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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 02, 2013
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    "Mac OS X can't repair disk" and "Disk not ejected properly"
    Almost every time I turn on my Mac I get the message "Mac OS X can't repair the disk "Untitled", then sometimes it says "The disk was not ejected properly. If possible, always eject a disk before unplugging it or turning it off." even though I didn't ask it to repair anything or eject. I just press 'ok' to these and get on with my work - I figure it's because I have two external hard drives connected to the Mac.

    Today I switched on my Mac and got the usual error message, but now it keeps popping up every few seconds, making it extremely difficult to type - any ideas why it's suddenly done this, and how to stop it?

    Edit: I have tried turning it off and on again, but the messages keep appearing.

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    You'll have to tell us a little bit about this setup. You're not one of those people who just cuts the power to their Mac on a switch or something are you?

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    You'll have to tell us a little bit about this setup. You're not one of those people who just cuts the power to their Mac on a switch or something are you?
    No - I click on the apple and select 'Shut Down...' every time. Two hard drives are always connected to the Mac with USB cables, and I use one of them – called My Book in the Finder – to back up work each day. The other is "Untitled", which doesn't show up on the side menu in the Finder, but is sometimes there when I select the Mac under 'Devices' e.g. Finder > Devices> eMac > Untitled. I say 'sometimes' because I just saw it there, but then it disappeared when the error messages popped up again (they are popping up roughly every 10 minutes now, rather than every 10 seconds)

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    It's possible the second hard drive (not the My Book) may be defective if it's appearing and then disappearing from your desktop. Try this:

    Disconnect both hard drives, but do it properly by ejecting them first. Then connect the second hard drive. Open Disk Utility from Applications, Utilities, and verify the drive. Let's see if any errors are reported. If the drive refuses to mount or stay mounted, then it may be defective as stated above. Let us know.

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Just like Windows ~ eject external hard drive prior to doing a shut down.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    It's possible the second hard drive (not the My Book) may be defective if it's appearing and then disappearing from your desktop. Try this:

    Disconnect both hard drives, but do it properly by ejecting them first. Then connect the second hard drive. Open Disk Utility from Applications, Utilities, and verify the drive. Let's see if any errors are reported. If the drive refuses to mount or stay mounted, then it may be defective as stated above. Let us know.
    I tried checking Disk Utility before unmounting, just to check I could find the application, and there was My Book and another external hard drive called 'Maxtor Basics Desktop Media' (the other HD is a Maxtor brand), but the option to Verify was greyed out (as well as Repair and Clear History), then I got a new pop up message 'The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer' with three buttons, one of which was 'cancel', another I think was 'initialize..' and I can't remember what the third was (the pop up disappeared before I could write it down).

    It had already unmounted itself, so I unplugged and plugged it back in, but it didn't appear under eMac. After a while I got the error message 'The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer' and I can now only see the HD when I open Disk Utility. Someone suggested I save all the files from the Untitled HD and reformat it, but I only copied 62GB of the 450-odd GB that is on the "Untitled" HD yesterday and now I can't get to the disk at all. Does anyone know how I can recover the files before I try to reformat the HD?

    Also, when saving the files, I discovered there's a folder called 'Backups.backupdb' on the Untitled HD, which I can't copy. When I try I get the error message 'The operation can't be completed because it isn't supported'. Inside the folder are back-ups of the computer for a couple of months in 2011. Could this be what's making the HD malfunction?

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire3001 View Post
    Also, when saving the files, I discovered there's a folder called 'Backups.backupdb' on the Untitled HD, which I can't copy. When I try I get the error message 'The operation can't be completed because it isn't supported'. Inside the folder are back-ups of the computer for a couple of months in 2011. Could this be what's making the HD malfunction?
    No, that just means that at one time you were using the drive for Time Machine.

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    No, that just means that at one time you were using the drive for Time Machine.
    Is Time Machine like when Windows makes a backup image?

    Well, the good news is I've stopped getting the error messages and I think I know what was wrong with the Untitled HD. The bad news is that the power has completely died. Hopefully getting a new case will fix the problem and, until then, my colleague is going to bring in a power kit tomorrow so I can recover the data.

    Thanks for all your help.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Okay - so the Untitled HD turned itself on again. It still won't mount, but appears in Disk Utility, though all the buttons are greyed out in Disk Utilities. Any ideas?

  10. #10

    Slydude's Avatar
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    First, my apologies if you have checked this and I missed it when reading the thread. The two things that occurred to me as I read were:

    1. Bad cable from the computer to the drive.
    2. Power supply or other issue with the drive.

    Time Machine is a Mac program that makes hourly backups of your Mac. Intro video in case you are interested.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  11. #11


    Member Since
    May 16, 2011
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    I have big problems down here with corrosion in USB plugs/sockets. THis can manifest itself in all sorts of weird ways, including what you've described. I use DeoxIT to clean the contacts and it usually works properly for a while, though sometimes it's too bad and I have to replace the cable. This is a regular and frequent occurrence, and I now buy USB cables in bulk.

  12. #12


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    First, my apologies if you have checked this and I missed it when reading the thread. The two things that occurred to me as I read were:

    1. Bad cable from the computer to the drive.
    2. Power supply or other issue with the drive.

    Time Machine is a Mac program that makes hourly backups of your Mac. Intro video in case you are interested.
    I have swapped the cable for my playstation control charger and it has finally connected! The power seems more stable too, which is odd, as the HD is mains powered (supposedly). Anyway, now I can save the data and reformat the HD. Hopefully this will fix the errors I've been having.

  13. #13

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Great. Sounds like you will be able to salvage your data. Once you have backed up any data verify the drive and see if there are any errors. If so let Disk Utility attempt to repair them.

    BTW does that drive have one of those "brick" type power supplies. You mentioned that the power seems more stable now than before it's possible the power brick may be getting "twitchy".
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  14. #14


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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Great. Sounds like you will be able to salvage your data. Once you have backed up any data verify the drive and see if there are any errors. If so let Disk Utility attempt to repair them.

    BTW does that drive have one of those "brick" type power supplies. You mentioned that the power seems more stable now than before it's possible the power brick may be getting "twitchy".
    I saved all but four folders from the Untitled HD (I tried drag and drop and copy and paste and they started to copy, but then disappeared when the progress bar finished o.0) and went to Disk Utility to try and Verify and Repair the HD. It couldn't repair it and I got the 'Mac can't read the disk' error, so I went to the Erase tab, chose MacOS Extended Journaled and clicked erase, then this came up:

    'The operation couldn’t be completed. Cannot allocate memory'

    Is there another way to reformat the HD?

    Slydude: the plug is about three times the size of a normal plug, and is rectangular shaped.

  15. #15


    Member Since
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    Sounds as if that HD is becoming toast. I'd bin it rather than try reformatting it.

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