Question re external hdd ejection

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by manni, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. manni macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2010

    I wonder if someone with some technical knowledge can give me some advice.

    Last night I, in a pretty sleep deprived state, pulled out my usb3 hdd without ejecting it. I've never done such a stupid thing before! I couldn't sleep and just edited a few photos for fun. The only thing on the hdd is my aperture library.

    I've often read about doing this destroying hods. So this morning I plugged it in, OSX saw it, I opened Aperture and it said my library may have corrupt files and asked if I wanted it to repair them, so I clicked yes, it took a few minutes (I have lots of photos).

    I expected disaster yet all seems fine. All my photos are there. Even the last adjustments I made have been saved, and work done last night via Nik software viveza also had been saved. I simply can't find anything wrong.

    I guess this means I've been lucky. What I had done was quit Aperture, wait a few moments until it quits while at the same time I could hear the hdd working and then it stops spinning, goes quiet and the light stops flashing - I hadn't slept the night before and just unplugged without thinking when it went quiet. I think those few seconds I waited, so that the hdd wasn't working, probably saved me from losing all the files.

    My question though is - does this simply mean another part of my hdd is damaged and I had a lucky escape? If I keep using that hdd does that mean that sooner or later (it's currently 30% full) I'll come to a broken part and then encounter problems?

    I don't have any technical knowledge of hdds. I could retire this one to just be a stay at home extra redundant back-up and buy another and transfer my library onto the new one but I don't know if I need to (I already have a back-up) and if I'm being paranoid. Anybody know enough about the workings of hdd to advise?

    My advice - don't use your external hdd when you haven't slept! :rolleyes:
  2. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    You are probably OK this time. OSX likes to complain if drives aren't properly ejected - sometime with good reason.
    I suggest the following :
    1. For next time, wait till the mounted sign for the drive in Finder disappears. It's the little triangle with the line underneath that always appears when a volume is mounted. Click on it to unmount it - then it's safe to unplug.
    2. For now, you can check the drive using Disk Utility. Click on the drive's volume and use Verify Disk. If there's a problem then click on Repair Disk, but make a backup first just in case.
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I don't recommend doing what you did, but frankly I've done it accidentally many many times with only one error (I was actually writing to the drive) which caused the entire drive to come up as unreadable and I had to clear it and start over (no long term issues to the drive). Others may have had worse experiences or better. Just saying it probably didn't experience any physical damage, but you do run the risk of losing data (or all of it).
  4. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    A power cut would do more or less the same, provided the Mac has an empty battery or no battery at all, most of the time you won't get much damage from it since you also have journaling on the Mac.
    You could test the drive in Disk Utility for "damage".

    But, of course it is better not to unplug without ejecting the disk.
  5. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    It's unlikely that you damaged the hard drive. File corruption is more likely but file corruption and damage aren't the same thing (though the latter can cause the former).
  6. manni thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2010
    ok thanks for the responses. Seems I had a lucky escape, though I will make doubly sure to avoid doing it again. Just been using it again with aperture and it's perfectly fine, not a single bad photo so it's a relief!
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    It's more a case of bad things can happen, than bad things will happen.
    Some of the time everything will be fine, others you might make it completely unreadable.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I expected disaster yet all seems fine."

    Simplest answer:

    Don't worry about it.
    But try not to do it again.

    Another thought:
    If this drive is the ONLY place that those pics are stored -- that's not good enough.

    If you have files you value, they should be stored in AT LEAST TWO places.

    Drives will fail, eventually, some sooner, some later.

    You need a "second backup".
  9. manni thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2010
    Thanks for additional input.

    I did eventually find one thing had changed - a new project had been created in aperture called "recovered files" and in it was a very weirdly coloured version of a photo I deleted about a year ago - I assume it hadn't been deleted properly. Everything else seems fine.

    I do have everything backed up on another hdd anyway, but still was unsure about this one but think I'll stick with it now :)

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