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Question re: external drives for backing up Mac I've noticed the following behavior with several external hard drives onto which I back up the user folders on the Macs (iMac G5 and MacBook) that I use: After dragging the user folder to the external back up drive, the folder copies normally, lights on the external drive flash indicating activity, the drive makes happy drive sounds, everything is cool ... but then, after the progress bar for the copy operation indicates that the files have all been successfully copied and the copy process is supposedly "over," the lights on the external drive CONTINUE to flash and the drive continues to make happy sounds for several minutes, sometimes for quite a while (depending on how much has been copied, I think). Does the continuation of the flashing lights and drive noises indicate that the copy process is NOT in fact quite complete? Should I wait until these flashing external drive lights and sounds have stopped before I unmount the drive and turn it off? Or, can I just consider the copy process finished after the progress bar disappears, and unmount the drive immediately? I don't want to damage the external drive or the files newly copied to it, but would like to be able to unmount it and turn it off as soon as possible (the fans on external drives can be a bit noisy and distracting). Please inform. Thanks!

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Apple Forum Has Better Info
[d] By: Guest
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...... Here is what's up ....

Hi Chris,

OS X is basically a modified version of BSD so .... it sounds like everything is working as expected. Here are some things to pay attention to:

1. Remember that most drives usually transfer data around the 4MB - 10MB per second range. When you tell the OS to copy a file to another location, the OS will indicate that the file has been copied BEFORE it is actually PHYSICALLY done. What you want to do is open a terminal session (command line) and type "sync" (leave the quotes off) and then enter. This will tell the OS to write ALL buffered data to the physical drives immediately. The prompt will return when all data has actually been written to the disks. At this point it is generally safe to unmouunt the disk.

2. The OS also, in most cases, is writing or updating the file system journal periodically as long as the drive is mounted. Again, doing a sync will force this activity this to complete.

3. Most modern disks have write caches built in. sync will cause the caches in both the OS (FSCACHE) and the disk to be writen (FSFLUSHED) immeadiately to the disks and it will close any open file handles. If the file is still in use, the OS will subsequently reopen the file as needed until the application closes the file (like when you are copying files).

[d] By: Guest
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What is 1 + 100



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for restaurants, kiosk, and any other retails business completely free. It can be used as windows cashier system or as full blown POS. You will able to print to kitchen, display orders on the kitchen screen, manage inventory, employee, report, customer loyalty offers, employee management, delivery address track and much more, all for free.

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