Impossible to Unmount!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jmaquarry, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. jmaquarry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #1
    Help :'(

    i currently have a wester digital 250GB harddrive that has always run fine with my macbook. both are Mac OS formatted. previously i have had it attached to my Airport in 2 partitions (one of which was for time machine wireless).



    My issue is that all of a sudden i CANT do any backups from time machine on this disk. nor can i unmount and/or format the disk. - it also causes my finder to crash when formatting or trying to repair etc.



    hmmm. After searching online there were plenty of solutions to similar problems but none of which helped. :confused:
    When trying to erase and or repartition/repair - disk utility TRIES to unmount the two partitions. on my desktop they both fade slightly however they refuse to unmount (2 hours have gone by and they are definitely not going anywhere)



    i DO NOT have time machine switched on or trying to backup and no programmes are using either partition.
    i am thoroughly stumped. what is strange is that despite all this - i am still able to view/copy/edit files directly on either partition :s



    Please help!:):confused:

    edit: i am also running OSX 10.6 UBM 2.4GHZ 2.0GB-RAM
     
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    By any chance you're not booted from the external hard drive are you?
     
  3. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #3
    Nope im not =[
     
  4. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #4
    Please see attached image:

    shows disk utility failing to unmount - and the "time machine" partition faded out slightly. Force quitting causes finder to crash and error code: -10803 (or one very similar)

    Manipulating files on the device however works perfectly normally - apart from time machine
     
  5. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #5
    Does the external hard drive dismount if you drag it to the trash or use command + e to dismount it?
     
  6. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #6
    No the same happens - the icon fades as though it is trying to unmount but nothing happens - the permissions are correct and I have read/write access -

    When trying to use time machine it gets stuck on the step: making bakup device avaliable
     
  7. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #7
    What happens if you shut the MacBook down. Disconnect the external. Start the MacBook up. Connect the external. Can you dismount it then?
     
  8. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #8
    Right well I have tried shutting down with the external attached and my MacBook is stuck on the shutdown screen ie the circular loading style icon and blue background - clearly it can't connect the hardrive - I'm going to leave it for a good half hour though just invade it happens to fix the problem itself...

    Very confusing though - I would just assume the hardrive was dead - but the fact I can still manipulate files is very odd
     
  9. looman9635 macrumors member

    looman9635

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Location:
    hull, england
    #9
    Have you tried just unplugging it and seeing if it works on someone else's mac?:confused:
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    "Right well I have tried shutting down with the external attached and my MacBook is stuck on the shutdown screen ie the circular loading style icon and blue background - clearly it can't connect the hardrive - I'm going to leave it for a good half hour though just invade it happens to fix the problem itself..."

    If it won't shutdown by itself, do this:

    Press the power on button and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN (may take 5-6 seconds).

    What happens?
    It _should_ power down.

    If it does, do this next:
    - With the power OFF, disconnect the USB drive.
    - Press the power on button to restart the MacBook
    - Does it get to The Finder (give it time).
    - If it does, re-connect the USB drive. Does it mount on the desktop?
    - If it does, drag its icon to the trash to see if it UNmounts.
     
  11. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #11
    One thing the OP mentioned was that when he tries to unmount, format, etc. is that the drive starts to fade out and then doesn't continue. Is the fading out normal behavior with the current OS? On my iMac and OS (in the sig) it just unmounts (disappears) there isn't any fading.
     
  12. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #12
    Nope no change. Appears on desktop and refuses to unmount either via dragging or disk utility.

    When trying to verify the disk, one partition shows all is ok - however the second partition (which has been used for time machine backups) refuses to verify. Infact it caused my entire mac to crash :S
    - The time machine partition is also fine with adding and deleting files.


    - thus i would say its something to do with my time machine partition - if only there was a way to factory reset a harddrive or something :(
     
  13. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #13
    picture attached of the faded icons and disk utility refusing to verify/repair/repartition/unmount
     

    Attached Files:

  14. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #14
    Okay, I think we're getting somewhere now. The faded icons, I've only ever seen this kind of thing like say when you're using a file off of external media and it get's dismounted while you're using it. Like when I've done file sharing with another Mac and lost the network connection the shared file(s) or hard drive will be dimmed on the Mac that was on the receiving end. Hope this makes sense.

    If you've noticed my sig you'll see I'm using an older iMac with an older version of OS X so I may be wrong about some of what follows but I don't believe so. It's my understanding that hard drives for use with Intel Macs should have a GUID partition scheme. If they're for use with a PowerPC Mac like mine they should have a APM (Apple Partition Map) partition scheme. Your screen shot shows a MBR (Master Boot Record) partition scheme. I don't think it should be.

    Here are a couple of Apple articles concerning MBR that will shed a little light on it:

    :apple: Mac OS X 10.5: About resizing disk partitions

    :apple: Mac OS X 10.5: Time Machine stops backing up to external disk

    I think that helps explain a bit about what is going on, but ultimately to fix it I think you're going to have to reformat the entire hard drive.
     
  15. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #15
    thanks for the info. however when following the instructions to change the partition scheme - the harddrive is still unable to unmount - when trying to do ANY actions like partitioning, backing up, first aid etc. the disk utility gets stuck on "unmounting disk" causing subsequent crashes etc :(

    are therer any other utilities that could FORCE a format of the drive?
     
  16. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #16
    I don't know, I've only ever heard of or used Disk Utility. Have you tried connecting it to another Mac? Have you tried connecting it back to the Airport?
     
  17. jmaquarry thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #17
    unfortunetly i dont have any other macs at my disposal.
    also attaching it to the airport does not help in anyway either im afraid :(
     
  18. dumb macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2009
    #18
    Do you have access to any Linux or windows machine. May be try to format it under those environment. EXT 3, NTFS etc and re format for OS X. On windows, I use Easeus Partition Mangaer ( free version, have done wonders to me).
     
  19. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #19
    I found this thread over on the Apple Discussions that almost exactly the same:

    Apple Support Discussions: I want to stop using time machine

    I know you said that Time Machine was off, but are you sure? Do you have anything in your startup items that could be accessing it? This sounds like it's because the disk is in use.
     
  20. Stcomrie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #21
    What does workbi when you boot up your mac hold down the option key and go to the recovery partition and do it through disk utility there. That always works for me
     

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