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10.4: Force a volume to mount on an Intel Mac System 10.4
I have a 300GB USB 2.0 hard drive that I've been using with my Intel iMac since I got it last April. It had been working flawlessly until just a couple of days ago. All of a sudden, the drive would no longer mount, and a dialog box came up asking if I wanted to ignore, eject, or initialize the disk. If I tried to initialize the disk, or do anything at all with the Disk Utility, the command would time out with an input/output error.

I was unable to find anything regarding this issue on the web, but I did come across a great open source program called rEFIt. With rEFIt installed, I was able to boot into an EFI shell. When you boot into the shell, it lists all of the available partitions, but it lists them as blk1, blk2, blk3, etc.

After figuring out which partition it was that I was trying to work with -- in my case it ended up being blk5 -- I typed in the command mount blk5 in the shell, and it forced the volume to mount. Then when I exited the shell and booted into the Mac OS, the volume appeared as it should, and I was even able to manipulate it again in Disk Utility without any errors.

I still don't understand why this happened in the first place, but here's a little workaround.
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10.4: Force a volume to mount on an Intel Mac | 4 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Force a volume to mount on an Intel Mac
Authored by: dmw on Jul 22, '06 10:10:36AM

I had a very similar problem with an external disk I had been using with my intel iMac. I had a full backup on the drive (using SuperDuper! - great program btw), but after a reboot, the drive was suddenly no longer accessible. I had intentionally wiped the iMac's internal drive in the process of trying to install XP since bootcamp was giving me issues, so the backup drive was now the only drive containing all my files. Needless to say, getting back the data was imperative.

I tried a couple of disk recovery applications, but Data Rescue II was the only one able to retrieve anything from the disk, and even then, the files it recovered weren't really files - more a bunch of conglomerations of random blocks on the disk. Nothing usable.

So, since I couldn't afford to send the disk off for professional recovery services, I decided to try to fix it by hand. I started investigating the various partitioning formats, and found that the disk was partitioned using Apple Partition Map. When I viewed the data on the disk in a hex editor, I found that all the entries in the partition table had been shifted by 32 bytes. Very odd.

I spent two days writing a program to understand this partition map, so that I could verify it was intact in preparation for putting it back in the right place, hoping that it would just "work" after that. Then something strange happened.

I went to run my program, to show my girlfriend the difference btw a good reference disk and this oddly shifted one, when, suddenly, it was no longer shifted! How could this be? It had repaired itself! This is extremely odd as I had connected/reconnected, mounted/unmounted this drive many times (as well as rebooting my macbook) in the process of troubleshooting. How could it suddenly just start working normally? I remain perplexed.

The drive is working fine as I type.

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10.4: Force a volume to mount on an Intel Mac
Authored by: luhmann on Aug 13, '06 07:50:43AM

Well, my Firewire drive mounts fine on my iBook, but not on my MacBook. This hint didn't seem to help. Anyone know what's up with removable drives and Intel Macs?

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10.4: Force a volume to mount on an Intel Mac
Authored by: bigj6360 on Nov 04, '08 05:55:48PM
I know this is way late, in terms of your problem, but I had the same problem with a 250GB HD on Leopard. Actually I just got mine working. This is what I did, incase someone else has the problem also. 1. In Data Rescue 2 I was able the see the drive (Disk Utility was not able to see it). I told it to mount the drive (Of course it wasn't successfully mounted, but at least Disk Utility was able to see it now. 2. Open terminal and run the following commands: 2a. mkdir /Volumes/your_desired_name 2b. mount /dev/you_drive_location (mine was /dev/disk2) 2c. I received a resource busy error. 3. at that time I ejected the drive and plugged it back in. It worked for me. all my other attempts and all programs failed. 4. save your data 5.format drive 6. Eject drive 7. rm /Volumes/your_desired_name 8. Plug drive in again. hope this helps.

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10.4: Force a volume to mount on an Intel Mac
Authored by: bigj6360 on Nov 05, '08 11:55:14AM

Sorry, I just reread my post...

2b. should read:

mount /dev/your_drive_location (mine was /dev/disk2) /Volumes/your_desired_name

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