Can't Eject a Volume

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Nick Naym, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Nick Naym

    Nick Naym Guest

    I have a 2TB WD "My Book Essential" (read that as "cheap piece of crap")
    external drive on which I created two 1TB partitions. Initially, I used
    one simply as a place to store selected (drag & dropped) folders from my
    internal drive; the other for a SuperDuper clone. I got the thing a
    couple of years ago when my previous iMac's HD was failing, simply to
    have an additional (to my TM and clone backups on two external LaCie d2
    Quadras) backup.

    Recently, I erased the one that contained the dragged & dropped folders
    and used it to create a second SuperDuper clone.

    When I plug the drive in (that's right, there's no on/off
    turn it on/off by plugging/un[plugging it into the AC), both volumes
    appear on the desktop, and both can be accessed. Oddly, however,
    virtually any time I attempt to unmount/eject the volumes, the one
    containing the second SuperDuper clone refuses to eject: I receive the
    alert "The disk [name of volume] wasn't ejected because one or more
    programs may be using it." Besides Finder, nothing is running, and Disk
    Utility can't find any problems.The only way I can unmount/eject it is
    by force-ejection or by shutting down my iMac and unplugging the drive.

    Any ideas?
    Nick Naym, Feb 18, 2014
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  2. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    one or more files is still open.

    you can use the command line utility lsof to find out what file that is.

    it also could just be yet another finder bug.
    Guest, Feb 18, 2014
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  3. Nick Naym

    billy Guest

    After the failed attempt to eject it, launch the Terminal program and
    try this command -

    lsof | grep Volumes

    and see what shows up. lsof = list open files...

    Billy Y..
    billy, Feb 18, 2014
    Alt likes this.
  4. Nick Naym

    Alan Ralph Guest

    It may well be Finder itself still accessing the external disk. Select
    'Force Quit' from the Apple menu, select Finder, click 'Relaunch', then
    wait while Finder restarts and refreshes the desktop. This also works
    for CDs or DVDs that refuse to eject.

    Alan Ralph, Feb 18, 2014
  5. Nick Naym

    M-M Guest

    The problem is likely because Spotlight is busy indexing the disk. Go
    to Spotlight's Privacy settings and exclude that disk.
    M-M, Feb 19, 2014
  6. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    it's very likely it's spotlight and if turning it off fixes it, then
    that's what the problem was. plus, spotlight should be off for a
    superduper clone anyway.
    Guest, Feb 19, 2014
  7. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    yes i did, but i also didn't think about spotlight, which is almost
    certainly the cause.
    don't flatter yourself. i don't give a flying **** what you do.

    my reason for posting was to help the original poster, but then you
    decided to turn this into a flame fest and demonstrate just how much of
    utter an asshole you can be.

    it's a lot easier to turn off spotlight and see if it fixes the problem
    rather than wade through the output of lsof, but if that doesn't solve
    the problem, then use lsof.
    Guest, Feb 19, 2014
  8. Nick Naym

    Lewis Guest

    When this happens, open up

    lsof /Volumes/Drivename
    Lewis, Feb 20, 2014
  9. Nick Naym

    Lewis Guest

    Don't do this.
    Lewis, Feb 20, 2014
  10. Nick Naym

    Alan Ralph Guest

    Care to expand on why you think it's the wrong course of action?

    Alan Ralph, Feb 20, 2014
  11. Nick Naym

    Lewis Guest

    Force quitting apps is generally to be avoided. Force quitting an app
    like the Finder where you are never sure of the state it is in is
    absolutely to be avoided.
    Lewis, Feb 21, 2014
  12. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    the problem is finder often keeps files open long after they've been
    closed. it's yet another finder bug. it's not something anyone is going
    to fix either.
    Guest, Feb 21, 2014
  13. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    finder isn't always sure what state it's in, so how can anyone else be?

    it doesn't properly close files all the time, which means force-quit is
    the only option (other than logging out or rebooting which is a much
    bigger hassle).
    Guest, Feb 21, 2014
  14. Nick Naym

    Tim Streater Guest

    The files will all be closed when the app quits. You *might* leave an
    important file in a dicky state, but not necessarily. I force-quit Word
    2008 quit often, but it starts up just fine every time.
    Well quite. And if that's still a concern, get hold of one of the many
    apps that will add a Quit item to Finder.

