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How to Safely Remove Hardware

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Whether it’s as small as a USB stick or a bigger one like a printer, web camera or an external drive, safely removing hardware is important.

There are times that hardware like a USB stick cannot be removed even after you click the icon on the system tray or the task bar.

This may be caused by the following reasons:

  • The file you are copying has not been totally copied yet.
  • There is another program which still has access to the hardware.
  • Your computer is still trying to finalize the process of writing to the hardware.
  • A virus gained access to your hard drive from a file on the USB stick’s memory.

How to safely remove hardware

  1. Wait until the hardware is ready to be removed. 30 seconds of waiting is enough.
  2. Make sure that all programs that have an access to the hardware are closed. Shut down any window and make sure that the writing process is completed.
  3. Check your hardware. If the light indicator on your hardware is still blinking then it means it is still used. Wait until it stops and remove the hardware.
  4. If the above steps failed. Shutting down your computer will be the last way. Remove your hardware after the computer has shut down.

Failing to safely remove hardware can cause damage to it. Always do it the safe way to get rid of any serious problem to your data and your hardware as well.

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