Ejecting SD Cards


S

Sparky

Just curious if it's advisable to Safely Remove SD and other memory cards ?

I realise most people just ' yank 'em out ' .... Guilty , as charged !
 
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R

R. C. White

Hi, Sparky.

I just "yank 'em out". ;^}

But, then, I leave them set to the default, "Optimize for quick removal",
rather than for better performance. This way, writes to the card are not
cached, but are written immediately, so there never is a time when yanking a
card out could lose data. Even with the other setting, though, data in the
cache is usually written within a few seconds, so there is little danger of
data loss. A memory card has no rotating or otherwise moving parts, so we
don't have to wait for a motor to spin down or anything like that, and there
is no need for a "Safely Remove Hardware" notification.

The setting for "Removal policy" for each drive or other storage device is
reached from Disk Management by right-clicking on the drive and choosing
Properties | Policies.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3508.1109) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Sparky" wrote in message
Just curious if it's advisable to Safely Remove SD and other memory cards ?

I realise most people just ' yank 'em out ' .... Guilty , as charged !
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Just curious if it's advisable to Safely Remove SD and other memory cards ?
I realise most people just ' yank 'em out ' .... Guilty , as charged !
In addition to R. C. White's remark: I make sure the access light isn't
flashing before I remove the card.

My current setup doesn't have an access light on the card reader,
though. So I have to wing it...
 
S

Sparky

"Gene E. Bloch" wrote in message
Just curious if it's advisable to Safely Remove SD and other memory cards
?
I realise most people just ' yank 'em out ' .... Guilty , as charged !
In addition to R. C. White's remark: I make sure the access light isn't
flashing before I remove the card.

My current setup doesn't have an access light on the card reader,
though. So I have to wing it...

--
Gene E. Bloch (Stumbling Bloch)

Many thanks to you both , once again.

Makes perfect sense...Happy Yankin' !!
 
S

SC Tom

Sparky said:
Just curious if it's advisable to Safely Remove SD and other memory cards
?

I realise most people just ' yank 'em out ' .... Guilty , as charged !
Even though I have my cards set up as R.C. does, I still do a Safely Remove
before yanking them out. I know it's not supposed to make any difference and
that it's supposedly safe to just pull them without the extra step, but I
have had cases where what I had copied to the card was corrupt and unusable,
and I'm not talking about large 1GB+ files. Not often, but enough to piss me
off when I went to use it later and it didn't work. For the extra 3 or 4
seconds it takes, I would use the Safely Remove anyhow.
 
P

Paul

SC said:
Even though I have my cards set up as R.C. does, I still do a Safely
Remove before yanking them out. I know it's not supposed to make any
difference and that it's supposedly safe to just pull them without the
extra step, but I have had cases where what I had copied to the card was
corrupt and unusable, and I'm not talking about large 1GB+ files. Not
often, but enough to piss me off when I went to use it later and it
didn't work. For the extra 3 or 4 seconds it takes, I would use the
Safely Remove anyhow.
My experience, over many years, is the notion of "cache flushing"
is a flaky subject. There have been problems in the past, that
were fixed with bailing wire and binder twine. And that didn't serve
to build my confidence. Especially when some of the flush
commands are emitted non-blocking, and there is a race condition
between the storage device flushing its cache, and the OS turning
off the computer power :-(

So I don't know about you guys, but I'll use Safely Remove for
anything capable of supporting that feature. I don't trust
software (OS) designers enough otherwise.

This isn't a very good example, but in Linux, with a floppy drive,
you can write a file to the floppy, wait two minutes, see no activity.
Now, if you don't "unmount" the floppy using a command, and then
pull out the floppy, you'll be missing some writes! You can wait
forever, and the stupid cache has pending writes inside it.
So as far as I'm concerned, being clever and saying "SD doesn't cache
and I can play fast and loose", holds no profit for me. There is
just too much that can go wrong (memorize giant table of OS versus
device type versus removal safety).

Paul
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Paul - and all.

I probably should have added that I seldom write to SD cards. My only use
of them, almost, is to transfer photos from my digital camera to my
computer. I do much more reading from them than writing to them, so the
cache is seldom a consideration.

