Unplugging Usb Harmful To Computer?

I have win 2000 pro. Just wondering if it is bad to unplug usb items without first closing it with the icon in the bottom right corner. What is the worst thing that will happen if i unplug my card reader for example?

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Usb Drive Wont Work After Unplugging It During File Transfer

I gave this usb flash drive to a friend as a gift

Its the 8gb pico usb drive, ive had one for over a year and ive had no problems but my friends wont work after he told me he accidentally unplugged it during a file transfer on his mac. If i plug it in to a mac it wont see the drive, not even the disk utility. If it plug it in to a vista machine, it gets seen but it says "unknown device" and it wont show up under disk management either. Is there any possible way to fix it? This is a first for me since i thought you could not damage usb drives if you unplugged them during a file transfer (except for normal data corruption). Any ideas?

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Try this solution:
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