I have a small WD Passport 2 TB HDD on which I’m backing up important and irreplaceable files. It’s not the only backup but as one of three it’s important. It has about 1 TB of data in it.

I closed my laptop overnight. Today I disconnected the HDD with the laptop screen closed. When I opened it I get the message about incorrectly ejecting the drive. I hadn’t thought about the fact that even with the Mac closed, the drive was still mounted.

I know doing so can lead to loss of data and problems with the disc. In fact I just read that for those drives that rely on power from the Mac, ejecting incorrectly can damage the drive itself — this is an HDD, not SDD, so I assume there’s a read/write head.

If the data weren’t so important I wouldn’t sweat it. But as this is an archival backup, I want to be sure the data is good, and the drive too. Should I run disk repair on it? Do I need to reformat it and copy the original data back? Is the drive just iffy from here in lit, so best idea would be to get a replacement?

I’m running Monterey 12.5.1 on a 2015 MacBook Pro, if that makes a difference.

  • See the answer below,; it’s correct. Unless you have actual issues, you don’t need to run disk repair. One thing to remember about backups is that a file isn’t truly backed up until it’s in at least three different places
    – Allan
    May 28 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


You have nothing to worry about. The warning is there to warn you that data loss is a POSSIBILITY. But your Mac wasn’t being used since it was sleeping so no data was writing to the drive.

Yes you should eject your disk because it tells your Mac you are going to remove it so it stops writing data and it tells the disk to turn off to protect it. But if you don’t eject from time to time it won’t hurt things.



From what I understand the new SSD disks don’t have the power down problem like regular drives.

  • 1
    Thanks. Forgive me if this is a silly question, but how does one know if one has data loss with 1 TB of data? I understand that in my case since the drive wasn’t writing there should be no problem. But theoretically, how would one detect data loss, without trying to access each file, which is impractical with so many?
    – Cerulean
    May 28 at 20:07
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    @Cerulean, you can run fsck, which will verify that the file system is consistent, and fix errors if it isn't. This will not detect problems with file contents (because it doesn't understand those), but it will create a list of all blocks belonging to each file and check that used blocks belong to exactly one file -- technically, that is very close to accessing each file. May 29 at 4:40

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