What's hot-swappable or can be unplugged while computer is on?
A hot-swappable device is hardware that can be safely connected and disconnected while the computer is powered on and running, without the computer to be restarted.
Caution: This document is meant for general information to what is and is not hot-swappable on your computer.
We still always suggest that you consult your documentation before disconnecting and connecting components to the computer while it's on.
What can be plugged-in or unplugged while the computer is on?
- Audio ports (e.g., speakers, microphone, headphones, etc.)
- FireWire devices
- Modem/Phone cord (RJ-11)
- Monitor, Flat panel, or other display (VGA, SVGA, and HDMI)
- Network cable (RJ-45)
- SATA devices
- USB devices
Note: Although the interface may be hot-swappable some devices such as disk drives may need to be shutdown before they are hot-swapped.
What should not be disconnected while the computer is on?
- AT port and devices
- Internal hardware - Devices attached inside your computer such as your sound card, video card, CD-ROM, IDE hard drive, etc. are not hot-swappable.
- Parallel port and parallel port devices
- PS/2 port and devices (e.g., PS/2 keyboard and mouse)
- Serial Port and devices
Note: Disconnecting a device that is not hot-swappable while the computer is on causes the device to stop working and can also cause physical hardware damage.