[OS X TeX] Premature Hard Drive Disconnection

David B. Thompson, Ph.D., P.E., CFM drdbthompson at gmail.com
Mon Nov 3 18:12:11 CET 2008

Hi all. I thought I'd share something learned the hard way that might  
help others who encounter a similar problem.

This morning I thought my external hard drive was not connected to my  
notebook. So, I unplugged it and promptly received a message from the  
OS that a device was improperly disconnected and I might have lost data.

It was one of those "Oh S***" moments. Yes, I have them occasionally. :)

I reconnected the drive and it mounted properly, or so I thought.  
However, my next attempt to compile a LaTeX document failed when it  
could not find my standard style file. (Said file resides in a  
symlinked directory on my external drive.)

What happened is that when I improperly disconnected the drive a  
directory remained in the /Volumes directory, named for the external  
drive. Therefore, the symlink was no longer pointed to the correct  

The solution was to properly dismount the external drive, enter the  
terminal, clear out the fossil directory, then remove it. When I  
remounted the external drive, all was well.

This may be documented somewhere, but I worked it out for myself this  
morning. All those years administering my own linux systems are worth  
something after all.

I hope this helps someone. At least it will be in the archives now.

All the best...


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