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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8996
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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My MacBook Air keeps spontaneously ejecting the external hard

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My MacBook Air keeps spontaneously ejecting the external hard drive and then send me an error message that looks like this:

"The disk was not ejected properly. If possible, always eject a disk before unplugging it or turning it off. To eject a disk, select it in the Finder and choose File > Eject. The next time you connect the disk, Mac OS X will attempt to repair any damage to the information on the disk."

This occurs approximately every 15 mins on average and sometimes even more often. Not only is it disruptive to workflow, when it occurs if I am backing up my hard drive data to the cloud, it disrupts the process and I have to start all over again. I keep thinking it has something to do with Time Machine but am not sure.

What can I do to prevent this from happening? I worry that if happens to often it will damage both my external and internal hard drives. (Just replaced both within the last six weeks on a machine that is less than 6 months old)
Please go to the Apple logo on the upper left of the screen, go to About This Mac (DO NOT Select More Info), and tell me the Version (under Mac OS X), the Processor and the Memory, it is all right there.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OS X version 10.8.4
Processor 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory GB 1600 MHz DDRS
I want you to check some things that may or may not be affecting the situation. I am required to post any procedure as an Answer even if it is just a diagnostic test, so please ignore the Rate to Finish box and Reply to Expert after you have tried that.

Restart the computer while holding the Command and R keys to boot to Recovery HD partition, when it boots select the Disk Utility and Continue. Then select Macintosh HD on the left and first Verify Disk on the right and if that is OK Repair Permissions. If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair Disk.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Verify Disk for the Macintosh HD "appears to be OK"
The "Permissions repair complete"
Ok now if you can clarify some things. I assume the drive is plugged in via USB? You mention backup via iCloud but also Time Machine. Is this drive your Time Machine backup?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes the drive is connected to the MacBook using USB port.
It is the drive for the TimeMachine backup.
I only use iCloud to back and sync my iTunes so I can acces them on iPhone and iPad using iMatch. I don't think iCloud is affecting the ext hard drive.
BTW the ext hard drive is seagate momentus 500gb. I depends upon MacBook USB port for power source

Ok turn off Time Machine in System Preferences and then restart. Plug the drive in and open Disk Utility and Verify Disk on the external drive.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Verify disk tells us that the ext hard drive RIC-BACKUPS appears to be ok
Ok do this then plug the drive back in and turn on Time Machine. With a laptop you have to be very careful about jostling the cord so make sure neither laptop nor the drive are moved. Let me know if the drive disconencts again:

Resetting the SMC & PRAM on portables with a battery you should not remove on your own
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
5. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
6. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
7. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.
8. Release the keys.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have to be some place in 15 mins so will follow ur instructions when I get back in about 2 hrs.

Not sure exactly what or why u want me to reset the SMC & PRAM?? Is that the ext hard drive or???
Ok those are internal system settings that are reset which include the USB
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I followed the steps and will give it a few hours to see whether the ext hard drive spontaneously connects and reconnects and let you know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So far so good. No spontaneous ejections! Yeah
Let's give it 24 hours. Is that okay??
No problem, good luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


The problem with the Ext Hard Drive spontaneously ejecting itself stopped overnight but then resumed yesterday morning.

Any thoughts on how to prevent this from happening on a permanent basis.

Have you tried another USB cable?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The cable is integrated into the case that holds the Ext Hard Drive. I will replace the case and see if that does the trick.

Oh I have never seen one like that. You say you just replaced both the internal AND external drives? That makes me think it is something on the laptop that is failing. Let me know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I did replace the cable and the hardware that connects the Ext Hard Drive to my computer. Seems like it is working better.

Thanks for your help.

Ok great, let me know if it happens again
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