Problem ejecting external HD

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by MBP*, May 7, 2018.

  1. MBP* macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2014
    I've had an external HD for many years now, and it has been partitioned with a windows compatible drive and a mac only compatible drive where all the backups are stored. Whenever I need to eject the drives, the Windows drive disappears immediately, whereas the Mac on takes ages and can never be ejected unless I click on the Force Eject button.

    This has been quite recent - over the past month or two where the only way to eject the Mac drive is to do a force eject. No idea how this problem came about or what I could do to solve it. My concern is that it maybe corrupting some of the data that is on the drive by force ejecting it, but otherwise I haven't any other choice.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I've run into drives that seemed "reluctant" to eject unless I used the "force eject" option.

    I use it when I need to. Like you, I've wondered if repeated force ejections would impact the drive, but [at least in my observation] they don't. The drives "mount right back up" the next time I connect them.

    It might be a result of having a "cross-formatted" drive with both Mac and Windows partitions on it. Might be something else...
  3. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Yes, my drives mount up again once I reconnect them again, but of course there is no guarantee that this will continue to be the case many months down the line. And who knows if some obscure file somewhere is being corrupted as a result.

    I don't think it's the dual partitions as I've been using this setup for years.

    I'm going to experiment with shutting down the machine, restarting whilst the drive is in use and try ejecting it when it's least likely going to be in use by the OS. I have my life on this drive so quite concerned about force ejecting the drive even when it appears, currently, that it is having no detrimental impact on the drive.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I have my life on this drive..."

    If that's the case, I'd like to offer some advice.

    If you have Mac files that are valuable to you ("your life"?), DON'T keep them on a cross-formatted drive.
    Instead, keep them on a Mac-formatted drive (HFS+) with NO PC partitions on the drive at all.

    I recall reading posts from folks who stored Mac files on a cross-formatted drive, then connected the drive to PC, then "did something" (unclear as to what), and the Mac files just went... "POOF!" As in, gone.

    I'd also recommend that you get a SECOND drive and use CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper) to make an exact copy of it at from time to time, and store the second copy "off site" (as disaster prevention).
  5. MSastre macrumors 6502


    Aug 18, 2014
    I also have had to "force eject" a drive occasionally with no problems yet, and also heard of bad experiences with cross formmated drives as well. Take Fishrrman's advice and put you important Mac files on a Mac formatted drive. You can never have too many back ups, if it is really important.
  6. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I would scan the drive for errors. It might also be related to spotlight. I don’t know how, but you can discard the spotlight information and either have it reindex or ask spotlight to ignore it.

    I agree with the others, make copies of this immediately. I’d also suggest using something like Backblaze to continually back up online.

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