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Gregg2

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 22, 2008
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Milwaukee, WI
I found this being discussed in an old thread, in the Macbook Pro Forum. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/do-you-always-get-disk-not-ejected-properly.2357774/
It seems that, being related to a laptop, the need to eject and disconnect would be frequent.

I get the "Disk not ejected properly" message which names my external drive as the culprit. The external is connected to my Mac Mini, and is never ejected, and the cable is rarely unplugged (only for troubleshooting, see next paragraph). The message seems random, but it also seems harmless. Should I try to make it go away, or just live with it?

More info:
I have Shut Down and unplugged the external drive, then booted up again. The message still comes back, not every time I reboot, and I think sometimes when I haven't rebooted. I'm one of those rare people who shuts down almost every evening. But for a year, this wasn't happening, and I don't recall it happening at all on any of my older Macs. This has only started recently, a year or so after setting up this Mac Mini and running Monterey.
 

Bigwaff

Contributor
Sep 20, 2013
1,796
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You can try unchecking System Preferences > Battery > Battery > Put hard disks to sleep when possible. Might work. Post your Mac Mini model from Apple menu > About This Mac.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
10,740
8,416
A sea of green
It could be a cable problem. Or if there's a hub between the Mac and the disk, maybe a hub problem.

If you have a hub, try removing it. If you have other cables, try swapping them in.

Basically, suspect every single item on the communication path between the Mac and the disk, and either remove it from the path, or swap it with another equivalent item.
 

Milan254

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2023
22
2
I have my USB flash drive plugged in directly in my Mac M1 2020 and it’s all good until I shut down and restart the computer. When I reboot I get the same message every time
“Disk not ejected properly”. I also have a Windows 11 laptop for several years and I can keep the same USB there for ever and it will always show and be ready as drive D.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,562
2,824
"Disk not ejected properly" message which names my external drive as the culprit. The external is connected to my Mac Mini, and is never ejected, and the cable is rarely unplugged (only for troubleshooting, see next paragraph). The message seems random, but it also seems harmless. Should I try to make it go away, or just live with it?

When this message appears you risk disk corruption. Most of the time it doesn't cause a problem, but if a major folders' data gets corrupted ...

Make sure you have a good 3-2-1 backup strategy in place.

There are hundreds of posts about this problem happening on most Mac computers.
 

satcomer

Suspended
Feb 19, 2008
9,115
1,973
The Finger Lakes Region
On Mac is different the Windows way! Mac OS is based on BSD Unix and Unix amount external drives and you as user need to eject that mounted drive by dragging to the Trash Can to eject the drive!
 

Gregg2

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 22, 2008
7,184
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Milwaukee, WI
You can try unchecking System Preferences > Battery > Battery > Put hard disks to sleep when possible. Might work. Post your Mac Mini model from Apple menu > About This Mac.
Mac mini (M1, 2020)
No Battery pane in SP. Is that just for a laptop?
 

Gregg2

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 22, 2008
7,184
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Milwaukee, WI
It could be a cable problem. Or if there's a hub between the Mac and the disk, maybe a hub problem.

If you have a hub, try removing it. If you have other cables, try swapping them in.
External is plugged directly into the Mini. Other things go through a hub.

I'm aware that it might be the cable. I don't have another, but might have to get a new one. If that fixes it, great! But, if not, that might mean a bad USB port on one end or the other, or both.

I'll probably live with it for awhile. If it's the cable, seems like the worst that could happen is losing access to the external drive. That would prompt a trip to Best Buy.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
10,740
8,416
A sea of green
External is plugged directly into the Mini. Other things go through a hub.
Is the drive bus-powered, or does it have a power adapter? If it has an adapter, maybe that's dropping out momentarily. If it doesn't have an adapter, maybe it's momentarily pulling too much current. In other words, suspect any item in the power path to the drive.

I'm aware that it might be the cable. I don't have another, but might have to get a new one. If that fixes it, great! But, if not, that might mean a bad USB port on one end or the other, or both.
Yes, it could be a connector problem.

