Unmount or Mount Disk

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November 30

I posted the question of how to erase space on my external hard drive.  I received four replies but I have follow-up queations to the replies.   One response was I can't unmount anything on a disk until it is mounted.  How do I do that?  Second reply asked if there was anything else on the error message I get when I try to erase my external hard drive.  This is message:  "Volume Erase failed:  (this part is in bold letters)  Volumje Erase failed with the error" Couldn't unmount disk"
When I click unmount disk I get this message: "Unmount disk failed (again in bold letters). The disk "My Book" could not be unmounted.  Make sure that all apllications and files are closed on this disk."    As far as I can tell, I hve no applications or files running on the disk.  How can I tell if I do have anything running?
The second reply also says I can force unmount my disk with an option when I get the dialogthat opened telling me you can't unmount it.  However I don't see that or any other option when that screen appears.
The third reply says I can control-click the icon for the drive and select eject. I'm afraid this will eject or eliminate my entire external hard drive.  Is this something I really want to do?
The fourth reply said to drag my external HDD's Icon to the trash.  Please help me,what are HDD's?.
I am a novice at this and am asking for help.  I appreciate any help you, or others, can give me.

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There are any number of reasons you cannot unmount a drive. One of them is that the drive is in use. Will the drive Eject? Do you get the same error immediately after you reboot the computer? Have you tried booting from an installer DVD in order to erase the drive? If you have Lion or Mountain Lion you would boot from the Recovery HD instead of a DVD.

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