Monday, July 02, 2007

One Rare Mac Gotcha

The Mac operating system is user-friendly. It's difficult to do anything wrong because the Mac OS has many built-in safeguards.

Not so with managing external storage devices--
Keep in mind that all external storage devices that are writable, and mount as an icon on your desktop, require proper dismounting. Bad things happen otherwise.

External hard drives, iPods, and even flash drives (aka thumb drives) must be dismounted before removing the USB or FireWire cable. To dismount a drive, drag the drive icon on the desktop straight to the Trash. Nothing could be more counter-intuitive, but the Trash icon will transform into a stylized eject icon (a triangle). Wait until the storage device icon disappears from the Mac desktop. Not doing so will produce an error message window stating that the drive was not properly dismounted.

Flash drives, too. Yes, they're tiny and cute, but they're writable external data storage devices that can quickly be corrupted.

Not dismounting an external drive correctly can irreparably corrupt the drive. Data loss is a distinct possibility. Always drag the icon of any external storage device to the trash prior to disconnecting the data cable.

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