Re: File copying to external devices
> [...] a drive gives me a weird error about a connection not being able to be made, and with the
> drive still attached [...]
Post the error in order to be able to diagnose the problem.
Wich Desktop Environment are you using (GNOME3/GNOME2/KDE/XFCE/OTHER)?
jpollard is correct, you must umount the device (external disk) prior to unplug/remove it.
No process must have any opened files in that filesystem, if so the umount will fail.