22 September 2008 @ 7:49External Drive Locked

A client called me with the problem that they couldn’t access their two external drives — one a Time Machine backup and the other just external storage. Both drive icons had a padlock symbol attached. Here is how I fixed the problem in the Terminal. (Of course, replace <insert volume name here> with the name of your volume)

sudo chflags nouchg /Volumes/<insert volume name here>
sudo chmod 1775 /Volumes/<insert volume name here>

Then you may have to relaunch (force quit) the Finder before you see the changes.

I’m still not sure as to how the uchg flag got set. Maybe it was caused by an improperly written installer? If anyone has tracked down the source of this problem, I would love to hear it.

Update: this doesn’t only affect external drives, but internal ones too.

Update 2: Here is a droplet to fix this problem. If you encounter a locked Volume like described above, download and unzip this file, then drag and drop the Volume on the Unlock Volume.app icon.

Download Unlock Volume.app

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