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How do you safely turn off an External Network Drive?

Discussion in 'Storage' started by Black Panther, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderatorâ„¢ Staff Member

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    Does anyone have an External Network Drive here? If so, how do you turn it off safely?

    Sorry if this is a n00b question but I never had this type of drive before, there's nothing on the manual and I didn't find anything on google -- so I'm not sure I'm doing the "shutting down" correctly...

    I just got this disk - it's a network drive so it's connected to my router and not directly to pc like a normal external drive.

    Since it's not connected to my pc, I don't have the "safely remove hardware" icon on the taskbar.

    When I turn off my pc, it remains spinning.
    Obviously, if I'd just turn off the power from the wall socket after turning off my rig, I think the drive would 'jolt' with risk of data corruption or damaging it (no-no!)...

    It's got a 'push-button' type of switch at the back which is not handy at all (it's completely flush with the drive's back and so hard to find and press well).

    Through trial and error I found out that if I just press this button, nothing happens. If I keep it pressed for 10-15 seconds, the blue light under the drive starts flashing.... and after some 45 seconds, if not more (!!) the drive switches off with a very audible click. :confused:

    Now even if this is the correct way of doing it, is there some other method to shut this drive down safely without spending an entire minute doing it? :wtf:

    Thanks!
    :toast:
  2. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    You could just cut the power cable with a pruning shears. (just kidding)

    I have a D-Link NAS device and I just press the button on the front. It flashes for a few seconds (which I assume means its checking to make sure everything that is cached gets written to disk) and then turns off.

    Didn't the device come with any instructions?
    Black Panther says thanks.
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    you can turn it off by unplugging it with no risk, unless data was being written to it at the time (in which only the data being written is at risk, nothing else)
    Black Panther says thanks.
  4. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    + 1 to mussels, I'm constantly just switching HDD's right off.

    ( with no detrimental effects obviously)
  5. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderatorâ„¢ Staff Member

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    Nope, just a 'quick installation guide' showing which cable goes where, and that the power switch has to be pressed to power it up...
  6. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had corrupted files when just unplugging USB drives without doing the "safely remove", so you may want to look into it a bit more to make sure that everything is getting written to the drive before you kill the power. If a portion of a file is still in cache and you just take down the drive, you could be left with corrupted files.

    On a side note, if you turn off write caching for the drive it should always be good.
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    network drives wont have write caching enabled, it'd be a daft thing to have on by default considering their intended purpose.
  8. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    One would not think so, but I would not bet my data on it. Always safest to check.
    The data would not be cached on the computer, but depending on how the manufacturer of the NAS device designed it, they could be caching to internal RAM on the NAS devices.

    You need to remember that a NAS device may be getting read and write requests from many computers simultaneously and there may be a need to cache to make sure everything that comes and goes to the drive is handled in a timely manner.

    Just my 2 cents. :toast:

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