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  1. #1

    Chef_eam's Avatar
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    Ejecting USB Hard drives?
    Just got my Macon Friday and loving it. I am getting it all setup, including an external USB hard drive for Time Machine backups, and will be adding a second external drive as well. Yesterday when I woke the Mac up from sleep, I got a message that the disk was not properly ejected and OSX would check the data for errors the next time it was mounted. I had it in sleep mode on Friday night and when I woke it Saturday morning, I did not get this message. It only started on Sunday morning.

    So, should I be ejecting the external drive before I put the Mac to sleep, and if so, is there a way to have it automatically remounted when it comes out of sleep? I tried ejecting it, putting the Mac to sleep and then waking it, but the only way to get the drive back was to cycle the power on the drive. I don't want to mess up anything on the Mac or the drive, so if I have to do this every time, I will...just wondering if there is an easier way.

  2. #2

    Chef_eam's Avatar
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    Doh!!!! Ok, so I am an idiot. I was playing around and discovered it was not the external drive that was causing the error. I had my Zune plugged in to charge, and when I unhooked it, it came out of sleep without the error box. Apparently, even though the Zune can't be seen when hooked up, the system thinks there is a drive hooked up, and that seems to have been what was causing the problem.

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Holy crap everyone, there's someone here who ACTUALLY owns a ZUNE!!

    Just razzin' ya. Yeah, you need to properly eject all removable drives, such as that Zune, an iPod, a digital camera, a thumb drive, etc.

    Three ways to do this generally:
    1. The way most people do it -- drag the mounted volume (which in the case of the Zune or most thumb drives is a white icon on the desktop called "UNKNOWN") to the trash -- the trashcan on the dock changed into an "eject" symbol. After a few seconds the icon will disappear from the desktop and then it's safe to pull it out.

    2. Right click on the mounted volume and select "Eject."

    3. Select the mounted volume by clicking it once (left click), then pressing the eject key on your keyboard (usually in the upper right corner).

    In addition, some apps have the "eject" symbol next to drives that they can "see," like iTunes, iPhoto etc. You can just press the eject symbol next to the name of the drive in their left-hand panes and that does the same thing.

  4. #4

    Chef_eam's Avatar
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    Yes, I own a Zune **Hangs head in shame**. It has been a good MP3 player. It is one of the original 15GB models, and it full. The only bad thing about it is that it is not supported on the Mac without having to bootcamp windows or run it in a VM. The Zune software is the only thing I would need Windows for, but I just solved the problem today...I bought a 160GB iPod Classic. I just couldn't see putting Windows on this Mac just to be able to sync an MP3 player.


    Now if the iPhone would only come to Sprint.

  5. #5

    Ann2's Avatar
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    I'd like to continue with this question. . .
    I am very new to Mac and I have questions about properly ejecting devices for Sleep Mode, etc.

    I eject the Time Machine but not the external HD (WD SmartWare). I was never told to eject it. Is this correct?

    Also, a problem I was having is that my Mac woke up about 3 seconds after I put in Sleep Mode. An Apple rep told me to unplug my external HD (WD SmartWare) from the back of the Mac. This seems strange to me. So after I put my Mac in Sleep Mode, I immediately unplug the external HD so it will remain in Sleep Mode. Is this the correct thing to do?

    I have also read that it's not a good idea to let the HD's sleep often because it will wear the out faster. So I have UNCHECKED the block in System Preferences - under Energy Saver - that allows for the hard disks to sleep when possible.

    Could someone comment on these for me. I would really appreciate it.

  6. #6

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Interesting. I have 2 iPods, my old USB Zip drive and 2-4 external hard drives always connected to my iMac and set to sleep in 30 minutes. I have never gotten any warning message from OSX nor had any data corruption due to sleep.

    If you yank the drive without ejecting, then the warning message shows up.

    It would be very annoying to have to unmount every external drive every time I walked away from the computer! PS, Been using this iMac this way for almost 5 years now.