    In fact looking at the Force-Quit window, if you choose Finder the
    button changes to say "Relaunch", so that would seem safe enough.
    Tim Streater, Feb 21, 2014
  15. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    obviously. nobody said otherwise.
    as has been said, the reason the disk won't eject is likely due to
    spotlight, so turning off spotlight for that drive will probably
    resolve the issue. it's very easy to do and entirely harmless and
    should be the first thing to try.

    if that doesn't solve the problem, then the problem is elsewhere, at
    which point, someone can dig deeper to find out what's going on.

    in other words, start with the simple stuff first. not only is this a
    common troubleshooting technique, but it's done in just about every
    industry. too bad you don't understand that.
    Guest, Feb 21, 2014
  16. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    that's possible, but very unlikely because files are written atomically.

    you might lose changes you made since the last save, but that's about
    it. it's extremely unlikely that anything will be corrupted.

    however, nothing is perfect and there is a very tiny chance something
    could go wrong. files can get corrupted even without force-quitting.
    shit happens.
    nonsense. finder is one of the buggiest parts of os x and apple has
    shown no interest in fixing it.

    some of its bugs have been there for years, as far back as os x 10.0.
    it still gets file/folder sizes wrong and does not properly handle time
    zones. apparently, nobody at apple ever leaves cupertino. if someone
    cancels emptying trash, it will usually get stuck canceling, and the
    only way to fix that is force-quit. the list goes on.
    Guest, Feb 21, 2014
  17. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Feb 21, 2014
  18. Nick Naym

    Guest Guest

    developers could do a lot of things. that doesn't mean they do.

    the vast majority of developers are not stupid and write files
    atomically because they know that's the safest way to do it.

    not only that, but just because a file is open when an app is
    force-quit does mean it will be corrupted. a force-quit is typically
    done *after* an app has crashed, so the damage, if any, has already

    if this was a huge problem, we'd be hearing about data loss when people
    force-quit apps, and we don't, therefore it's not a serious issue.

    real world experience is what matters.
    i'm not the one who is moving the goalposts.
    actually it is what is being discussed.

    or have you already forgotten that *you* said finder was not fragile?

    typical for you, when facts are shoved in your face, you get all bent
    out of shape.
    Guest, Feb 21, 2014
  19. Nick Naym

    Lewis Guest

    lsof /Volumes

    Works pretty well unless you have a lot of drives mounted.
    Of course, when you try to eject a volume and it cannot be ejected
    because a file is open, the dialog will tell you which application has
    the file open in most cases if there is only one application involved.

    The Volume "Tardis" cannot be ejected because it is being used by

    Or something like that.
    I would recommend

    hdiutil eject -force /Volumes/name

    as a better choice than force-quitting the finder anyway.
    Lewis, Feb 21, 2014
  20. Nick Naym

    Alan Browne Guest

    I have to agree with J-R although we don't usually agree on very much.

    Apps only do as the programmer programmed. I've written apps where
    files remain open for weeks - that includes random access read/writeable
    files (simple flat databases, if you will). Certainly data recorders
    with files open for hours or even days at a time. No ill came from it
    (DOS, Windows).

    Log files can be left open or closed then appended to - but in large
    projects it's quite common to have many files open for write at a given
    time. Makes it easy to simply keep all the closures for the cleanup
    code when the program exits.

    Some files (Maintenance of config files for example) owned by an
    application are usually written and closed in one go. That's appropriate.

    OS X is also a collection of "middleware apps". lsof-ing the system
    disk shows a large number of files opened at any given time. (As well
    as by whatever apps happen to be running).
    Alan Browne, Feb 21, 2014
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