I'll probably live with it for awhile. If it's the cable, seems like the worst that could happen is losing access to the external drive. That would prompt a trip to Best Buy.
The worst that could happen is losing data on the drive. Individual files could be corrupted, or you could lose large numbers of files.
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
This is a relatively common problem not limited to MBpros. My Mac Studio will not keep a long-term, perfectly reliable HDD enclosure "connected" for longer than about 3 hours before disconnecting and popping that error. Hook the same to an older Mac running macOS before Big Sur and this problem will not replicate: same everything except Intel Mac pre-Big Sur vs. "latest & greatest" silicon Mac running Monterey.

I'm 99% convinced there is no user resolution in any settings changes. Apple people will redirect to try to shift blame to cables, hubs, settings, enclosures, firmware, user error, etc- anything but Apple- but I've tested through EVERYTHING and am convinced this is a bug(s) in macOS since Big Sur.

Some enclosures work fine and some don't. Age doesn't seem to apply as some very old ones I tested trying to resolve this work fine while fairly new ones will "unexpectedly eject." HDD enclosures seem to be more likely to do this vs. SDD enclosures but the latter are not immune.

Hopefully, at some point, Apple will get around to debugging USB for silicon Macs and much of this will mysteriously resolve itself. However, this problem has existed for a couple of YEARS now, so WHEN is the big question. There are many threads about this, even on Apple's own support forums.

Best option if you need reliable external storage is to try different enclosures until you find one that will remain connected. Brand names aren't magic, meaning some enclosures by a brand may work and others won't. You just try and try again until you find one that won't "unexpectedly eject." For me, I found a reliable connection with OWC Ministack STX, so it is standing in for my preferred option (also from OWC) until the latter works with Silicon Mac as well as it does with Intel Mac.
 
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Bigwaff

Contributor
Sep 20, 2013
1,796
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Perhaps the disk is not actually being unmounted but rather being put to sleep and/or waking from sleep, triggering a bug in the system notification software framework which manifests by displaying the unnecessary alert. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Gregg2

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 22, 2008
7,184
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Milwaukee, WI
Well, it's become more than just that notice that the disk was not ejected properly. Now sometimes my external drive (no power adaptor) which I only eject for troubleshooting purposes, is disappearing from the Desktop. I've unplugged it and plugged it back in, which usually results in the icon showing up again, without a Restart. But I have also done a Restart, perhaps just not being patient enough for it to appear.

The external drive is old in computer years. I don't know if I have a way to figure out when I bought it. The Mini it's connected to is an M1, 2020 model.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 22, 2008
7,184
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Milwaukee, WI
The latest manifestation is random disappearance of the external drive icon, then reappearance. Sometimes the "disk not ejected properly" warning comes up, sometimes not.
 

saldin

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2012
92
18
I recently purchased a new Mac Mini M2 and had this problem pop up constantly. It never happened with my old and busted MBP2011 with High Sierra.

I have an external drive on which I triggered a spotlight rebuild that's constantly interrupted every time the Mini goes to sleep, with the extra risk of data corruption.

I heard about Jettison and installed the trial, but it sadly doesn't work (screenshot attached). When the Mini is woken up, it takes a long time to remount and I'm afraid of how much can I test for solutions when there's a risk of data loss...

I unchecked the "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" option, but I won't know if it works until the next sleep cycle (which I'm dreading). EDIT: the Mini went to sleep and powered down HDMI, but it didn't cut power to the USB port. The disk went to sleep (signaled by the light pulsating rhythmically, vs erratically when in operation, or completely off when powered down). When it was woken up, the external disk was mounted but not unlocked, even though the WD Security tool was set to auto-unlock. After launching the WD Security utility and entering the password, the contents were revealed. No error messages came up. Still, it's an improvement. I'll leave it to sleep a few more times to verify.

If someone has any more advice, I'd be thankful to read it.
 

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Brian33

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2008
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347
USA (Virginia)
This will probably not help many people, but if you can live with the external volume(s) being mounted read-only, it will prevent the "Disk Not Ejected Properly" message, and the risk of filesystem corruption. (Of course then you can't conveniently write to them.)

