can't unmount external hard drive

invasian

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 7, 2007
184
0
Houston
i have a weird problem that googling around didn't seem to help. I have an external hard drive connected but cannot unmount it. All I've done is access and transfer some files. I found some sites that said to try lsof in terminal to see what files are being used...so here it is

lsof | egrep 'Backup'
Finder 506 30r REG 14,15 251063 17600 /Volumes/Backup/90B02.jpg
Finder 506 32r REG 14,15 215706 17556 /Volumes/Backup/F90T03.jpg

I'm not even using these files. And I've quit all applications and I still can't eject the drive. I made a copy of these files on my notebook, then dragged these files from the external hard drive to the trash. Then I tried ejecting, still can't. I try emptying the trash, but I can't cause those files are in use. I have no idea what program is using them.

Is there a way to find out or force quit somehow?
 

invasian

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 7, 2007
184
0
Houston
It seemed that Finder was the program that was "using" these files even though I wasn't doing anything.

So I opened up terminal and did 'killall Finder'. i was then able to eject the disk. This didn't work the first time I tried (which was last night). Upon using my computer this morning, same problem occurred and I tried killall Finder, and this time it worked.

So I guess it's a temp solution.
 

invasian

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 7, 2007
184
0
Houston
I just wanted to post this since I finally figured out the problem and how to solve it.


So basically, if you can't unmount your drive, it's cause some process is using it. So in terminal, run this command, where Backup is the name of your drive

lsof | egrep 'Backup'
Finder 506 30r REG 14,15 251063 17600 /Volumes/Backup/90B02.jpg
Finder 506 32r REG 14,15 215706 17556 /Volumes/Backup/F90T03.jpg

In my case, it's Finder that was using it, even though there is nothing going on and i'm not using Finder or transferring any of those files. Anyways, sometimes you'll find that Finder isn't listed and it's something else, like this time, it was

SystemUIS 116 14r REG 4,15 153343 18225 /Volumes/SPIDER4.jpg

No clue what SystemUIS is, but anyways, what you want to do is kill the process whatever it is that is keeping your external hard drive busy.

so in terminal you type,

kill -9 ###

where ### is the process number. In this case, it is 116 (for SystemUIS) or 506 (for Finder)

You will then be able to unmount your drive normally. Again, I don't know what SystemUIS is.
 

Rezadarius

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2008
2
0
Brisbane, Australia
External hard drive is in use !!!

Hi,

I have a purchased a external hard drive but I have the same problem, when I want to eject it there is message saying it is in use, I have tried force quiting finder or spotlite but still does not eject.
How can I do it,

Thank you for your help.:(

Reza.
I just wanted to post this since I finally figured out the problem and how to solve it.


So basically, if you can't unmount your drive, it's cause some process is using it. So in terminal, run this command, where Backup is the name of your drive

lsof | egrep 'Backup'
Finder 506 30r REG 14,15 251063 17600 /Volumes/Backup/90B02.jpg
Finder 506 32r REG 14,15 215706 17556 /Volumes/Backup/F90T03.jpg

In my case, it's Finder that was using it, even though there is nothing going on and i'm not using Finder or transferring any of those files. Anyways, sometimes you'll find that Finder isn't listed and it's something else, like this time, it was

SystemUIS 116 14r REG 4,15 153343 18225 /Volumes/SPIDER4.jpg

No clue what SystemUIS is, but anyways, what you want to do is kill the process whatever it is that is keeping your external hard drive busy.

so in terminal you type,

kill -9 ###

where ### is the process number. In this case, it is 116 (for SystemUIS) or 506 (for Finder)

You will then be able to unmount your drive normally. Again, I don't know what SystemUIS is.
 

cwingrav

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2008
20
0
Same problem. It was my SystemUIServer. I killed its process and things worked well. SystemUIServer also was keeping Time Machine backups from running, even after I restarted my machine. Odd that killing it fixed it since a reboot didn't but oh well.

Gads, been using Un*x for years but never knew the 'lsof' command. Quite useful.
 

peterrosen

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2007
5
0
How to Eject Resistant External HD - This Works!

So basically, if you can't unmount your drive, it's cause some process is using it. So in terminal, run this command, where Backup is the name of your drive

lsof | egrep 'Backup'