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Back up device won't unmount

745 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: May 9, 2012 12:46 PM by X423424X RSS
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V.A.P. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 8, 2012 12:04 PM

I purchased (from Apple) a recommended external hard drive device for backing up my new desktop iMac (10.7.3).

It is a Porsche Design Mobile Drive P'9221. I went through the set-up instructions, however I notice it has a folder on the desktop, not the image of the drive. Anyway, maybe I have not set it up correctly, but I cannot get it to un-mount. I drag the folder icon to the trash and when I try to disconnect, I get a warning saying I have done it incorrectly and may lose information.

What should I do?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
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    May 8, 2012 12:07 PM (in response to V.A.P.)

    Sounds like that folder icon is not the drive itself.  Perhaps you don't have external disks set to show up on the desktop?  See Finder -> Preferences -> General:


    Screen Shot 2012-05-08 at 3.06.32 PM.png

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
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    May 8, 2012 12:30 PM (in response to V.A.P.)

    You can see exactly what's mounted by opening Disk Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities).  Does it show up there when connected?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
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    May 8, 2012 12:45 PM (in response to V.A.P.)

    It may not be formatted in a Mac-friendly way.  Since it's brand new, try just erasing it.  Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if you'll only be using it wih a Mac, otherwise choose FAT32.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
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    May 8, 2012 1:32 PM (in response to V.A.P.)

    Use the Erase tab in Disk Utility.  You'll see a pop-up menu there that lets you choose the format.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
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    May 8, 2012 4:20 PM (in response to V.A.P.)

    If the LaCie folder is the only thing that appears on the desktop when you connect the drive, and you have the Finder set to show external drives on the desktop, then at must be the drive.  Dunno why it would show as a folder, though.


    OTOH, it you see a drive icon and the folder icon, the drive must contain that folder in its Desktop directory.  You should be able to just delete it, if that's the case, but if you erased the hard drive, it should not be there.


    Regarding backup, just let Time Machine take care of it for you, and dedicate the entire drive to the backups.  In fact, if you intend to use that drive for such a backup, the easiest thing to do is just tell Time Machine to start backing up there.  The first thing it should do is format the drive.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    May 8, 2012 7:01 PM (in response to V.A.P.)

    If that Lacie icon is a folder on that drive then I suspect it is one of those external drives where the maker includes their own software (probably some kind of automated backup software from Lacie) .  If so I recommened you just ignore it.  Just use the drive as it is now,  It mounts.  It is available for backup.  What more could you want?


    Well, maybe you would like to be able to boot from it just like your internal drive and be identical to your internal drive.


    You can use the drive for backups and  use Time Machine as previously mentioned.  But an alternative to consider is a full bootable "clone" of your system.  For that you can use a backup program like Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper.  The backups will then basically be identical to your original.  It can be also used to boot from which you cannot do with a TM backup.  You can also schedule periodic backups with these backup utilities. 


    I suspect that is the kind of software Lacie is providing (if what I said above is correct) buy trying to make it simple for users who don't even think about backups.  But that software is usually inferior to the programs I mentioned and usually gets in the way more than it helps.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
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    May 9, 2012 3:13 AM (in response to V.A.P.)

    If you turn on Time Machine (in System Preferences -> Time Machine), then as soon as you connect that drive, it will ask you if you want to use it for Time Machine backups.  If you tell it to do so, it pretty much takes over and does everything for you.  You just have to leave the drive connected until Time Machine is done with it.  (You can see progress in the Time Machine preference pane.)


    If you have already been asked to use that drive with Time Machine and said no, just click the Select Disk icon in the Time Machine preferences pane.

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