Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

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Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby The Diamond Geezer on Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:15 am

Hello,

Yesterday I mounted an external NTFS 2TB HDD without any hitch. I was able to copy files over to my /home directory. As I went to click on the volume icon on the desktop to eject it, only "Safely remove" was available. I did not do it and went into Nautilus instead. I right-clicked on the volume icon, and this time, only "Unmount" was available...

I clicked on "Unmount" and the system froze within 2 seconds. All I could do was hard reset the machine. I checked the external HDD afterwards and it was intact, no damage done.

Can somebody please explain the difference between "Safely remove", "Unmount" and "Eject"? This is all the more confusing that "Eject" is available as an option when an old 256MB FAT32-formatted thumb drive is inserted. Also, the usual black upward arrow with the horizontal black bar underneath (the "Eject" symbol) is not visible next to the volume in Nautilus.

Thanks for your help! :D
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Re: Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby grizzler on Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:13 am

Curious. I wonder if this is related to this: viewtopic.php?f=141&t=75848.

I'm not sure about the difference between the unmount/remove options, but I think "Safely remove" and "Eject" unmount all mounted partitions on a particular item while "unmount" just unmounts the selected one. Eject will probably also eject something that actually can be ejected, like a CD.

All I know for certain is that I can get away with unmounting my external harddisc's partitions one by one. If I choose "Safely remove" the computer freezes with a kernel panic. And that's on two very different machines.
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Re: Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby The Diamond Geezer on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:01 am

Hey grizzler,

That's interesting, thanks. So "Safely remove" is not so "safe" after all? :wink:

Actually I tried to "safely remove" an NTFS 8GB thumb drive yesterday, all it did is unmount it and remount it straight away..I was however able to successfully "Unmount" it from the desktop icon.

Any other issues encountered with the "Safely remove" options?
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Re: Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby grizzler on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:58 am

It really does look like there's something seriously wrong with "Safely remove", doesn't it?

After the kernel panic I tried all the USB sticks I have (2 and 4 GB, all FAT32). Safely removing them didn't cause any problems.

Actually, I'm not sure what the best course of action is. It would be nice to get these issues fixed, of course, but a couple of more people reporting similar problems would probably help in making a case.
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Re: Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby The Diamond Geezer on Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:22 am

OK it looks like a Debian bug has already been filed for the behaviour I mentioned in my previous post (Nautilus unmounting and mounting back straight away):

http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=594796

At least it's not just thze two of us having issues with "safely remove" grizzler :D
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Re: Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby The Diamond Geezer on Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:36 am

Further on this, here is some explanation as regards the terminology, this time in a Bugzilla ticket:

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=598690

"Now for a thorough explanation of why we currently have these three options

- Unmount
- Eject
- Safely remove drive

for a normal USB stick or USB card reader. It seems excessive.

Actually it wasn't always like this. Before bug 597864, we used to collapse
"Eject" and "Safely Remove Drive" into just "Eject" (with the semantics of
first doing "Eject", then "Safely Remove Drive") if it looked like the drive
wasn't automatically capable of physically ejecting the media (e.g. an optical
drive or a zip drive). Then the user only had two options

- Unmount
- Eject

which seemed a bit more reasonable. Still, for optical drives connected via USB
we had all three options since, well, ejecting the media is not the same as
preparing the device for removal. And we still had that pesky unmount option.

But then bug 597864 roared it's head. The problem, in a nutshell, is that we
don't know if the device is external or internal (see the bug and the
associated fd.o bug for more discussion). So we can't just automatically hide
the "Safely Remove Drive" feature behind "Eject".

Long-term it might (or might not) be nice to have a "Safely Remove Hardware"
facility in the core desktop shell (that would also work for other kinds of
hardware needing this treatment) but that's just not how things work right now.

We could also nuke the "Unmount" option and just tell people to use a terminal
instead for doing that (or Palimpsest). I don't know if that's screwing over
existing users too much though (I'm personally fine with it)."

I hope this helps?
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Re: Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby grizzler on Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:40 am

(Let's see if I can finally get this totally messed up forum to accept a posting... :evil: )

The Diamond Geezer wrote:Further on this, here is some explanation as regards the terminology, this time in a Bugzilla ticket:

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=598690

Yup, that's about what I figured.

Well, it looks like the unmount/remount issue you mentioned has already been reported. No such luck with my kernel panic problem, though.
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Re: Safely remove / Unmount / Eject Volume: NTFS Issues

Postby Linux n00b on Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:40 am

The Diamond Geezer wrote:We could also nuke the "Unmount" option and just tell people to use a terminal
instead for doing that (or Palimpsest). I don't know if that's screwing over
existing users too much though (I'm personally fine with it)."


The better option, I believe, would be kill the "safely remove" option.

Optical drive -> eject
Otherwise -> unmount

Right now, terminal unmount is the "fix" for me, since GUI "safely remove" will only give my kernel panic.
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