USB External Hard Drive: opinions / direct knowledge requested
When using Linux, if I want to unplug my USB external hard drive, I use the option to unmount the drive and then unplug it. However, immediately upon unplugging the drive, I hear a squeal or whining noise coming from the drive as it spins itself down. I'm assuming that the heads are being properly parked 'before' the drive is totally disabled. Still, I'm also wondering if there is any damage occurring to the drive when I hear this horrible whining noise?
I've gotta tell you, it hurts me just a little when I hear it making that noise. ;)
All that said, when you use the "safely remove USB device" option under Windows XP, it unmounts and spins the drive down before it's unplugged and you don't hear the noise described above at all. I know it's being spun down because I can feel it happening when I place my hand on the drive.
To stop the drive from making this noise under Linux, I've been using a simple script along with sdparm to spin down the drive before unplugging it, but I'm wondering if I really need to bother with doing that, or is it safe to simply unmount the drive, then unplug it without worrying about the noise being made?
Do any of you have any opinions or direct knowledge that you can offer up about this subject?
Thanks in advance!
Edit: I should add that this is a USB external drive powered solely by the USB port. I don't have this issue with external drives that have their own power source.