Safely Remove Drive needed twice

Basil Chupin blchupin at
Sun Oct 31 06:23:04 UTC 2010

On 29/10/2010 19:48, Mark wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:50 PM, Basil Chupin<blchupin at>  wrote:
>> You posted the question in Ubuntu so my answer referred to Ubuntu and not
>> KDE. Nevertheless, Gnome also uses Nautilus so you should also see the
>> Pyramid-looking thngie - unless KDE is doing some fiddling with the display.
>> Here is what I am talking about (as a small attachment).
> Okay, I think I get it.
> The pyramid looking thingie is the eject button.  Now, I can't
> reproduce the steps you used to show the display you sent.  If I open
> the panel for Places, I can see the drive, but no eject symbol.  When
> I open the drive, I still don't see any such thing.  E.g., when I open
> Nautilus on any directory or drive, I get either the icon view
> display, which is the default, or a list, which I use for my home
> directory.  I don't see the Windows-style pane on the left where other
> stuff (directories, other drives, whatever) shows up as in your case.
> I looked through the preferences and the View menu and I don't see
> anything that brings this to be.
> But, regardless, if I right-click the drive, whether the screen icon
> or in a Nautilus window or from Nautilus's File menu, and I choose
> Eject, the icon goes away, the drive is dismounted (on one click) but
> the light stays on.  A brief check around shows that the drive is in
> fact dismounted. (CentOS had the same behavior with the "Unmount
> Volume" option, but neither an Eject nor a Safely Remove Drive.)
> If I click on Safely Remove Drive, the first time it comes back and
> the second time it does not AND the light goes out.  I rather like the
> the light going out, even if it takes two dismounts.
> Is that clear as mud or what?
> :-)
> Mark (not Widdicombe)

With other things now on my mind, I am losing track of all of this :-) .

Firstly, if you had by now read my response to the "other" Mark ( :-) ) 
then you would have seen that, when in Nautilus, pressing the F9 key 
brings up the pane on the left-hand side.

If you go into Edit>Preferences>View and select List instead of the 
default Icon view then all your directories will always be in List mode. 
Otherwise you can do it directory by directory by using the View option 
on the main toolbar menu of Nautilus.

Alright, the Pyramid-thing I guess is what you would call the Eject symbol.

And this is where the hassle starts......

You NEVER eject/unmount an USB device - you always Safely Remove It.

The reason for this is that whatever data was being transferred to the 
device may not have been totally written to the device - the data may 
still be sitting in the cache of the HD waiting for it to be written out.

(Depending on which brand name of thumb drive you have and how fast it 
is, you may be copying a file to it and the copy program will tell you 
that the copying has finished - BUT if you watch the thumb drive you may 
see that it's iight is still flashing, meaning that the data has been 
stored in the HD's cache and is still being transferred to the thumb 
drive. Hence......)

Doing Safely Remove forces that data to be written to the device - and 
then it is auto unmounted and marked internally in the device [don't 
ask] as being 'closed' properly.[1]

You can see this occurring by watching the light on the USB device: when 
you issue the Safely Remove command the device light will flash[2] and 
when the flashing is finished the device will disappear from your screen 
if it is an icon or as an entry in Nautilus.

[1] This is the same/similar to what happens when you Shutdown the 
system: the kernel sends a message to all open apps and tells them to 
finish what they are doing and then close; when all have done so, the OS 

[2] Often the flashing may only be one of two flashes because all the 
data HAD been transferred; ast other times it may take a few seconds as 
the data sitting in the Hd's cache is transferred.

"Are we there yet?" :-) .


PS Just thought at this point to state that I am running a 32-bit 
version of Ubuntu 10.04.1, fully upgraded with all the latest and 
greatest, and I do not have any fancy compiz or VB or nothing like it 

"Ning Yu displayed his wisdom while the country followed System, but when it did not, he acted stupid. His wisdom is achievable by others, his stupidity is not."

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