External Drive

Posted by: plantsower

External Drive - 08/09/12 03:16 PM

I want to know how to unplug my external drive safely. I've looked all over the net and read everything fro drag it into the trash to shut down the computer, then unplug. I have my external drives hidden from my desktop.

Would I have to go into Finder and drag them into the trash?

How do I know if they are busy? I think the light may flash but I'm guessing.

Thanks.

Rita
Posted by: jchuzi

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 03:34 PM

If I were you, I would opt to show the drive on the desktop so that you can drag it to the trash.

Drag the external's icon to the trash, wait about 15 seconds, and then unplug it. Even though it will appear that the drive has been unmounted (the icon disappears from the desktop), it takes slightly longer to actually unmount it.

If you can't see the drive on the desktop, you can use Disk Utility. Select the drive in the DU window and click Unmount. Again, wait about 15 seconds before unplugging it.

Alternatively, shut the computer down normally. During the shutdown process, the drive is automatically unmounted. Once shutdown is complete, you can unplug the drive.

Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 03:39 PM

Originally Posted By: plantsower
I want to know how to unplug my external drive safely. I've looked all over the net and read everything fro drag it into the trash to shut down the computer, then unplug. I have my external drives hidden from my desktop.

Would I have to go into Finder and drag them into the trash?

How do I know if they are busy? I think the light may flash but I'm guessing.

Thanks.

Rita

Hi, Rita,

Since your external is hidden, I'll suggest that you open a finder window, where it should appear in the Sidebar, and click on the eject icon next to it. (If it's not in the Sidebar, refer to Finder > Prefs > Sidebar.)

As for your light, I've got one drive with a light that flashes and one with a non-flasher.

I either wait for the flasher to stop flashing or touch the non-flasher with my fingertips to feel when it has stopped spinning to be certain that whichever has been ejected.

Once I'm certain my drive has been ejected, I first flip the power switch, then unplug the cable from the drive...then from my deuced Mac(hina).

Hope this helps.

Alternatively, you can show the drive on your desktop (where it will only appear when it's plugged in), control-click on it, and click on "Eject."
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 03:57 PM

Thanks, Artie. That's an easy way to do it. No one mentioned that anywhere I looked online. I'm not sure what you mean by spinning. I felt my drive just now, and even though I don't think it's downloading, it's slightly vibrating. Maybe it feels different when it's downloading or shutting down. I'll check when I can.

Thanks again.

Rita

Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:02 PM

Thanks, Jon. That sound like a good way to do it, too (DU).

The reason I hid the drive(s) is because 3 of them showed up. I have three partitions, so 3 drives on my desktop. They aren't tiny either. I tried to put them in a folder to consolidate them, but it just made aliases and they stayed right there on the desktop, so I hid them.

I leave it plugged in, otherwise TM won't download. I only plan on unplugging when I leave town or take it to a coffee house, because it would be awkward to carry my laptop with the passport dangling next to it. I don't have a computer bag. That would make it too simple. grin

Rita
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:03 PM

I'll guess that your "vibrating" is my "spinning," Rita

As long as you can feel the drive doing something, don't go any further.

When it's stopped all activity, you can unplug it safely.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:07 PM

On the outside chance that you're unaware of this, if you hit command-J when you're in Finder you'll be presented with, among others, the option to make you Desktop icons smaller.

Edit: I forgot to mention that you can schedule your Time Machine backups to your liking/needs, i.e. more or less often. (I don't run TM, so I'll leave it to others to advise you how.)

That will enable you to unplug your external so you can carry your Mac around easily. Of course, you'll have to remember to plug it back in at some point.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:11 PM

OK. Now this is what happened. When it was "spinning" the light was steady. Now that the spinning has stopped, the light is blinking off and on slowly. I would have thought it would have been the other way around. Blinking meant downloading. confused

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
I'll guess that your "vibrating" is my "spinning," Rita

As long as you can feel the drive doing something, don't go any further.

