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If you are able to fix the hard drive or SSD in your Mac or an external drive using Disk Utility you will hopefully be able to recover your files. Thankfully, there is an app for that. Powerful enough to retrieve long-lost, mistakenly deleted files from Macs, external hard drives and USB drives and camera cards. Disk Drill Pro recovery app is available from Setapp, along with dozens of Mac apps that will make your life easier.

Never have to worry about a crashed or corrupted external drive again. Then use a different port to connect the external hard drive. For Macs with removable batteries, you need to switch them off, remove the battery, then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. After that, put the battery back in, plug in the power adapter and switch the power on again. It is possible to format a hard drive so it can be read on Mac and Windows computers, providing you format using exFAT. The common issue is Ext2- and Ext3-formatted drives are not readable on macOS. The easiest would be installing Linux to a secondary drive or virtual machine.

If you go with Linux installation, dual boot your Mac with Linux on another drive and use FAT32 as a transfer intermediary. Basically, it works as an extra interface enabling file system access via specially installed modules. Employ the handy all-powerful Terminal, which always comes forward with solutions for difficult problems. Console shows if an external drive or any error is detected under the Errors and Faults tab.


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If no errors show up, then the problem is not caused by the device. To sum up, there are lots of potential solutions for a Mac not reading an external hard drive. If we were to pick one, Disk Drill seems to be the most well-rounded, offering plenty of customizations and power in an easy-to-use interface. Our newsletter is typed with care for all the Mac-loving app-connoisseurs. Subscribe for a few notes from us each month containing app tutorials, productivity tips, and the latest Mac buzz. Try free. Start with the basics: Check whether the drive is properly plugged in.

Faulty cable. Try connecting the same device with a different cable. Damaged USB or flash drive port. It could be a hardware issue with the Mac. Reboot your Mac. Hopefully, some data damage that can be fixed by restarting. Or press and hold the power button and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart or press R.

How to use, troubleshoot, and repair your Mac

Incorrectly formatted drive. Not every external drive is optimized for Macs. It could be that you are trying to connect something only fit to interact with Windows devices. See if the external drive shows up here. For more information, go to the same menu option, then select System Report.

Mac not formatted to display external drives on the desktop. Even if that is the case, the drive will still appear in the left-hand column of the Finder menu under Devices.

1. Incompatible File System Format

To do this, shut down or restart your Mac, switch it back on and immediately press these four keys together for at least 20 seconds: Option, Command, P, and R. It should look as though your Mac has started again; if it has, release the keys when you hear the second startup chime. Hopefully, the hard drive has shown up now. Disk Utility is within System Preferences, or you can find it using Spotlight. If it is visible, then click the option to Mount, which should make it visible on the desktop and in the External Drives option in the Finder menu.

From General tab tick External disks to ensure that from now on it shows on the desktop. How to add cloud storages to Finder You can also mount cloud storage as local drive on your Mac.


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  • Repair the failed external drives with First Aid If your drive is having problems, you can try to fix them yourself with First Aid and therefore get access to your files. How to recover data from a crashed drive Thankfully, there is an app for that. It should show up.

    Unable to Mount external hard drive on mac [solved]

    When it opens you should see a column on the left with all your disks listed there. As you can see, this column has both internal and external drives listed there. Be extremely careful, do not tamper with the internal drives. Go over the list very carefully and select your external drive.

    Opening Hidden Folders in an External Hard Drive on a Mac

    It should be fairly obvious which one it is. In your case it should be labeled as something similar to WD passport ultra. If not, you can look at the storage capacity and check if it matches with your disk's here, 4TB. Next you need to run first aid. A self explanatory button placed towards the start of the row on the top says first aid. Click and let the magic happen! If it doesn't start right away, you may have a different version of macOS.

    In the case of this, click on verify the disk. Next, click on repair. While doing this, please make sure no one yanks the cable out because that will be very, very bad. You could also try reformatting the disk, the steps for which I can edit in later. But it didn't work.

    I unplugged the WD external, shut down my macbook pro, restarted it again,ran First Aid on Mac's Disk Utility again and finally it worked! It took about min and my hard drive showed again :. I tried all the above, stressed for one afternoon, and then, from disk utility, clicked on the blue eject button on the top of the dialog box.

    Connect the Drive

    Didn't ejected, but when I clicked then on the unmount and mount button. It mounted and appeared in my finder! I had the same issue and went to the disc utility and did pretty much what Haroon, above, did-clicked on the eject button. It said it could not eject because the files were being used, so I tried repair and it looked like everything was fine, so I hit eject again and it still wouldn't unmount. I then went out of disc utility. It still wasn't there in finder, but when I pulled out the USB and put it back in-there it was!!

    And you have ruled out damaged drive and cable. The next step you should try is using Terminal.

    External Hard Drive Not Showing Up On Mac? Here are 9 Ways to Fix

    Find the Name of your External Hard Drive, it should show up here if it is not damaged. Example "Productivity", "Universal" etc. If name is Universal, Type diskutil mount Universal , press enter instead of typing the name of the drive, you can also type in the identifier, eg. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. What is broken? Ask Question. Update: After about 3 weeks. Why is it like this? How can I test what is broken? Melissa Melissa 81 1 1 gold badge 1 1 silver badge 9 9 bronze badges. What do you get when you plug in the WD disk and issue the command diskutil list in Terminal?

    Annoying: Disk not ejected properly. Fix?

    Please check out the answer here - apple. Or ex Fat? It is in exFat. You can try the following solution. Pratik Pratik 2, 1 1 gold badge 9 9 silver badges 24 24 bronze badges. A good idea would be to run the disk check in Windows to completion. Will it damage or change any photos? Melissa Potentially, if it finds problems that you let it fix.


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    The risk is very small, normally no data is disturbed. If you're worried about this scenario, take a backup before proceeding. If these situations occur: You see the output The volume "diskname" appears to be OK. Problems were found, but Disk First Aid cannot repair them.