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Event - inserting a USB key into a mac

I'm new to macs.

1. When inserting a USB flash drive into an iMac, nothing seems to happen unlike MS Windows where you get a notification in the system tray.  I know you can view it in Finder but is this normal to occur?

2. What is the point of ejecting a USB - I dont understand that concept, its not like a CD that will jump out.  Also if you decide you still need it, it disappears from Finder, so how to bring it back without having to exercise and travel around i.e. fiddle in the most stupid of places to stick a USB port (because god forbid, we might need to actually use such inconvenient locations)

Thanks.

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abdb469
Asked:
abdb469
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4 Solutions
 
HellmarkCommented:
On OSX, when you insert a disk, into the CD drive, or via USB, it will try to automatically mount the drive, make it viewable via finder, and also create a shortcut on the desktop.

All OS's need to "mount" a drive to make it usable, and "unmount" it when the drive is to be removed. If it is removed without unmounting it, a program can potentially be writing to the drive at the time it is removed, causing the data to be incomplete, and potentially corrupting the file system on the drive. I repeat, ALL operating systems do this. Windows has the "safely remove" option on the task bar. OSX just calls it eject, to keep it nice and simple, by using the same term to allow the removal of media. More people know eject than "unmounting", so that is the term they used.
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HellmarkCommented:
As far as upon inserting, there really isn't much need for a notification. Windows is really the only one that notifies you upon success. If you are doing something that requires a physical activity, such as inserting a disk, why pop something up telling you that you inserted the disk? OSX just pops up a notification if there was an issue of some sort. It keeps things simple, and doesn't get in the way.
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abdb469Author Commented:
Ok but you haven't addressed the issue about reusing the USB flash drive once you have unmounted it but not removed it from the physical port.
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strungCommented:
I think you can remount a dismounted USB key using Disk Utility. (Pull down the file menu to "mount").
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abdb469Author Commented:
not sure what you mean by pull down the file menu to mount it, as there is no file menu in finder?
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HellmarkCommented:
It is not in Finder. Disk Utility is a separate app in the Applications directory. (I don't remember exactly where, I have it moved to a subfolder called Utilities in my Apps directory).

When you run disk utility, it will list every drive attached, and will give you the option to mount or unmount it. If you've ejected, but not removed it, you have to start Disk Utility, select the drive in Disk Utility, and there should be an button for Mount.
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strungCommented:
/Applications/utilities/Disk Utility
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didbCommented:
1. Macs do not have the attitude of annoying the client :) ...   Your drive will show up on the desktop and you can open it by doubleclicking on it or performing any action you want. It does also show up in the sidebar of the finder window.

2. The point is that if the operating system i.e. Mac OS X is still linked to any file on the drive it might go corrupt if you just unplug it. There are even times when the operating system might suddenly create a "blue screen" because of some error in the code of a software accessing the drive.

Also you can get the drive back by going to Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility (or just type "Disk Utility" into spotlight [cmd + spacebar] ... on the lefthand side you will find the disk and can mount it once again.

Hope that helped and got everything answered :)
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HellmarkCommented:
abdb469, hopefully one of us was able to answer your question. If you have more questions, please post back.
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abdb469Author Commented:
Sorry for the delay all.  I have looked in disk utilities, but it does not show the USB drive there.  Ok I know I can just unplug it and plug it in again, but to close off this point, Id like to know how to do this.
You cant mount a drive that is not listed.
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HellmarkCommented:
Ok, if it is completely gone from Disk Utility, then there isn't a nice friendly mac way to do it, but there is a way to do it from the commandline

kextunload IOUSBMassStorageClass.kext;
kextload /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBMassStorageClass.kext

Open in new window


The caveat to this is it will reload ALL attached USB devices.
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HellmarkCommented:
Basically, it is an issue with how the flash drives work, because it is similar situation under windows and linux. If you use "safely remove" under windows, you'll have to something equally complicated on windows to reattach it without physically removing and plugging back in.

The biggest difference is it is easier to remove something on OSX, and it is shocking how many people don't realize what the proper method to do it under windows is (I see people just yanking drives ALL the time).
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abdb469Author Commented:
I'm sorry to say, but this is poor show from Apple.  First some moron designs the iMac so that you cant see or properly feel the darn USB port at the back of the computer and to top it, if you eject a USB drive, you have to start playing with command line code to get it going again?  

Firstly I cant believe Apple over all people, could not stick the USB ports to the side of the computer like any 10 year old would tell you is easier to reach (ok so they want to keep the front clean and sharp).  But why be impractical in the first place.....anyway off topic...rant over.

So basically to conclude, either I reboot my mac or unplug the usb and reconnect again to see it?  No way of otherwise mounting the drive?
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strungCommented:
Isn't there a USB slot in your keyboard?
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abdb469Author Commented:

No. Got the small wireless one
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strungCommented:
You could just run a short USB extension cable from the back of the Mac, or better still connect a USB hub to the Mac and leave the hub on your desk.
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abdb469Author Commented:
Yes, that is the other option I was considering....nevertheless was just wondering why Apply would design their product with the port at the back like that.

Ok thanks all.  Looks like unplugging and replugging or rebooting is the simplest answer at this stage.
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