When it's stopped all activity, you can unplug it safely.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:15 PM

I didn't know! I just resized! Thanks. Maybe, just maybe, I can put the 3 HDs back on the desktop. But the way you and Jon told me eject them was so easy, I probably won't. Still a handy trick, and I used it. smile


Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
On the outside chance that you're unaware of this, if you hit command-J when you're in Finder you'll be presented with, among other options, the option to make you Desktop icons smaller.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:20 PM

I tried to put them in a folder to consolidate them, but it just made aliases and they stayed right there on the desktop, so I hid them.

I take that back, I did make a folder for the desktop and hid the files. Forgot that!

I have been doing so many thing lately getting used to this thing, my poor memory is not working well.

Rita
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: plantsower
OK. Now this is what happened. When it was "spinning" the light was steady. Now that the spinning has stopped, the light is blinking off and on slowly. I would have thought it would have been the other way around. Blinking meant downloading. confused

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
I'll guess that your "vibrating" is my "spinning," Rita

As long as you can feel the drive doing something, don't go any further.

When it's stopped all activity, you can unplug it safely.

(I just edited my last post.)

My two externals differ from each other and from yours, Rita, so there's obviously neither standards nor consistency as respects those lights; you'll just have to pay attention and learn from experience.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:38 PM

You're right. It's supposed to backup again at 6 p.m. I will set a timer and then go check my drive and see what it's doing. Thanks, Artie.

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
Originally Posted By: plantsower
OK. Now this is what happened. When it was "spinning" the light was steady. Now that the spinning has stopped, the light is blinking off and on slowly. I would have thought it would have been the other way around. Blinking meant downloading. confused

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
I'll guess that your "vibrating" is my "spinning," Rita

As long as you can feel the drive doing something, don't go any further.

When it's stopped all activity, you can unplug it safely.

(I just edited my last post.)

My two externals differ from each other and from yours, Rita, so there's obviously neither standards nor consistency as respects those lights; you'll just have to pay attention and learn from experience.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:50 PM

> It's supposed to backup again at 6 p.m.

That sounds like you've maybe got Time Machine set to back up more frequently than your self-described "few" needs require.

As has already been mentioned, that hobbles you in several ways.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 04:55 PM

At the risk of sounding stupid, I have gone into Time Machine and looked at options and couldn't find any options on how often it will backup. I must be looking in the wrong place.

Originally Posted By: artie505
> It's supposed to backup again at 6 p.m.

That sounds like you've maybe got Time Machine set to back up more frequently than your self-described "few" needs require.

As has already been mentioned, that hobbles you in several ways.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:07 PM

That's why I quit when I did, Rita.

I've both run across a coupl'a 3rd party Time Machine scheduling apps and seen mention of TM having a built-in mechanism, so I suggest that you wait for further input.
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:11 PM


I don't believe the option to vary the frequency of backups exists within Time Machine: it's either on or off, and it backs up hourly when it's on. See for example OS X Mountain Lion: Time Machine preferences.

Beyond that, though, I don't know why the backup frequency should correlate with intensity of computer use. Time Machine only backs up changed files, so if Rita's not using her Mac much, Time Machine will wait patiently until she does.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:11 PM

OK. I just watched a video on Time Machine Basics on the Apple website. It only said that it backs up every hour. Nothing mentioned about scheduling like you can do with Super Duper. Thanks again.

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
That's why I quit when I did, Rita.

I've both run across a coupl'a 3rd party Time Machine scheduling apps and seen mention of TM having a built-in mechanism, so I suggest that you wait for further input.
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:17 PM


You can, of course, change Time Machine's backup frequency from the command line.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:22 PM

Hey, thanks! That led me to the Time Machine Scheduler which is more my style (easy). Thank you!

Rita


Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

You can, of course, change Time Machine's backup frequency from the command line.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

You can, of course, change Time Machine's backup frequency from the command line.

Not to mention with at least one 3rd party utility. (No recommendation offered.)

