At the end of the workday you may be in a hurry to leave, and as you start tossing your belongings into your bag, you come across your USB drive plugged into your PC. You’re now faced with a tough decision; do you take the time to safely remove the device, or do you save 30 seconds and just unplug it?
We can’t stress enough how important it is to take the time to properly remove your USB device. Those few seconds that you may save will come back to haunt you if any files are damaged from a hasty ejection. The reason files may be damaged from abruptly unplugging is because it will suddenly cut off the exchange of data from your device and the PC.
To illustrate how this works, think about loading up your car with luggage before going on a vacation. Your bags and suitcases are sitting in the driveway ready to load. As you begin packing, your family comes out of nowhere, hops in the car and takes off without you. The trunk is still open, a few bags fall out and get ran over, and you are left standing in the driveway, confused and saying, “If only they would have given me another 30 seconds to finish packing.”
You may be thinking, “I’ve unplugged my device several times without properly removing it and it still works fine, what’s the big deal?” In the same way, you can drive down the road in your car for half the trip before your luggage starts to fall out. If you have been hastily unplugging your device, and have yet to experience damage, then you have been lucky.
Even if you are not in the process of transferring files, you may have a program open that’s working behind the scenes. Unplugging your device suddenly while it’s in use is kind of like driving off from a fueling station with the pump still attached to your car. Sure, your car (device) may be alright, but the fuel pump (app) now has a key component that’s damaged.
The correct way to remove your device is to find its icon in the system track (bottom right hand corner) and click it. The icon looks like the male end of a USB cord; you may have to expand the Windows system tray to find it. Upon clicking the icon, a popup menu will appear giving you the option to “Eject” your device. If you have multiple devices plugged in, then you will have to find the desired device and only eject that one. A text box will appear letting you know that it’s now safe to remove your device.
This little exercise is the equivalent of having Windows quickly finish packing your car for your trip, and removing the fuel pump; and if you’re in the habit of doing this, then the ejection procedure will actually take you less than 30 seconds and not slow you down at all.
To keep your equipment running smoothly, it’s important to communicate this best practice to all of your employees that use your company’s network–especially the ones that seem to have little patience. To learn additional best practices that will improve the day-to-day operations of your business, call Michell Consulting Group at 305-592-5433.