My first post was not to advocate yanking, but to point out the option in
"Policies", which is hidden so well that few users are aware of it.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3508.1109) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Paul" wrote in message
SC said:
Even though I have my cards set up as R.C. does, I still do a Safely
Remove before yanking them out. I know it's not supposed to make any
difference and that it's supposedly safe to just pull them without the
extra step, but I have had cases where what I had copied to the card was
corrupt and unusable, and I'm not talking about large 1GB+ files. Not
often, but enough to piss me off when I went to use it later and it didn't
work. For the extra 3 or 4 seconds it takes, I would use the Safely Remove
anyhow.
My experience, over many years, is the notion of "cache flushing"
is a flaky subject. There have been problems in the past, that
were fixed with bailing wire and binder twine. And that didn't serve
to build my confidence. Especially when some of the flush
commands are emitted non-blocking, and there is a race condition
between the storage device flushing its cache, and the OS turning
off the computer power :-(

So I don't know about you guys, but I'll use Safely Remove for
anything capable of supporting that feature. I don't trust
software (OS) designers enough otherwise.

This isn't a very good example, but in Linux, with a floppy drive,
you can write a file to the floppy, wait two minutes, see no activity.
Now, if you don't "unmount" the floppy using a command, and then
pull out the floppy, you'll be missing some writes! You can wait
forever, and the stupid cache has pending writes inside it.
So as far as I'm concerned, being clever and saying "SD doesn't cache
and I can play fast and loose", holds no profit for me. There is
just too much that can go wrong (memorize giant table of OS versus
device type versus removal safety).

Paul
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Even though I have my cards set up as R.C. does, I still do a Safely Remove
before yanking them out. I know it's not supposed to make any difference and
that it's supposedly safe to just pull them without the extra step, but I
have had cases where what I had copied to the card was corrupt and unusable,
and I'm not talking about large 1GB+ files. Not often, but enough to piss me
off when I went to use it later and it didn't work. For the extra 3 or 4
seconds it takes, I would use the Safely Remove anyhow.
Unfortunately, Safely Remove on this computer (and others where I've
had a built-in card reader) disconnects (unmounts, technically) the
card reader itself, and it stays disconnected until I reboot the
computer.

Actually, the same thing happens with a USB-connected card reader, but
I can unplug and replug one of those without disassembling the computer
:)
 
S

SC Tom

Gene E. Bloch said:
Unfortunately, Safely Remove on this computer (and others where I've had a
built-in card reader) disconnects (unmounts, technically) the card reader
itself, and it stays disconnected until I reboot the computer.

Actually, the same thing happens with a USB-connected card reader, but I
can unplug and replug one of those without disassembling the computer :)
Now that you mention it, I remember that, although mine only happens with
the built-in reader and not with my USB card reader, and only in XP, not in
Win7.
The only anomaly I have in Win7 is that the dialog sometimes doesn't come up
when I click on the SRH icon. Then I right-click on the device in Explorer,
select "Eject" and then the dialog comes up. I haven't researched why that
happens since it doesn't bother me that much, but I might now that this
thread reminded me of it :)
Same with XP thing. Seems to me, years ago at work, we had that problem and
there was a registry fix for it. I don't remember what that was either
(sometimes it's hell getting older).
 
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S

Steve Silverwood

Just curious if it's advisable to Safely Remove SD and other memory cards ?

I realise most people just ' yank 'em out ' .... Guilty , as charged !
When I use SD cards it's usually just to get my pictures from my
camera to the PC, rather than using a sync cable, so yanking them out
when done is pretty safe. On those rare occasions when I am putting
information ONTO the card, I use Safe Remove.

-- //Steve//
 
B

BillW50

In Gene E. Bloch wrote on Wed, 18 May 2011 11:59:05 -0700:
Unfortunately, Safely Remove on this computer (and others where I've
had a built-in card reader) disconnects (unmounts, technically) the
card reader itself, and it stays disconnected until I reboot the
computer.