I've done this for three of my eight external volumes (four drives). To set particular volumes to be mounted read-only you must have proper lines in the file '/etc/fstab' -- see 'man fstab' for details on the format. You should always use the 'vifs' command (with 'sudo') to edit the /etc/fstab file. This means you must be familar with the 'vi' editor.

As an example, here are my three lines. The final 'ro' indicates to mount them read-only instead of the default read-write.

Code:
UUID=59D58CFC-1CF4-3BC0-99A7-58B8F288182B  none  hfs  ro
UUID=5D32D975-E57E-3C3E-9B97-A51D41E58251  none  hfs  ro
UUID=AA846E48-22BF-369A-AB73-BAFD5E04B234  none  hfs  ro

I've been trying to troubleshoot this issue off and on for a year or so, ever since I moved from Mojave (never a disconnection) to Monterey. Unlike many, for me it only happens once or twice a month, and always when I'm away from my iMac. I have discovered that the UNIX device node id (like /dev/disk2) associated with a volume can actually be changed during one of these events. It appears that the drives are being forcefully disconnected and then remounted right away. This explains why people get these error messages and yet often the drive icon is still on the desktop.
 
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Gregg2

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 22, 2008
7,184
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Milwaukee, WI
My issue is evolving. From OP(#1): "I get the "Disk not ejected properly" message which names my external drive as the culprit." Then Post #17 just above.

Now, the external drive icon disappearance is more stubborn. I've tried Restart and didn't get it to show up. I've unplugged the cable from the Mini to the external, and didn't get it to show up. (Note: I did not get the warning when I did this, as the icon was not there, so the external drive was not mounted.)

The latest time, I unplugged the cable from the external drive instead of from the Mini. After what seemed like an abnormal delay, the external drive icon appeared. All my folders are there.

I wonder if I should
1) replace the current USB cable with a new cable
2) take the external drive to a repair shop and have it looked at
3) take both of the above (current cable) to the shop and have both tested
4) do nothing and wait for a bug fix in the OS
5) other thoughts?

If I uncheck "external drives" under Show on Desktop, that might prevent the warning. It would also mean that my flash drive would not be shown on the Desktop. I will investigate whether or not I can access drives that are "plugged in" if they are not show on the Desktop, because not having the flash drive available without jumping through other hoops (like rechecking external drives) would be nice.
 
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Brian33

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2008
1,413
347
USA (Virginia)
First thing I would try is another cable.

I looked back through the thread, but didn't see if this external is a HDD or SSD. Especially if it's an older HDD, there's the possibility that it is in the process of failing. Deciding if that's the case isn't easy. You could try to examine the S.M.A.R.T. attributes with some utility, but since it's a USB drive I don't think they can be read without installing a kernel extension (which may not be available for an M1 machine anyway).

If I uncheck "external drives" under Show on Desktop, that might prevent the warning.
Even with that Finder pref unchecked, I'm pretty sure the drive will still be mounted. And if so it wouldn't prevent the warning.

I will investigate whether or not I can access drives that are "plugged in" if they are not show on the Desktop
I believe the drive will still be mounted and accessible from Finder's sidebar even if that pref to show it on desktop is un-checked. That pref is just "cosmetic."
 
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Cyber-Zombie

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2021
14
7
I run into this issue as well. It's random though, and most of the time when it happens, it remounts the drive with a new name /volumes/atlantis becomes /volumes/atlantis 1 and the original /volumes/atlantis stays. It's driving me crazy because backblaze complains that it can't backup /volumes/atlantis anymore. Other applications complain because it can't find the data on /volumes/atlantis. The solution is to unmount /Volumes/atlantis 1 and then sudo rm -rf /volumes/atlantis* and then remount it.

going to try replacing the cable and see what happens.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 22, 2008
7,184
1,176
Milwaukee, WI
Good luck. I took my external drive and cable to Best Buy. The cable tested fine. I bought a new external drive at Office Max. I haven't seen the message since.
 
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