Should you always export Pool before booting without data [pool] drives attached?

My first post at the new forum, but I was at the old one for a long-time (mostly as a lurker).

Question is in the title. I’m going to be some re-jiggering of my hardware setups (adding / moving network cards, etc.), and will need to boot two of the machines multiple times, sometimes without the HBA installed (as I’ll need the PCIe slot for something else).

No clients, etc… will be connected during this time period.
Running TrueNAS Scale 23.10 on both machines.
SATA HDDs are connected via HBAs.
I’l be changing networking configurations whilst the HBAs / data drives are unattached.

So, is it critical/ important / recommended to export the pool(s) before booting the machine without the data drives attached (even if it’s only for a few minutes), or is it OK to leave the pool there and just have TrueNAS report is as missing / degraded?

Note: I’m assuming I need to move (and was planning to do so) the “System DataSet Pool” to my boot pool (via GUI: System Settings → Advanced) before starting the upgrades / disconnecting the HBAs.

I think the pools get exported during a proper shutdown anyway. It wouldn’t hurt to export and import but I would say it’s not necessary.

It would be important if you switch hardware, but in the end, if your server dies and you need to switch without exporting before, you can force the import.

I think of it as the safely eject feature in windows. For routine maintenance I’d just disconnect the HBA and be done with it.

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Thanks for the prompt reply.

My understanding was along the same lines, and it’s what I’ve done for last ~10 years since I started using FreeNAS, but because of the amount of “messing-around” I’m going to be doing over the next week or so, I started second-guessing myself.

I’m moving my (currently overpowered) OPNSense router installation to lower powered hardware to free up that CPU/motherboard, then using that to consolidate two TrueNAS installations into one, and also changing the case/PSU/motherboard/CPU/RAM combos of a few devices.

This allows me free up some things to (with a new motherboard purchase) to start a [fun] experiment with iSCSI and Thunderbolt 4 to create a pseudo direct-attached SAN for an M1 Mac and Linux client (both connected via TB4).

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I just disconnect the pool. Seems to work fine. And prevents shares etc from getting erased etc

With my sas expander I just disconnect the cables from the hba :wink: