How to Fix an External Hard Drive not Working Properly on Mac?
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I have a Seagate external hard drive with 256GB storage capacity which has been working well for two years. But after unexpected power-off when the Seagate hard drive was attached to the computer, it couldn’t work right. It looked grey in Disk Utility. It couldn’t be mounted by the Apple computer and couldn’t be opened. Then I searched through the Internet. I found a post talking about the hard disk not showing up issue explains interruption during data transferring like sudden power-off or detachment can cause a faulty hard drive.
Hard drive is easy to replace but the files I have saved on the hard drive is not. Before I could upload them to my DropBox, I had lost the access to them.
However, I finally recovered all my lost files and made my Seagate external hard drive work again. Do you want to know how I made it? You will find all the answers right here.
Do the basics
Before I go to details about what I did to save my files and hard drive. I want you to know that some basic checkups may save the world. Try the following steps one by one to see if the computer will reload your disk.
- Verify the good and firm connection between the hard drive and the computer.
- Reboot the computer without the hard drive attached.
- Use the Mount button in Disk Utility to mount the hard drive by yourself.
- Run First Aid in Disk Utility to repair the hard drive.
If you have backed up all the important and sensitive files on the portable hard drive, you probably won’t need to know how to retrieve data from a not working hard drive. Lucky for you, because at this point you have to invest on a Mac data recovery program like I did. I bought iBoysoft Data Recovery Pro Edition for $99.95, in case I would be in need of the its extra benefits. For example, the Pro Edition can recover data from an bootable Mac. In addition, it can recover data from APFS and encrypted APFS volumes. You can purchase Home Edition which is capable of recovering unlimited data from the external hard drive.
The software can be free downloaded here.
My files are very important and I couldn’t take the risk that they could be damaged or lost, so I trust professional data recovery software. They have reliable customer service and technical support. If you don’t want to spend the money, you can try Recuva but it only works on a PC.
Format the hard drive
If you have read through a couple posts already, you probably have realized formatting is actually the final method to make the external hard drive workable again. You don’t have to be afraid of formatting as long as you have adequate backups. Formatting is easy to do on either a PC or a Mac.
The formatting operation of my Seagate external hard drive was done in Disk Utility. I just selected the drive and use the Erase tool. I formatted the Seagate drive with ExFAT file system to be able to use it both on a Mac and a PC.
After this I unplugged and replugged my drive to the computer and it worked perfectly again.
If you are facing a faulty external hard drive, hope my experience can help you out.
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