Mountain Volume Manager

I several external hard drives connected to my iMac via USB. I use them for all kinds of things. Most of them are spinning hard drives (spinners). One is an SSD that contains my Photos library. I had been looking for a better way to manage them until I came across the handy app Mountain by appgineers.

 

Managing External Hard Drives

Why would anyone need to manage their external hard drives? There could be several reasons. What if you had an external hard drive used for a specific purpose. But, you only needed to use that drive once a month or once very few weeks. You really don’t need to leave it mounted all the time, taking up screen real estate. You could use the Mountain app to unmount the drive and mount it when you needed it’s functionality. Perhaps an external hard drive is giving you some problems. You may wish to unmount and then remount it. Kind of give it a fresh start so to speak.

One of the main reasons I got Mountain was to try to deal with all the USB 3.0 un-mounting of my drives. I have mentioned this issue in previous articles. Don’t know if it is just on older machines or all Macs, but Apple has a USB 3.0 un-mounting problem. By the way, like some other apps these days, Mountain installs a Helper App which helps it to interact with the macOS:

Helper

Mountain also allows you to mount and unmount Servers. A nice touch for a corporate environment. So, lets take a look at the Mountain Interface.

Mountain Interface

Mountain is pretty much a one horse band. You can use it to mount and unmount external hard drives attached to your Mac. It resides in the Menubar, here is the drop-down menu:

MountainMenu

You click on the double arrow to activate the menu. Then, to unmount a drive your click on the familiar triangle next to the drive. The drive is unmounted and will appear in an “Unmounted Volumes” list in the menu:

MountainUnmount

To re-mount the drive just click on the triangle symbol next to it. As you can see from the menu, you can Unmount External All drives and sleep them and Remount the volumes.

When you unmount an external HD it gives you a message like so:

Message

So the idea is, you have unmounted your drive, now you can disconnect it. Conversely, when you remount the drive, it gives you a message stating that the drive is available.

Conclusion

The Mountain app has several Preferences that can be tweaked to your workflow; especially one that might help with the USB disconnect issue. I will cover all this in my next article.