Re: Advice about ext3, please (An experiment & results)
>> So, yes, unplugging your USB key while it's still mounted is to be
>> avoided, and even more so while it's being written to.
> The OP asked about about a USB external HDD, not a key. I have not
> tested the theory, but I have always understood that keys are
> particularly vulnerable. To physical damage if pulled out
> prematurely, not just damage to the filesystem.
I do not know that it makes any difference, tho it's quite possible that
flash keys might be more delicate, because their basic "modify disk
block" operation may temporarily invalidate other blocks. Note that the
risk is in "remove while it's writing" rather than "remove without
unmounting" (tho the difference between the two is probably irrelevant
to the end user).
PS: typically flash memory is made up of "eraseblocks" that are much
larger than a disk block, so depending on the way your flash key works,
writing a single block (512bytes) of your disk may end up doing "read
the surrounding eraseblock; erase it, rewrite it with the new content of
that particular block", so if the operation gets interrupted right after
the erase, you may end up losing a whole bunch of nearby (but maybe