Actually, the same thing happens with a USB-connected card reader, but
I can unplug and replug one of those without disassembling the
computer :)
You might be very interested in "USB Safely Remove". As it gives you far
more control over safety remove. And it is easy to do things like:

1) Remove card reader and to re-enable without rebooting
2) Easy to eject memory cards
3) Remove power to USB device (Vista and Windows 7 doesn't do this)
4) Hide drives with card readers without memory cards in them
5) Can remove non USB devices too, like SATA

There are lots of other nifty features in this utility as well. I really
think Windows itself should have something like this built in. And this
is one program once you use, you never want to be without ever again. It
works on any NT Windows too. Worth checking out IMHO.

http://www.safelyremove.com/
 
J

Joe Morris

Gene E. Bloch wrote on Wed, 18 May 2011 11:59:05 -0700:
Unfortunately, Safely Remove on this computer (and others where I've
had a built-in card reader) disconnects (unmounts, technically) the
card reader itself, and it stays disconnected until I reboot the
computer.
Have you tried opening Device Manager and telling it to rescan for new
hardware?

And FWIW I just now plugged into a Win7 laptop a 9-in-1 USB card reader. No
option was offered to "safely remove" anything until a card was inserted,
then the only option offered was to eject that one card. Using that option
the reader itself was still installed and exposing all of its interfaces to
the Windows system.

This is a 64-bit Win7 Enterprise system, RTM, current patches, no unusual
software, and no vendor-provided drivers for the card reader.

A WinXP Pro system will eject the entire reader and all of its interfaces.

As a first guess I would see if there are updated drivers for your card
reader; this sounds like the driver is mishandling the unmount request.

Joe
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

In Gene E. Bloch wrote on Wed, 18 May 2011 11:59:05 -0700:

You might be very interested in "USB Safely Remove". As it gives you far
more control over safety remove. And it is easy to do things like:

1) Remove card reader and to re-enable without rebooting
2) Easy to eject memory cards
3) Remove power to USB device (Vista and Windows 7 doesn't do this)
4) Hide drives with card readers without memory cards in them
5) Can remove non USB devices too, like SATA

There are lots of other nifty features in this utility as well. I really
think Windows itself should have something like this built in. And this
is one program once you use, you never want to be without ever again. It
works on any NT Windows too. Worth checking out IMHO.

http://www.safelyremove.com/
I never had good luck with it, but I usually used it for removing an
external hard drive after running a backup program.

With memory cards I just make sure the light on the multireader is not
blinking, then I go yank, real quick :)

So far, so good.

Anyway, maybe the behavior on this computer isn't what I said - it's new
and I haven't tested that behavior yet.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Gene E. Bloch wrote on Wed, 18 May 2011 11:59:05 -0700:


Have you tried opening Device Manager and telling it to rescan for new
hardware?

And FWIW I just now plugged into a Win7 laptop a 9-in-1 USB card reader. No
option was offered to "safely remove" anything until a card was inserted,
then the only option offered was to eject that one card. Using that option
the reader itself was still installed and exposing all of its interfaces to
the Windows system.

This is a 64-bit Win7 Enterprise system, RTM, current patches, no unusual
software, and no vendor-provided drivers for the card reader.

A WinXP Pro system will eject the entire reader and all of its interfaces.

As a first guess I would see if there are updated drivers for your card
reader; this sounds like the driver is mishandling the unmount request.

Joe
In posting to BillW50 just now, I realized that I actually haven't tried
the safely remove option on this new computer with the current
multireader I have in it, so I should try that first. If it fails, then
I'll try your rescan suggestion, otherwise I'm home free :)

Thanks.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

In posting to BillW50 just now, I realized that I actually haven't tried
the safely remove option on this new computer with the current
multireader I have in it, so I should try that first. If it fails, then
I'll try your rescan suggestion, otherwise I'm home free :)

Thanks.
OK, my bad :)

The multi-card reader now installed in my computer behaves very nicely,
thank you.

If I safely remove a card, and then reinsert the same or another card
into the slot, it is recognized automatically with no intervention of
any kind needed. This on SD and CF both (that's all I tested).

The reader built into my last computer didn't work that way - safely
remove dismounted the reader. There were two readers, one SD only and
the other MS only (Sony computer), and both were like that.

I think the first one I installed in this box did the same, but the new
one doesn't.
 
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When I try to safely eject my SD card from the slot of my Epson XP412 I get the message that the device is currently in use. I have closed Picasa which I use for my photos all the time; I have closed Windows Livemail which I used to send some of the pictures; I have switched off the printer. Currently open are Widows media player, Google and my Epson manual which is no help at all. Google and Mediaplayer are always on and have never caused this problem previously. I have also tried turning the computer off and waiting before switching back on and trying again.
 
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R clicking in Explorer solved my problem, too. Thanks SC Tom from back in 2011!
 

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