  7. #7

    Ann2's Avatar
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    I guess I should have said when I use Sleep Mode at night, when I go to bed. I don't put it in Sleep Mode when I walk away but it is set to Sleep after about 10 mins of inactivity.

  8. #8

    MacShane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Holy crap everyone, there's someone here who ACTUALLY owns a ZUNE!!
    Get a rope!

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann2 View Post
    I eject the Time Machine but not the external HD (WD SmartWare). I was never told to eject it. Is this correct?
    No, you have received some very bad advice. Sorry about that.

    WD drives are perfectly fine (I have two of them sitting right beside me). They need, I find, a little more ventilation than some other brands, but barring that they seem to work fine.

    However, and this is important -- DON'T run the software that's provided with them! If you are running it, uninstall it and pretend it never existed.

    Also, a problem I was having is that my Mac woke up about 3 seconds after I put in Sleep Mode. An Apple rep told me to unplug my external HD (WD SmartWare) from the back of the Mac. This seems strange to me.
    It should. It's terrible advice that will ultimately corrupt the drive's directory.

    Once you've uninstalled the so-called "Smartware" on your WD it should go to sleep when you put the Mac to sleep and not "wake it up" again.

    I have also read that it's not a good idea to let the HD's sleep often because it will wear the out faster. So I have UNCHECKED the block in System Preferences - under Energy Saver - that allows for the hard disks to sleep when possible.
    Good move. Of course, if you put the machine to sleep manually, this overrides that control and puts all connected drives to sleep as well. The control is for when you are actually using the computer -- it will power down drives that aren't being used after a few minutes of inactivity. I find this tends to slow things down (as it needs to power up again when you DO access it) so I also uncheck that box. A better practice for "power users" is to just unmount (eject properly) any external drives if they are not going to be used for a long period.

  10. #10

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Agreed 1000% with Chas! Excellent advice.

  11. #11

    Ann2's Avatar
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    Thank you
    Thanks 'chas m' for your reply. And, 'dtravis7'.

    I see now that it's the software which is actually called WD SmartWare and that there are a lot of complaints about it when I do a search.

    So, by uninstalling the WD SmartWare it doesn't interfere with the Time Machine Backups?

    Do I need to install anything in place of WD SmartWare?

    I had a Geek Squad agent do the complete set up my iMac, so I didn't handle any of this and don't really understand yet what the WD SmartWare actually does.

    Thanks for your help.

  12. #12

    schweb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann2 View Post

    So, by uninstalling the WD SmartWare it doesn't interfere with the Time Machine Backups?

    Do I need to install anything in place of WD SmartWare?
    No and no. Just uninstall it, you'll be fine.

    I had a Geek Squad agent do the complete set up my iMac...
    That's problem #1. Never let Geek Squad near anything you ever purchase.
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  13. #13

    Ann2's Avatar
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    What external HD do you recommend?
    Gee! There are SO many complaints. People saying their My Passport Backup failed after a few months

    What do you recommend in place of Western Digital for an external backup?

    Dang it! It's brand new but I don't want to lose my stuff either!

    Thank you, Schweb!

  14. #14

    Ann2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schweb View Post
    No and no. Just uninstall it, you'll be fine.



    That's problem #1. Never let Geek Squad near anything you ever purchase.
    Thanks! I had always been happy with them in-store. But now I'm wondering

  15. #15


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann2 View Post
    What do you recommend in place of Western Digital for an external backup?
    Just keep the WD drive. The hardware is perfectly fine (albeit with the caveat I mentioned earlier). It's just WD's crappy software we're not keen on.

    Time Machine will do the job just fine.

    Dang it! It's brand new but I don't want to lose my stuff either!

    Thank you, Schweb!
    You're not losing anything really -- a backup is just a copy of the stuff on your boot drive. Losing a backup doesn't mean much as it can easily be replaced with a new backup, unless your drive happens to fail during the short period where you've removed the old backups and made a new one. But the odds of that are pretty low.

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