Like everyone else in the universe, it seems, I've just\nbought a Canon Powershot A60 digital camera (for £99.99\nfrom Amazon UK).\n\nTo use with it, I bought a 128MB CompactFlash card from\nCrucial, along with their USB CompactFlash card reader.\n\nThe instructions that come with it, on paper and on CD,\nare very sparse. The Crucial website isn't a lot more\nhelpful, having only this to say on the topic of hot-\nswapping cards:\n\n"Do I have to turn the power off to remove my flash card?\n\nIn most cases, no. As long as your device isn't currently\naccessing the card, you can usually "hot swap" one card\nfor another without turning off the power, much the same\nway you would with a floppy disk on your computer. To be\non the safe side, double-check the owner's manual for your\ndevice for specific instructions for removing and installing\nyour flash cards. If you experience problems hot swapping\nthe card, try turning off power before inserting the card\nto see if the problem is corrected."\n\nNot exactly definitive, when there is no "owner's manual"!\n\nI phoned their customer support centre, and was told that\nit is OK to insert or remove the card so long as the green\nlight isn't on, i.e. data is not being transferred to or\nfrom the card.\n\nAlthough this is reassuring, I'd still like to know if it\nis safer or more reliable to detach the card reader from\nthe USB port before either inserting or removing a card.\nI'll be inclined to play safe unless told authoritatively\nthat it makes no difference.\n\nThe reader comes with a cable having at one end a USB\nplug to connect to the computer, and at the other end\na USB socket to connect to the reader (which I suppose\ncould in principle be plugged straight into the PC).\n\nCommon sense suggests that although it is harmless to\nleave the cable always plugged into a free USB port on\nthe PC, hot-swapping the card at a time when the reader\nis already plugged into the PC is more likely to cause\nproblems than hot-swapping the reader and card together\nas a unit - i.e. always inserting or removing the card\nwhen the reader is not connected to a power source.\n\nBut is (my version of) common sense right about this?