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I have a WD External hard drive that I believe is defective. Every now and then it simply hangs and its unresponsiveness makes finder stop responding. It will not reset itself until I disconnect the power plug and, in case I have no physical access to the drive and the computer, it seems impossible to unmount the disk in order to make finder work again (I tried diskutil commands from the terminal).

The interface is Firewire 800 but can also be connected through USB 2.0, which unfortunately does not solve the problem. These hangs are also very random and the drive can be connected for several weeks without a problem until one day it hangs when coming back from sleep mode (just by accessing the contents from the finder).

Since I cannot physical disconnect the drive, is there a way to disable the Firewire port and make finder work again?

share|improve this question
When you used diskutil did you do a plain diskutil umount or did you use diskutil umount force? – Simon Oct 27 '11 at 9:34
both fail after a certain amount of time... I also tried variants (since I don't understand very well all the differences), like distil unmountDisk (with and without force), and others like hdiutil. It's really frustrating because if you don't have physical access to the mac, there's no way to bring finder back. Besides, now that I had the time to go home and disconnect the drive, I cannot reproduce the problem in order to try other alternatives. :( – gaudi_br Oct 28 '11 at 8:24

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