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Posts Tagged ‘unmount’

A couple of years or so ago, Ubuntu‘s file manager, Nautilus, gave you the ability to “Safely Remove Drive” when right-clicking an attached USB hard drive (or flash drive), rather than just simply “Unmount” it. The difference between the two is that when you simply unmount a drive, it is still listed as attached (but not mounted) in Nautilus‘s left-pane. For many, seeing the drive completely removed was reassuring, since it could then be unplugged safe in the knowledge there would be no data loss, or physical damage to the device.

However, in the Ubuntu 12.10 upgrade, we lost this option, and now only have “Unmount” and “Eject” (which is exactly the same as “Unmount“, except in the case of CD/DVD drives where it will eject the disc tray).

Device Context-Menu

While “Safely Remove Drive” may yet make a return (it has caused a flood of complaints about this backward move), for now you can do it via the command-line if you really prefer this to simply unmounting.

First, if you’re unsure what the drive’s address is, run the following in the terminal:

mount|grep ^'/dev'

If you only have one internal hard drive, and no other storage devices attached, it should be something like /dev/sdb. To safely unmount and totally remove the drive, enter the following command, replacing /dev/sdb with your own drive’s designation if need be:

udisks --unmount /dev/sdb1 && udisks --detach /dev/sdb

You should now see your drive disappear from the file manager’s left-pane.

Note that in the unlikely event you have a partition other than the first partition on the drive mounting, you will need to change the “1” (ie: sdb1) in the command to reflect that.

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“Failed to eject media; one or more volumes on the media are busy.”

That is an error message you may come across from time to time, and of course the obvious thing to do is make sure no programs are still trying to access a CD or DVD in your disc drive. And this includes programs that aren’t actively using the device, but are nonetheless keeping it “busy”, like if you have a media player open with files or titles from the disc still in its playlist. But once you have ruled all that out, you still might be left with the inability to eject the disc and get on with things, so hopefully some information here will be of use to you.

In most cases, the following command run in a terminal or via Alt+F2 will successfully unmount the disc, and then eject the tray:

sudo umount -l /media/cdrom0 && eject

Please note: since Ubuntu now automagically creates mount points for discs based on the label, /media/cdrom0 may not work for you, so you may need to ascertain the correct path for the current disc with this command:

mount|grep ^'/dev'

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