I had an aging Western Digital external USB HD (spinning, not flash memory) that periodically disappears from the Device section on my Thunar File Manager. I have Manjaro installed. I am able to access any of the files on the HD drive even if this happens because the path is always the same. I simply copy/paste the path into Thunar. However, I won't be able to right click the drive in Thunar and then select either 'Eject' or 'Unmount the drive'. Is the safest way to do this from the command line the following command: umount /run/media/rpl/Elements/

What happens when I run this command is that the drive reappears in Thunar and at that point, I can then I choose 'Eject'. That's a bit strange considering that the umount command is for unmounting, not mounting.

Also, does the disappearing issue occur because this HD is over a decade old? Or is it an issue with Thunar? I don't seem to have this problem with any other USB drive or device.

1 Answer 1


Both eject and umount are safe. The difference is that unmounting doesn't shut the device; if you do lsusb afterwards you'll see it listed. That's the reason the eject is available in Thunar even after unmounting. Ejecting it, will completely remove it, you are not able to mount it again, not listed using lsusb anymore. You'll have to disconnect it and reconnect it to be able to mount it again.

Regarding the periodic disappearing in Thunar, I do not have any idea about it. I suggest you to have a terminal with the command journalctl -f running. When the disk disappears, switch to the terminal to view the journal. Perhaps some informative message will appear to help you understand the cause.

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