Disabling USB port on a Mac
January 18, 2009 5:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I eject a USB device on OSX (10.5.6) if it doesn't show up on Finder? I think this may be the solution to my larger VirtualBox USB problem.

I'm very new to Macs. I'm on a new MacBook Pro, trying to use a CAC reader on Windows XP through Virtual Box. I have the USB ports enabled, but I get this error message:
USB device 'SCM Microsystems Inc. SCR3310 USB Smart Card Reader' with UUID ****** is in use by someone else.
when I try to attach that reader to the XP virtual machine.

I've looked to no avail on the Virtual Box forums, as well as Google.
It's a very specific question, but I have a feeling that disabling the reader/USB port on my Mac (as long as I could reenable it) could solve the Virtual Box problem. I'm pretty sure the Mac is recognizing the reader, but when I look in Finder, the Smart Card Reader does not appear for me to eject.
posted by hellogoodbye to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I'm presuming you've set up a filter with the correct vendor:device IDs in VirtualBox. What happens if you unplug it (or reboot OS X / VirtualBox without it connected), then plug it in once XP has started & settled down? VirtualBox should grab it first if you've got the filters set correctly.

OS X will only show Mass Storage Devices (& similar) in Finder. If some other Mac process (e.g. a driver) is grabbing it instead, there's no easy way of "ejecting" the device without knowing what process has grabbed it. It's a failing of - well, more an oversimplification by - OS X.
posted by Pinback at 5:47 PM on January 18, 2009

Does it show up in disc utility?

If so, get the device name from there (/dev/disk2 for example) you can try (within Terminal.app):
sudo hdiutil eject /dev/disk2
to try and force an eject. you could also try (in Terminal.app):
fuser /dev/disk2
to see what processes have that device open (if any), and then kill them with
fuser -k /dev/disk2
if you so desire.
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:52 PM on January 18, 2009

thanks ! rebooting both OSs and reinserting the reader did work . now i can bring my mac on travel tomorrow instead of my old clunky laptop .
posted by hellogoodbye at 6:09 PM on January 18, 2009

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