Cant unmount hard drive

I have a Maxtor 500 GB quickview HD in an ext hd casing with esata,firewire 400, and USB connections. Was copying my Mac Book Pro hard drive to the external hard drive with carbon copy cloner and it froze on transferring the library. On restart the ext hd still loads on the desktop, but inconsistently. I tried to erase the ext hd in disc utility, and repartition as guid format (the hard drive was extended journaled and i think apple partition map. It is telling me it cant unmount the hard drive to erase. What am I doing wrong? How can I unmount to reformat? Any suggestions most welcome.

I bought 3 external Hard Drive set ups with the maxtor internal hard drives. Two of the 3 work perfectly on all 4 of the mac computers I have access to. The defective one acts the same on all 4 computers, so it is not the computers, and seems to be something with the defective external hard drive. I have even started the computer from my install discs, gone into disc utility and tried to first aid, erase, and partition with the message always "Can't Unmount the hard drive". I would assume that it is not the cables since the ext hard drive shows up on the desktop of all 3 computers, and changing cables doesnt make a difference when using 3 different firewire cables. Any other ideas on what I might try to get the hard drive to unmount? Is the only other option to see if I can return the hard drive? I really appreciate the comments so far, it is quite helpful to know that it is not just me pushing the wrong button somewhere that unmounts so disc utility can do it's job.
Thanks again
Bob Landman

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