Jul 17, 2014

What happens if I don’t properly eject an SD card before removing it?

I don’t always go through the steps to properly eject SD cards from computers at work before I remove them. I usually use a USB reader, but on some laptops with an SD card slot, I just use that. Just to be clear, I’m not doing this every time or even on purpose - I just forget occasionally. As far as I know, nothing has ever happened, but I assume since the process to properly eject it exists, it could cause issues.


Yes, you should follow the steps and never pull out SD card without proper ejection process. You may face after effects like "unrecognized/formatted/corrupted card", "card error", "card cannot be read" like messages.

How to Eject a Memory Card from Your PC

"You can’t just yank out a memory card that you’ve put in your PC. It may be tempting. But if you do pull out the memory card without properly ejecting it, the memory card can be damaged or the information stored on the card destroyed."

There is a chance, particularly when a large file is being saved to the SD card, that you could corrupt the data by removing it while it is still being written to. It won’t physically harm the SD card, but you could have problems when you try to access the data. When you eject it properly, the OS makes sure to write all of the data in the buffer to it before you are OKed to remove it. I think Windows doesn’t use write caching for removable storage to help prevent this from happening, on the assumption that a lot of people will just yank it out without ejecting.

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