Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

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erikh
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Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by erikh »

I've used Linux Mint for a couple weeks now - I'm still on the steep part of the learning curve.

After inserting a thumb drive into my new computer, I want to removed it. In the System Tray, there is a button - I've learned that I can't click anywhere on the button, but if I carefully hover on the little down arrow - this seems to be where I click to remove the thumb drive.

But I never get a message that "it is now safe to remove the drive".

The drive doesn't appear in the list of files (I forget what that is called in Linux Mint), but the LED on the thumb drive is still lit.

What am I doing wrong?
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wallyUSA
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by wallyUSA »

Welcome to the forum. This is a great resource for answers and suggestions to your questions and issues.

Please provide your hardware and software info with your questions. Which Mint and Desktop?

Cheers,
Wally
Ulyana 20 Cinnamon 4.6.7 Kernel 5.4.0-48 (64 bit). {Dell XPS 13}
Please, if your query has been resolved, edit your first post and add <SOLVED> to the beginning of the subject line. This may help others find solutions.
pbear
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by pbear »

Hey erik, welcome to Linux. Understand that Windows and Linux are different, so not every procedure or feature in the former is present in the latter. That's true going the other way also and it's a debate good for many rounds which it all around better designed and more secure. Anyhoo, Linux is what it is. You'll only get frustrated if you insist on its behaving like Windows. Instead, think of this as a "when in Rome ..." exercise.

Anyhoo, there are several ways to eject a flash drive. The simplest, I find, is with File Manager. The drive will appear in a list in the left navigation pane. Right-click. "Eject" is one of the options. Linux doesn't send a confirmation message. Let the light go out, wait a few seconds more, then pull.

Edit: On testing, turns out I get safe-to-remove notification in all three current desktops when ejecting from File Manager. Not as obvious as in Windows, but notification. My initial point, remains, though, erik. You're going to find things about Linux that are different. Work with it.
Last edited by pbear on Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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all41
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by all41 »

erikh wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:00 pm
I've used Linux Mint for a couple weeks now - I'm still on the steep part of the learning curve.

After inserting a thumb drive into my new computer, I want to removed it. In the System Tray, there is a button - I've learned that I can't click anywhere on the button, but if I carefully hover on the little down arrow - this seems to be where I click to remove the thumb drive.

But I never get a message that "it is now safe to remove the drive".

The drive doesn't appear in the list of files (I forget what that is called in Linux Mint), but the LED on the thumb drive is still lit.

What am I doing wrong?
Hello erikh,
Welcome to the Mint forums,
In most situations you can just right-click on the icon representing the thumb drive and select 'eject'
or 'safely remove' from the context menu.
This icon should appear on your desktop when the thumb drive is inserted and mounted
unless you have changed that option.
As wallyUSA has suggested--always include your system overview when asking questions.
Do this by opening a terminal window--from the Menu or panel (aka task bar) find 'Terminal'
or by keyboard entry Ctrl+Alt+T
In this window type:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
You will see the results--this inquiry specifically hides personal information.
Copy those results and paste them back to this thread--use the </> icon at the top of the reply
window and paste the terminal results between the brackets that are provided.
Light travels faster than sound.
That's why some people appear smart until you hear what they are saying.
cliffcoggin
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by cliffcoggin »

There is no confirmation message as others have pointed. In addition it is not enough to remove the USB stick as soon as the icon disappears from the panel. You need to wait a few more seconds for the disconnection process to finish otherwise you will get a warning message about being unable to unmount the drive. If your USB stick has a light, wait for it to go out first. (Some of them like the Sandisk nano have only a tiny LED that can only be seen by its reflection in the case.)
Cliff Coggin
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by ScottMayo »

So, I'll just say it - this is a bad design.

When I right click on a device and select Safely Remove Device, three things happen:
Short delay and the icons for the device vanish from the desktop.
Then, a short delay and the wewooweet USB disconnect sound-effect happens.
Then, a (good) few more seconds and the USB drive light stops flashing and goes out. It's magnetic media so this is likely when it finishes moving onboard cache to disk.

If I'm right, it's clearly not ok to pull the disk until the light has definitely stopped flashing - pulling removes power and maybe the cached changes get lost.

There should be positive notification when the disk is completely safe to power down. Maybe the sound effect shouldn't happen until then. Whatever it is, Safely Remove should be safe. And waiting for a light that might be hard to see to *stop* flashing isn't reasonable positive notification.
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by athi »

On Mate, when it is safe to remove the drive, there will be a prompt that appears at the upper right corner of the monitor stating that "It is safe to remove the drive" and the icon will disappear from the device listing in the left pane of Caja.

Keep in mind that if there is anything that connects to the device still active (application that was accessing the drive, another instance of Caja etc.) will also prevent the drive from ejecting.
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.
Halbarad
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by Halbarad »

19.3 Mate: no option for either Eject or Safely Remove appears in Caja when I right click on an external USB drive (HDD or SDD). The only option for removal is "Stop". If I select Stop, no notification appears and so it's anybody's guess when the USB disk can be safely removed. I use Disks (in Accessories): first unmount then power off the disk. Better safe...
EDIT: I have checked that "stop" precisely unmounts and powers off. However, the behaviour of the right click menu in Caja is a bit inconsistent; sometimes my only option for removal is "stop", sometimes I only have "unmount".
erikh
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by erikh »

Ohmigosh - thanks all for your replies and help! I had no idea there had been responses to my question. I suspect there is a way to turn on a "notification" by email when someone answers my question, and I will search for that.

