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The Disk Wasn’t Ejected Because We’re Stupid

April 26th, 2014
I simply cannot believe that Apple still has this infuriating bug after all these years. Connect external volumes and try to eject... and OS X comes up with this message:
The disk “(diskname)” wasn’t ejected because one or more programs may be using it. To eject the disk immediately, click the Force Eject button.
The “one or more programs” is so idiotically vague as to be worse than useless. The thing is, it's almost always some process in OS X, some stupid Apple service like indexing the volume, something that of course should just shut down when you try to eject... and after all these years Apple still hasn't corrected it. Freaking pisses me off to no end. In order to eject the disk, you usually have to close every app you're running and reboot the computer—something that is so SCSI and 1980's that it's pathetic. Follow the “Force Eject” suggestion, and some disk formats will not remount until OS X spends 20-30 minutes working on it somehow. It should be a simple and obvious point, but Apple seems to be either incapable of fixing it or else doesn't give a crap.

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  1. Troy
    April 26th, 2014 at 10:38 | #1

    I filed a bug on this back in 2001, sigh.

    Though I do think Apple is getting better.

    http://i.imgur.com/c04j6lF.png

    shows things are better with 10.9.2 . . .

  2. Luis
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:07 | #2

    Interesting that they cite QuickTime specifically… but I am using 10.9.2 also, and got the “one or more programs” message, which I guess maybe is just Apple’s way of not saying that their own OS is responsible for pissing you off.

    When it’s a process like volume indexing, you can (and I did) quit all applications and re-launch the Finder, and the disk still won’t eject. I have a small set of external HDDs I will often connect to, and if I leave them connected for more than a minute, I get the message, and have to quit all my apps (sometimes a dozen or more), taking time to carefully save all documents (Excel always demands that I save every document when closing, even when I make no changes), and then restart.

    As I mentioned in the post, this reminds me of the SCSI days when you had to shut down the computer whenever you wanted to unplug or plug in some external device.

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