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Three Possible Ways to Fix a Corrupted External Hard Drive on Mac

The external hard drive is widely used to extend storage, back up the system, and transfer files between the PC and the hard drive. However, it may fall into mishaps and start misbehaving, in some cases, users may find it unable to mount or read the drive on Mac. How to deal with this emergency if you are urgent to use the drive? This post offers 3 possible ways to repair and fix a corrupted external hard drive on Mac. Check them out.

Scenarios when the external HDD corrupts

As reported by users all around, there could be multiple scenarios in that your hard drive can be considered corrupted. To start with, the hard drive corruption indicates the file system or the partition is having issues with some logical errors. Consequently, these errors trigger failures in mounting, reading, and approaching the drive. To make it clearer, you may see the following pop-up error messages on Mac.

  • The disk you inserted is not readable.
  • The hard drive is not recognized when you connect it with the Mac.

To conclude, you are unable to access and read-write the data within the drive. In case the data is ruined, you’d better recover data first by using iBoysoft Data Recovery before diving into repair external hard drive on Mac.

Fix corrupted external hard drive in 3 ways

Whether you want to do it from the physical aspect, for example, check or replace the connection, or you want to fix the logical errors, you can always find ways here.

Fix problematic hard drives by checking the connection

There’s a small chance that it’s the faulty connection that causes the external hard drive not to work on Mac. The cable, the port, or the hub you are using can all be the culprits. To make sure the connection is good to go, you can do the following.

  • Simply plug out the drive and insert it again. Do it slowly to make sure it’s well taken care of.
  • Get rid of all third-party peripherals, including a USB hub or an adapter if there are any. Try to connect the drive with your Mac in a direct way.
  • Try plug in the USB drive in another Mac or the port. If, fortunately, the USB thumb drive works in a new Mac or port, then it’s the port instead of the drive that’s not functioning.

Fix errors by using First Aid in Disk Utility

The Disk Utility can be seen as the disk management tool in macOS. You can check the info of all detected drives, reformat, and more importantly here, do a minor repair to a corrupted external hard drive with the help of the tool, First Aid. Follow the steps below to start repairing your corrupted hard drive.

  • Plug the external hard drive tightly into the Mac device.
  • Press Command + Space together to open the Spotlight Search.
  • Type in Disk Utility and click the search result to open it.
  • Find your external hard drive from the all listed drives from the left sidebar.
  • Choose First Aid from the top of the menu with the symbol of a stethoscope.
  • Wait for the repair process to be finished. Click done when it’s over.

You may quit the Disk Utility app and try out your external hard drive to see if it works after the small repair by First Aid.

Fix issues by reformatting the drive

If unfortunately, the above two ways fail to save your hard drive, you can give a last try to reformat the drive. In case you have no idea what reformat means, reformatting simply wipes out all data stored in the drive, including the files, system information such as the file format, and the errors, and then writes a new file system to the disk. It’s not common that users just store unimportant files in a storage device with a rather large capacity, so for the security of your data, you’d better recover the data in the drive before proceeding with reformatting. Here’s how.

  • Open Disk Utility by following the steps above.
  • Select the misbehaving external hard disk on the left.
  • Choose Erase on the top of the menu with an image of a disk with X.
  • Think about the name, format, and scheme of the fresh new drive. Note: You have 10 formats to choose from but Apple’s proprietarily developed file system is APFS and HFS+.
  • Click Erase again to confirm reformatting.
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