Should I disconnect a USB device without ejecting it?

We’ve all seen the frightening warning icon that pops up on an iPod when you plug it into your computer. It warns that if you disconnect it, something dreadful will happen. So, just how risky is it to unplug a USB device without unplugging it first?

Most of us have taken the risk of removing the device without taking the proper steps. And for many of us, the device came out unscathed. But what are the other potential consequences?

One of two things can happen if you remove the device before ejecting it:

  1. Nothing. Your data will remain intact and you will cause no harm to the USB device or to the computer
  2. The device can become corrupted, along with all its contents. This is sometimes reparable, but can be extremely frustrating nonetheless

Although there is a great possibility that you won’t do any damage by preemptively unplugging the device, it’s generally not worth the risk. The inconvenience of losing your data is far greater than the convenience of removing a mechanism before ejecting it.

Take a look at this article for additional information on quickly and easily ejecting USB drives.