwise, if I want to hear sound on my old one (which is what I surf the net on), I have to wake up the music computer, log in, unplug the device (properly of course), and then put it to sleep again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #20
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

I have narrowed the problem down to the Audio Interface (Steinberg UR-22). The external hard drives are set to Quick Remove, so they aren't the problem. The UR-22 does not have this option, but on checking it out, I discovered a line of text that said "Safe Removal", and the word "True" over it. So that appears to need safe removal. Odd, since it doesn't involve ant data transfer, at least as far as I know.

I'm still wondering if I need to "eject" it before putting the computer to sleep. I like to sleep it vs. shut it down, because my music program takes a long time to open up after a full start, but opens quickly after the computer wakes up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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