All41 - thanks for the tip on CTRL+ALT+T to bring up the terminal; that's super useful, and I'll remember that.

what's on my computer:
Distro: Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa
Desktop: Cinnamon 4.0.9
Base: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic

pbear - when I insert a thumb drive, or an external hard drive, I've discovered 3 ways to "eject" it:
(1) click on the icon for "connected drives" in the *system tray* (the words *connected drive* are not used - instead the icon looks like a spinning drive, inside its case, with a read-arm over the drive; graphically it sorta looks like a vinyl phonograph record with the record-player arm; or like a slice of pie being removed from the whole pie). A list of connected drives appears (usually only 1, or 2 in my case). Next to the drive name is an *underlined up-arrow*, and by carefully clicking on that underlined up-arrow, the drive appears to be *ejected* from the computer.

(2) open up the File Manager (for Linux Mint, I think this is also called "Nemo"), and right click on the name of the drive to be removed. A drop down menu appears, with options including "unmount" and "eject". Both seem to have the same effect of ejected the thumb drive.

(3) go to the desktop, right click on the icon representing the thumb drive, and select "eject".

However, none of these options causes a message to be displayed to the effect "safe to remove hardware". And none of these options extinguishes the *light* on the thumb drive.

Option 2 and selecting "unmount" seems to work (I haven't tried that in the past). But Option 2 and selecting "eject" causes the File Manager to close (which is undesireable to me).

Therefore, I like to use Option 1.

cliffcoggin - I hear ya; and I always thought it was important to make sure the computer was *done* with the thumb drive before removing it. But when I click on the *underlined up-arrow* in the drop down menu after clicking on the icon in my system tray - the light on my thumb drive never goes out.

I speculate that different versions of Mint and/or Cinnamon perform differently (thus I should have included that information with my original post, and I'm embarassed that I failed to do so).


Thanks to all for your help, and my apologies for not checking back on my question till now. I'm still a newbie; I hope this thread helps others.
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LanceM
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by LanceM »

For flash drives with Cinnamon, the easiest is to use with a mouse, I think, is right click the icon and choose Eject. Watch the tray icon and when it disappears, you can remove the drive. If a flash drive has Safely Remove in the right click menu, it's still best to use Eject. For portable hard drives the safely remove is the only right click option. For them it works quite well. Safely remove unmounts and then powers off the device. If you want to see the light go out on you flash drive, choose Eject, then open Disks, and highlight the drive on the left, then up on top of the window click the power off button.
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Grateful4Linux
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by Grateful4Linux »

ScottMayo wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:59 pm
So, I'll just say it - this is a bad design.

When I right click on a device and select Safely Remove Device, three things happen:
Short delay and the icons for the device vanish from the desktop.
Then, a short delay and the wewooweet USB disconnect sound-effect happens.
Then, a (good) few more seconds and the USB drive light stops flashing and goes out. It's magnetic media so this is likely when it finishes moving onboard cache to disk.

If I'm right, it's clearly not ok to pull the disk until the light has definitely stopped flashing - pulling removes power and maybe the cached changes get lost.

There should be positive notification when the disk is completely safe to power down. Maybe the sound effect shouldn't happen until then. Whatever it is, Safely Remove should be safe. And waiting for a light that might be hard to see to *stop* flashing isn't reasonable positive notification.
I agree with you, and I've had some messed up drives because I removed them when it said it was safe to remove but then got errors.

This post suggests the problem is because of Linux settings that are for servers:
viewtopic.php?p=1744606#p1744606
Originally posted in that thread by Petermint:
Linux default settings are for a server with fixed disks and a backed up power supply. Writes are deferred for up to a minute. There is a setting somewhere that should be changed to 1 second. The safe-to-remove message should not occur until Linux flushes all writes. You can fix the resultant file system mess by formatting the drive.
I don't know how to find that setting and fix it though.
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by LanceM »

ScottMayo wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:59 pm
So, I'll just say it - this is a bad design.

When I right click on a device and select Safely Remove Device, three things happen:
Short delay and the icons for the device vanish from the desktop.
Then, a short delay and the wewooweet USB disconnect sound-effect happens.
Then, a (good) few more seconds and the USB drive light stops flashing and goes out. It's magnetic media so this is likely when it finishes moving onboard cache to disk.

If I'm right, it's clearly not ok to pull the disk until the light has definitely stopped flashing - pulling removes power and maybe the cached changes get lost.

