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When can I safely unplug an external drive on 12.10?

I have browsed several answers... but none seems to address my question. As reported in bug #1067876 the options to "safely remove" an external drive is gone. No problem! Umount is sufficient for ...
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Why don't my external USB hard disks umount when I shutdown? [closed]

I have an usb external disk and I spin-down it through "hd-idle", a utility I found here: http://hd-idle.sourceforge.net. I thought that when Ubuntu shutdown, it unmount all partitions, whether these ...