Please Help! Disk Utility "Resource Busy"


macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
the screen on my Macbook Pro is some how cracked on the inside and has begun leaking liquid crystal on the inside of the screen. well i have to send it in to Apple and i received the box to send it in this past friday but being in the position i'm in i have had to use it and haven't sent my computer in yet. anyway i want to back up my hard drive just in case something happens...well i go to disk utility to do just that and i select my hard drive and tell it i want to make a read-only image and that i want to save it on my external harddrive... and then it tells me that "Unable to create disk "____" resource busy" !!! what in the world does that mean. i can't find it anywhere on the apple support page. can someone please help me fast! i need to send my computer off to get fixed.


macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
That'll happen because your Mac's hard drive is in use. Boot from the install disk and then use Disk Utility to create a disk image.


macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2004
Jacksonville, FL
plinden said:
That'll happen because your Mac's hard drive is in use. Boot from the install disk and then use Disk Utility to create a disk image.
That will definitely solve your problem. Good luck with it all! Sucks about your screen. :(


macrumors member
Aug 24, 2006
Or quickly download superduper and use that, since it does not seem to have this issue.


macrumors member
Oct 23, 2007
Republic of Texas
I get the same error, but in a different situation. I have a disc image already. I connect a Mac I want to re-image via Firewire. I try to restore the image to the connected drive, presto, ERROR! WTF?


macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2005
Had the same problem - found a solution

I've just been trying to create a disk image of my Boot Drive and came across the same error message.

I was booting off an external HD which I use as my tech tool box and saving to another partition on the external HD, that didn't work, tried booting from the install disk and opening up Disk Utility, same result.

Did some googling and found where someone suggested you 'Unmount' the drive you are trying to image, and it worked!!! :)

My Boot Drive is happily imaging as I type! :D

Edit: Wow, I just see this thread was started 2 years ago. Hopefully the OP found the solution before now!!


macrumors newbie
Sep 6, 2008
Resource Error

I am having the same issue. I cant get the drive to mount. But I can see it in disk utility, I cant erase, repair, partition, etc etc. It is an external lacie drive, but the other day it made a popping noise and now it isnt working. What si the best format ultility to use outside of Mac Os 10 Disk Ulitity?

Please help email me at


macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2008
I had the dreaded 'resource busy' error when trying to reformat a hard disk on my Mac Mini (Intel 1.66) that had Boot Camp installed on a disk that I had created 2 partitions (1 for OS X, 1 for WinXP). This error occurred while booted from the Leopard Install Disk, and using Disk Utility that is available from the 'Welcome' screen. Here's what I had to do...

1) From Disk Utility, select one of the partitions. Erase just this partition (not the entire disk).
2) Repeat this for each partition.
3) Reboot from the Installation Disk and relaunch Disk Utility.
4) Now erase/reformat the entire disk.
5) Install Leopard!