I have 32-bit Vista at work and 64-bit Vista at home. The patch I downloaded for my problem sort of worked at home on the 64-bit, but at work on the 32-bit, there is no patch I can run.
Vista says my hardware can now be safely removed but it doesn't work!
When I remove the USB, I get a message saying data was damaged because it wasn't stopped before unplugging, but I did stop it before unplugging and got a message from Vista saying it was now okay to unplug.
I also noticed that in XP, when you get the safe message, the light goes off on whatever USB device is plugged in, whether it be a USB thumb drive, a portable hard drive, an MP3 player, or a smart phone. But with Vista, the light never goes off indicating that power is still flowing through and you're just pulling the plug on it without turning it off!
I tried downloading the patch for this that Microsoft made for Apple iPhone users having this problem (both the one for 32 and 64 bit Vista), but I got a message saying, "This update does not apply to your system." Well, Microsoft, give me an update that does!!
But with Vista, the light never goes off indicating that power is still flowing through and you're just pulling the plug on it without turning it off!
I can't help you with the rest, but I can comment on this. It's not a problem to remove the drive while still powered. I'm sure most people have unplugged USB mice while powered as well. What's important is to make sure that all writes to the drive have completed and no more are done, particularly if write caching is enabled. If you unplug it while a write operation is in progress you will end up with corruption. "Safely removing" completes all current writes and prevents any other program from accessing the drive. Where this isn't possible you'll get a message saying the drive is still in use and can't be stopped.
You'll find that most operating systems don't power down the drive, they just unmount the filesystem.
If that is true, then how come Windows XP cuts off power / powers down the drive?
I'm not worried about pulling the plug on USB mice; I'm worried about pulling the plug on hard drives, especially when they tell me that corruption has occurred despite the fact that Windows Vista says that it has been safely removed. HELP!! Microsoft, do you hear me??