Tuesday, 12 April 2016

I was going to say that I'd like to know.....

why OSX seems to sod-up nearly every USB memory stick that gets used with it. Except that I don't really care - I just wish it wouldn't happen.

Loaned one of my memory sticks to a Mac user, who then experienced ejection problems (which they also experience with a variety of other memory sticks, just like I did when I used a Mac regularly) and now it needs repair when it's used on a machine running a non-Apple OS.

Grump at the poxy Cupertino implementation of USB.


  1. Interesting that you should mention this, because in the last month or so I've learned that Macs don't truly delete content from USB sticks. I haven't had the problems you mention, but I've had the issue of discovering pictures on USB sticks while trying to set up a slide show on a TV—pictures I had "deleted" only a few moments earlier. Turns out Macs actually create a trash file right on the USB stick. Between Macs this isn't a problem, but switch to a PC and you've got a full USB stick that your Mac said was empty.

    It's an odd quirk. The solution, which I haven't tried yet, is apparently to "empty the trash" on your Mac—I don't know if that'll cover a plugged-in USB, too, or if you need to do that specifically to the USB stick's "trash."

    Anyway, that might be the cause of the some of the problems you're experiencing.

  2. I understand about the need to empty the trash before files are actually deleted (a question one might ask is whether people actively store stuff in trash) but that's not the issue here. Others have noticed that using USB sticks in a Mac can cause performance to deteriorate, and I have an older Kingston memory stick that doesn't work in macs but is fine, though slow, with Windows and Linux.

    In this particular case, the macbook in question repeatedly refused to eject the memory stick, claiming that it was in use even though none of the content was being used, nor being browsed by finder. I suspect it was (slowly) indexing content and writing the garbage hidden files that OSX adds to every storage device it accesses. The one thing I wonder about in retrospect, is whether it was taking the image files that were stored on the stick and either altering the files in some way or quietly moving them across to the hard drive to 'help' the owner.


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