Ejecting Stuck Disks

Once in a while, the Finder will refuse to eject discs, claiming they’re still “in use,” even though you may have no programs or files open and accessing it. I’ve tried quitting all open applications, closing all windows, and making sure no files were open (such as a disc image on the disc itself) — nothing will convince the Finder that the disc not in use. Then I ran across the Terminal command:
hdiutil eject -force [volume]
where [volume] is the volume name or Unix device (i.e. /dev/disk3, attainable by doing df first). After hitting Return, the drive pops open.

hdiutil is a great little tool Apple provides with OS X, and it can do many things besides eject stuck discs — create and resize images, burn .dmg files, mount and unmount them, all from the command line using a very simple syntax.

And, for the record, my position on the disk/disc naming scheme is this: If it’s magnetic media, it’s “disk.” And if it’s optical, it’s “disc.” It doesn’t really matter, but I make the distinction anyway.

Ejecting Stuck Disks

4 thoughts on “Ejecting Stuck Disks

  1. josh says:

    I try to avoid Terminal as much as possible but something that has worked for me is to start iDVD and then burn whatever opens which will eject the disc so you can insert a blank one. For what it’s worth.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s