Whenever I eject the external drive that I use for Time Machine, I get this prompt:

Eject Prompt

However, in actual fact, this particular drive has got only ONE (1) partition, so it's rather annoying that I have to click on Eject All when this should have been a no-frills process.

Partition Details

Note that this does not happen if I simply connect the drive to the USB port and then eject it. It usually happens after a Time Machine backup session has occurred.

FYI, the backup drive I use is encrypted. Could this be the reason?

EDIT: In response @matthieu-riegler's question, this is the result I got from diskutil list. As you can see, there's only one entry for the external drive, My Passport.

Results from <code>diskutil list</code>

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    what does diskutil list command say in the terminal ? – Matthieu Riegler Jan 13 '13 at 14:52
  • I see only 1 entry for that specific drive. – XCool Jan 20 '13 at 17:00
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    If you select the drive and hold cmd+option+E the drive will eject all the partitions and will not show you the warning. It is weird though that it thinks there are multiple partitions. – Saaru Lindestøkke Jan 20 '13 at 18:54
  • @BartArondson thanks for the tip. Yeah, it is weird that this prompt is appearing lately. I'll use that shortcut key the next time I need to eject the external drive. Thanks! – XCool Jan 21 '13 at 2:31

Could it be that there is a hidden partition available on that drive?

Disk Utility can show hidden partitions, but be default it doesn't do this. You can enable this feature by first enabling the program's "Debug" menu. Just enter the following command in the Terminal, which will edit the Disk Utility preferences file accordingly:

defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1

Now relaunch Disk Utility and you should be able to see the hidden partitions by choosing "Show Every Partition" from the now-present "Debug" menu. Do keep in mind that editing hidden partitions may not be a good idea in most situations.

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  • Thanks! Enabled Disk Utility's Debug menu and figured it out. See my answer below. – XCool Jan 26 '13 at 8:02

So, I followed @bart-koopman's advice and enabled Disk Utility's Debug menu. There are definitely more than ONE partition on my external drive. Here's what it looks like:

Initial State

Notice that only "My Passport" is mounted at this point. I was about to give up, when Time Machine did its thing and completed a backup session. This is how it looks like now:

Disk Utility After Time Machine Backup Session

I have no idea when the "Boot OS X" partition was created. But I am pretty sure this is the extra hidden partition that caused Finder to complain every time I eject the drive. It gets mounted after a Time Machine backup session and stays mounted the entire time.

Mystery solved?

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  • Just in case someone was searching for this and stumbled upon my answer: Mac OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 update seems to have fixed this issue. I continue to see the above hidden partitions, but I am no longer prompted whenever I try to eject my main backup drive. – XCool Apr 6 '13 at 17:06

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