problems erasing a volume/partition

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by redlark, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. redlark macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2005
    I created a volume/partition using DiskUtility. I did not encrypt or pass protect it. Now I do want to create an encrypted volume in place of this one. So I try to erase this original volume using DiskUtility>erase and I get the message :"erase failed because the disk cannot be unmounted" Huh? The volume was never really mounted or unmounted or I guess its more accurate to say it always mounted automatically on boot along with the main volume that contains the OS and major apps. So what to do now? Do I have to reconfigure the volume so it can be unmounted somehow, then erase it, then create a new volume(encrypted) in its place? If so, how the hell does this newbie do that? Thanks
  2. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2005
    Southern California
    You have to unmount it first. Go into Disk Utility, select the partition, and click the blue Unmount button. You'll then be able to erase it.
  3. redlark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2005
    gee that was difficult!

    Duhh! The plight of newbies...even if it's right there in front of their face they might not see it! Thanks so much.
  4. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    As another option (which a failed backup 20 min ago inspired) is to reboot your computer, and run DU before running any other programs. I think my failed erase (same error as yours) was due to Silver Keeper crashing. That sort of funktified the external and wouldn't let it unmount. If you do this way, you may be ok - it will unmount the partition for you.

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