> Beyond that, though, I don't know why the backup frequency should correlate with intensity of computer use. Time Machine only backs up changed files, so if Rita's not using her Mac much, Time Machine will wait patiently until she does.

You're correct, of course, but much of the beauty of portables is that they are portable, and having to keep an external HD attached when you're both moving around and not doing anything that necessitates frequent backups defeats...certainly greatly hampers the portability.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:32 PM

OMG! I need to quit downloading stuff. I downloaded the Time Machine scheduler and then it seemed to take over the Finder. That's all that was in the finder. It scared me, so I uninstalled it. Then I had to restart my computer and got the finder back. Whew!

That's enough of that!

I never said I don't use my computer a lot, I'm always on it. I just don't fill it up with a lot of programs.

Rita
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 05:33 PM

Don't forget to compare it with TimeMachineEditor, to which I just linked...slightly higher star rating on MacUpdate, but you'll have to judge the relative merits for yourself.

Edit :One of the things about computers is that, to at least a degree, you're always a beta-tester...even with OS X.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 06:12 PM

Of course, if Time Machine waits patiently in the background if it can't locate its target drive and then backs up with no further ado when the target is plugged back in, rescheduling is needless.

Anybody?
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 06:38 PM


Yep, that's the way it works.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: artie505
Of course, if Time Machine waits patiently in the background if it can't locate its target drive and then backs up with no further ado when the target is plugged back in, rescheduling is needless.

Anybody?

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Yep, that's the way it works.

cool

There's your answer, Rita.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 08:15 PM

Thank you!! I'll check out yours link but will probably leave it alone. Thank you for all your input!!

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
Originally Posted By: artie505
Of course, if Time Machine waits patiently in the background if it can't locate its target drive and then backs up with no further ado when the target is plugged back in, rescheduling is needless.

Anybody?

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Yep, that's the way it works.

cool

There's your answer, Rita.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 09:55 PM

You may have misunderstood that last post but gotten it right, anyhow, Rita.

Your best answer is to "leave it alone."

Since Time Machine waits patiently in the background when it can't find it's target drive you can leave your TM settings as is and leave your external behind when you travel with your MacBook.

When you get back to your external and plug it back in, TM will immediately (I think) pick up and continue its hourly labors until the next time you yank the plug.

I hope this puts this particular issue to rest. smile wink
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/09/12 10:01 PM

It does, thank you!!





Originally Posted By: artie505
You may have misunderstood that last post but gotten it right, anyhow, Rita.

Your best answer is to "leave it alone."

Since Time Machine waits patiently in the background when it can't find it's target drive you can leave your TM settings as is and leave your external behind when you travel with your MacBook.

When you get back to your external and plug it back in, TM will immediately (I think) pick up and continue its hourly labors until the next time you yank the plug.

I hope this puts this particular issue to rest. smile wink
Posted by: Virtual1

Re: External Drive - 08/10/12 11:39 AM

if you're insisting on not having your hdds show on your desktop, (not my recommendation) then you can open a Finder window and look at the sidebar for drives that need to be ejected. Or disk utility is a similar but slightly less convenient way.
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/10/12 02:01 PM

Yes, that's what I've been doing, plus the folder on the desktop. Thanks.


Rita

Originally Posted By: Virtual1
if you're insisting on not having your hdds show on your desktop, (not my recommendation) then you can open a Finder window and look at the sidebar for drives that need to be ejected. Or disk utility is a similar but slightly less convenient way.
Posted by: artie505

Re: External Drive - 08/10/12 09:26 PM

And, in closing, congrats on having successfully worked your way through a complicated, new-territory project that would have seen many people with your initial inexperience throw in the towel. smile
Posted by: plantsower

Re: External Drive - 08/10/12 09:34 PM

Thanks, Artie!!! I know most of my friends can't even cut and paste! I'm not very techy, but compared to them, I'm a genius to hear them tell it. LOL!

I appreciate the encouragement.

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
And, in closing, congrats on having successfully worked your way through a complicated, new-territory project that would have seen many people with your initial inexperience throw in the towel. smile