There should be positive notification when the disk is completely safe to power down. Maybe the sound effect shouldn't happen until then. Whatever it is, Safely Remove should be safe. And waiting for a light that might be hard to see to *stop* flashing isn't reasonable positive notification.
Apparently, the OP is referring to an always on power light on a thumb drive. Such lights are rare on flash drives. I have one in my collection; its an old Wintec 2.0 4GB with dual lights that have somewhat complicated power/activity actions. Most flash drives with a light are for activity, and only stay on while writing or accessing. Choosing Eject, works better for flash drives because it doesn't power off the device like Safely Remove (not many brands show Safely Remove with Cinnamon Mint - my Transcends do). That way any latent writing has time to finish, at which point the tray button disappears, or it disappears from the list if more than one is mounted. USB rotating drives, and External SSD, have not been problematic for me using the Safely Remove, but the tray icon, Disks, or Nemo would be the best options, if there was a problem.
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Grateful4Linux
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by Grateful4Linux »

blueocean wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:57 pm
Choosing Eject, works better for flash drives because it doesn't power off the device like Safely Remove (not many brands show Safely Remove with Cinnamon Mint - my Transcends do). That way any latent writing has time to finish, at which point the tray button disappears, or it disappears from the list if more than one is mounted. USB rotating drives, and External SSD, have not been problematic for me using the Safely Remove, but the tray icon, Disks, or Nemo would be the best options, if there was a problem.
That is very good to know, and I bet that is the difference between my two flash drives, only one of which almost always gave me errors after the safe to remove message and is now not recognized. Going by what you wrote, I think that must have been the one that gave both Eject and Safely Remove as options, and I likely thought Safely Remove sounded better. I need to remember to choose Eject if that option is given. Thank you for taking the time to explain that!
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by LanceM »

I have all 5 sizes of Transcend Jetflash 810. 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Safely Remove only works smoothly on the 32GB and 64GB. The others have issues. All 5 work perfect with Eject. Overall I use flash drives without the Safely Remove because I forget and use it. I have quite a collection. It's been a long time obsession :mrgreen:
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by Grateful4Linux »

blueocean wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:28 pm
I have all 5 sizes of Transcend Jetflash 810. 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Safely Remove only works smoothly on the 32GB and 64GB. The others have issues. All 5 work perfect with Eject. Overall I use flash drives without the Safely Remove because I forget and use it. I have quite a collection. It's been a long time obsession :mrgreen:
I can understand that. It may become an obsession of mine too. I just tried my HP flash drive which has never given me any errors, and you're right -- the only option was Eject! I couldn't figure out why that one was always good and my other one was so problematic. Thank you for solving that mystery.

I just started a Newbie thread hoping for advice about what to do with my new SSD flash drive. I haven't even taken it out of the package yet. It's Sandisk, and now I'm anxious to see if it will have both Eject and Safely remove.
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by LanceM »

I just started a Newbie thread hoping for advice about what to do with my new SSD flash drive. I haven't even taken it out of the package yet. It's Sandisk, and now I'm anxious to see if it will have both Eject and Safely remove.
Humm, I don't see it. Let me know on the Sandisk.
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by Grateful4Linux »

blueocean wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:10 pm
I just started a Newbie thread hoping for advice about what to do with my new SSD flash drive. I haven't even taken it out of the package yet. It's Sandisk, and now I'm anxious to see if it will have both Eject and Safely remove.
Humm, I don't see it. Let me know on the Sandisk.
It's this one - viewtopic.php?f=90&t=310219
I will try the Sandisk shortly. (It was sitting in a box on the frozen tundra, so I'm waiting for it to warm up.) :)
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by Seadreamer »

When transferring data to a flash drive, data is first transferred to a buffer area in memory then fed to the flash drive as it is processed and stored. That takes a lot longer than the transfer to buffer. When I am ready to pull the drive I first open a terminal and run the "sync" command. This doesn't speed anything up but will tell you when the transfer is finished. If there is data waiting to be transferred the command will not complete until it is finished. There are some options see "sync --help" for more.
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by ScottMayo »

In my experience, sync returns before the external USB drives have finished writing.
This is just broken. Unmount/Eject/Safely Remove - they should all act identically and they should all ensure the data is 100% written and safe before giving any indication of completion, regardless. Users shouldn't be having to type sync even if it worked. Those are internal details for the OS to take care of.
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Re: Safely Remove USB Drive does not display message

Post by iironjade »

ScottMayo wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:59 pm
So, I'll just say it - this is a bad design.

When I right click on a device and select Safely Remove Device, three things happen:
Short delay and the icons for the device vanish from the desktop.
Then, a short delay and the wewooweet USB disconnect sound-effect happens.
Then, a (good) few more seconds and the USB drive light stops flashing and goes out. It's magnetic media so this is likely when it finishes moving onboard cache to disk.

If I'm right, it's clearly not ok to pull the disk until the light has definitely stopped flashing - pulling removes power and maybe the cached changes get lost.

There should be positive notification when the disk is completely safe to power down. Maybe the sound effect shouldn't happen until then. Whatever it is, Safely Remove should be safe. And waiting for a light that might be hard to see to *stop* flashing isn't reasonable positive notification.
You get a vanishing icon, a sound effect and a light that stops flashing. What more do you want, the Hand of God? :D
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