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Hard Shutdown again


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#1 MaryBet82

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 04:21 PM

OS 10.6.6 on MacBook Pro Intel i7

I think I have the terminology right - it's a soft shutdown via apple menu > shutdown and a hard shutdown if you have to hold the power button down until the computer shuts off.

Yesterday I had my LaCie 500GB D2 Quadra v2 ext hdd connected via 1394 and opened and closed some files on it. Then I tried ejecting it and nothing happened. I figured then my mac wouldn't shut down properly and later it wouldn't. I got the multicolored spinning wheel for an hour before I finally did the hard shutdown. I didn't get a message that files were in use or the os couldn't eject the LaCie volumes - it just didn't. Likewise, no message about being unable to shut down. I'm guessing the system was hung up on trying to unmount the LaCie.

I'm assuming my mac came w/ a clean install and I keep it up to date - well, I let automatic updates keep it up to date. It seems to have problems handling ext hdds, tho. This happens w/ both the LaCie Quadra and the WD My Book ext hdds. It fails to eject some/all volumes, the mac fails to shut down and once finder crashed when I went to open a file on the ext hdd.

I've tried using the terminal command
sudo umount -fv DRIVENAME
to unmount the drive. That didn't work. I've found a suggestion to id any open files/processes on the ext hdd using the command
lsof | egrep 'Backup'
where Backup is the name of the ext hdd volume and then use the kill command to end those processes. I don't understand why "egrep" is included in the command. I didn't understand much on the man pages for lsof, grep or kill.

The example of the kill command given was
kill -9 ###
where ### is the pid of the processes ID'd by the lsof command. -9 sends a "non-catchable, non-ignorable kill" signal so I guess that's the right option/operand/parameter/whatever to use.


Is there a good online tutorial or a good book on terminal commands for the mac beginner?

I've had to do 3 hard shutdowns this month - 2 appeared to be associated w/ ext hdds and 1 when the screen stayed dark when I opened the lid. Control + Eject followed by Return key might have worked to do a soft shutdown blind, but I didn't know that shortcut then. Is that within normal limits for glitches in a mac?
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

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#2 fluffybunny88

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 02:33 PM

When it locks up what exactly are you doing before it crashes? Also make sure the programs that you open the files in is closed, not just Xed out you said you were newish to mac so just want to make sure the program is actually closed. To do that just look at the icon of the program in the dock, if it has a lighted triangle under it, it is open and you should close it before you eject the disk.

the mac os protects the files by not allowing you to eject the hard drive if any files are open on it. And force ejecting it with the terminal commands should not be necessary to get it to eject.

And yes hard shutdown is when you hit the power button to power it off, soft shut down is the shutdown command under the apple, although most people refer to that as just a normal shutdown.

#3 Buddyme2

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 05:38 AM

I haven't seen this happen with my external drives with either of my Macs so I don't know if my suggestions will work or not.
Deselect "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" from Apple menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver to see if that might help. The next time it happens see if you can launch Activity Monitor from Applications > Utilities, choose All Processes from the drop down menu and see if anything is hanging, it'll show up in red and something like "(name here) is unresponsive" or something might be taking up a lot of the cpu. Choose it > Quit Process button > Force Quit.
Try ejecting the external with Disk Utility.

#4 MaryBet82

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 01:38 PM

Thanks fluffybunny88 and buddyme2,

I hadn't notice the lighted triangles under the open apps before. I usually go down the line right clicking to see if a quit is available. I've had the os let me know it couldn't shut down if I missed an app.

I don't have the problem every time an ext hdd is attached and I usually don't have an ext hdd attached, but most of the hard shutdowns have occurred when an ext hdd was attached. Once Finder crashed when I tried to open a file on the ext hdd and I couldn't get to activity monitor or the apple menu to shut down. Other times shutdown just didn't happen - I could still access activity monitor, terminal etc. Sometimes shutdown started in that I got the spinning ball and I couldn't access things like activity monitor. Recently shutdown failures have occurred when the ext hdd failed to eject.

I've unchecked put the hdd to sleep. One googled suggestion was to put the ext hdd into the privacy pane of spotlight preferences. I haven't done that yet because I want to be able to search the ext hdd. So far the problems have always been w/ hdds formatted w/ ntfs. I don't access a lot of files over several hours w/ the drive formatted for the mac, tho. I backup to it, check that I can access a few random files from it and eject it.

I've checked library\logs\crash & diagnostic reports. VirtualBox has several crash reports, even tho I've never had any problems w/ it or the programs running on it. Well, word 2003 crashes occasionally, but so does word 2011 for mac.

I've started logging when I have an ext hdd attached and when I have a problem. I had an ext hdd attached the last 2 days, accessed files from it, ejected it w/out problem and shutdown w/out problems. I hope it continues that way.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening




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