Welp, my WD 1TB Passport drive borked. Seems to be a common issue on Mavericks with a select number of drives, including this one, apparently...
- Started with OS X complaining at me because I supposedly ejected the drive unsafely, even though the drive was still in the USB slot.
- Drive isn't mounted automatically anymore. Console says filesystem
17/12/13 20:18:35,000 kernel: hfs: Runtime corruption detected on My Passport, fsck will be forced on next mount.
- Drive can't be /unmounted/ using Disk Utility either both in regular desktop mode and in recovery mode (booting with ⌘+R). This means that even trying to just nuke the partition and starting over doesn't work; it just sits there for a while and then eventually times out saying it can't unmount the drive.
I did not, at any point, have WD's drive management software installed (unless it managed to do it behind my back). First thing I did was put a new GUID table on it with one partition.
Apparently the solution is to boot into Linux to fix the drive. I'll let you know how that pans out.
UPDATE: Booted into Linux, was able to read everything.
report something wrong with the filesystem, but not bad enough that I
can't mount or umount it. Was able to salvage what looks to be all the
data I wanted; didn't bother to try and get e.g. Time Machine or
Spotlight index data off, which is where I suspect the issues to stem