What happens if you remove a hard drive while the computer is on

personal computer 1

A computer is a digital electronic machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations (computation) automatically.

A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end-user, rather than by a computer expert or technician.

Recently one of our viewers asked, What would happen if you took the hard drive out of a PC that was turned on? There are different scenarios to this situation so we will discuss them in this post and keep reading till the end.

What happens if you remove a hard drive while the computer is on

Before going to the main point in this post you should know what is RAM And what id ROM.


Random-access memory is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code. 


Read-only memory is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device, simply it is a storage medium that stores information permanently.

If I assume that you were doing some operations on your PC and meanwhile someone comes and suddenly removes your hard disk then operations which you were doing on your RAM operations will be there but ROM will be disconnected which will stop working on the computer, it will show blue screen, black screen, or restart itself and it will show “disk not found”. Any data not written to disk will be lost, of course, but it is quite unlikely that there will be any data corruption on the drive itself.

When you turn on the computer while the hard disc is missing it will try to connect to the Hard disc but there will be a full system crash. Hardware-wise, you won’t damage the PC or the hard drive.

So if you were to remove the drive while doing some operations largely on your Hard Disk then it may be lost. When you reinstall your hard disk again and turn on the PC then everything will work normally. you may need to run chkdsk the next time you boot up in order to fix file system inconsistencies.

The SATA power and data connectors are designed to be safe for plugging/unplugging under power. USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, and eSATA fall in the same category. Same with USB… I have a RAID on USB 3, and as long as I “eject” it before unplugging, no problems.

What happens if you remove a hard drive while the Laptop is on

The same thing is expected when doing the same thing on a Laptop but in this situation power source is from inside the laptop so it will turn off gradually but when you install the hard drive it is expected that it will turn on as usual.

If it is a secondary drive or software drive then you will not get any major change. Data and software related to the secondary drive will be lost and will not be able to access them.


When you try to remove a hard disc/ SSD from a running PC or laptop most probable it won’t hurt your hardware but you may get some errors after you fix all hardware in their necessary positions.

That was a quick fun post hope you get value from this post, please comment on your experience if you have removed the hard drive while the computer was on.

Leave a Comment