Best Raid Drives For Mac 2015

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Sep 26, 2019 RAID 5. RAID 5 arrays require a minimum of three disk drives. For redundancy this array uses data striping and parity which also provides data protection and a performance boost. The upside of this is that parity data is error-correcting redundancy that is designed to re-create data if a drive fails. The downside of RAID 5 is that the drive. Sep 25, 2019 RAID 50 & 60. RAID 50 or 5+0 brings together the striping and distributed parity offering much higher read-write speeds with a minimum of 6 disks required for initial deployment. RAID 50 can survive multiple drive failures as far as the drives happen to be at the right places.

There’s a lot of good reasons to explore different ways of backing up information and preparing yourself for the worst, especially as more of our data ends up on our computers than ever before. I run a small business, and for me, having a large home storage and backup system for all my clients’ data is of critical importance.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to select the right storage and backup regime for your Mac.

Understanding RAID

RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, isn’t really a backup solution. In fact, RAID can be described perfectly by its name: it’s redundant. It’s difficult to explain what RAID is without understanding the different sorts of RAID, so I’ll simplify my explanation by saying that RAID allows you to configure multiple hard drives together as if they were one drive, letting your virtually stack them.

You need to know what you're building before you decide on what you buy. RAID allows two things: it allows speed, or efficiency (which is called striping), and it allows mirroring, which is redundancy. Three different types of RAID, that best summarize these factors, are: RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10.

  • RAID 0: This is the most common setup in the market, where data is stored across two disks. Instead of using the disks independently, the computer only sees it as one and stripes the data across both. A bit of information about one file will be on one hard drive and the rest of it might be on the other. This allows your hard drives to be twice as fast, but it also means that they’re twice as likely to fail. If one hard drive dies in the RAID, that means that the other one is useless. Don’t think about RAID 0 as two drives; think about it as one ultra-fast and ultra-risky storage solution. You don't need any special enclosures for this; you can build it in your Mac's Disk Utility app by running the RAID function if you have two spare external drives lying around. The app's instructions are well-written and can quickly guide you through it.
  • RAID 1: This array mirrors both drives to each other. Again, the Mac only sees one drive, but it’s actually backing data up to both. This means that, should one of the drives die, you don’t lose all your data and can keep going until your replacement hard drive arrives. It’s not a backup solution because it doesn’t protect you from user error (accidentally deleting files) or natural disasters (say, a fire), but it does ensure your business has more guaranteed uptime. RAID 1 uses two hard drives and doesn’t come with the speed advantage of RAID 0. This is similar to RAID 0 in that all you need is a couple hard drives and the RAID function in Disk Utility.
  • RAID 10: This is a combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0. It requires four hard drives to use, and is essentially two RAID 0 sets mirroring each other. This means that you get all the speed advantages with less of the risk, but most people find this setup is prohibitively expensive. Not unlike RAID 1, this isn’t a backup solution, but merely redundant storage in case of a drive failure. You don't need an enclosure for this either, but because it requires four hard drives, RAID 10 will be a lot easier for you to maintain if you do have one. Your wire usage will be cut down if you use an additional enclosure, or purchase one from your favourite computer retailer.

This graphic, taken from my colleague Marius Massalar’s article about foolproof backups, visually explains the differences in RAID solutions.

Of course, there are many other RAID setups you could consider (or maybe even require, depending on your needs), The Wikipedia article on RAID drives is useful for further information regarding options.

For my purposes, I’ve decided to build a RAID 1 drive.

Qualifying Your Needs

You don't necessarily need a RAID drive, but many people would likely find them useful. Anybody working in client services should have as redundant a backup plan as possible—not just because they need to protect their work, but also because they might store invaluable financial information on their computers' hard drives. Replacing all of that is a costly endeavour.

Beyond that, RAID is much faster than a typical external. Those who regularly work with large files should also consider a RAID 0 drive. RAID drives, in conjunction with an offsite backup drive (which are important, particularly should there ever be a natural disaster in your office), are the most foolproof non-network-attached storage options available.

There are Internet-connected storage systems available (called NAS drives), but largely, I find they’re too expensive for most purposes, and read and write speeds aren’t fast enough for them to be truly viable for use in a working professional’s life—not yet, anyway.

There are a number of reasons you'll benefit from a RAID drive:

  • Small businesses could lose days of work (and consequently, days of pay) without proper backups, and should strongly consider the benefits of a RAID system.
  • Even if you work in a small office with its own backup system and consequently think a RAID isn't something you need, some exceptions do apply. Independent contractors with access to their clients' servers, for example, should still consider RAID. That will allow them to maintain a local cop of their client's drives should the server ever go down. (This has happened to me before; don't think it can't happen to you.)
  • Some people work in industries where redundant backups prove invaluable because of the amount of data you store (think music production, photography, design, and videography). In those cases, I'd argue RAIDs are essential. It is not uncommon for sound engineers, for example, to have clients come looking for old work years after recording. I tell clients I'll keep their important files for 36 months, and use it as a selling point for my business. In cases like that, a redundant backup is a lifesaver.

Option 1. Purchasing a Pre-configured RAID

When it comes time to purchase a RAID drive, there are a lot of choices to make. The variety of drives makes it easy to find a RAID suited for any professional's needs, but there are still some guidelines to keep in mind.

To begin with: you can buy a pre-outfitted RAID enclosure from just about anybody who makes hard drives. Pre-configured RAID enclosures include the hard drive shell and pre-configured matching hard drives. Seagate offers many different RAID drives. You might have heard about the popular G-RAID drive from G-Technology, or even any of the popular drives from LaCie, which Apple sells at their retail stores. Although they are easy to use, pre-configured RAID drives are clear compromises.

The G-RAID drive, for example, cannot easily be opened up. It comes in RAID 0 and it’s difficult to convert it to RAID 1. It’s also extremely expensive, which makes sense given their aluminum enclosures and build quality. But because you cannot easily replace the drives in the enclosure should something go awry, the G-RAID series is meant to be thrown away after a few years of use.

Many of the Seagate drives, which are made of plastic and come pre-configured as RAID 0, are similar. There's a how-to on Youtube that goes into the details of how to take apart and replace drives in a G-RAID unit; as you can see, it's a lengthy process.

The LaCie drives appear to be the exception to this rule, but buyer beware—LaCie asks you call their customer service to get a compatible drive issued out to you in the case of drive failure. Again, this feels like an unnecessary step in the process.

Option 2. Building Your Own

The other option, apart from buying a pre-made RAID drive, is to build your own by purchasing the enclosure and hard drives separately. This can be as easy or as difficult as you make it, and I’ve done hours of research to ensure upon the easiest solution possible.

Here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind when shopping for a RAID enclosure:

  • USB 2.0 is a very slow connection; if a RAID enclosure looks cheap, it likely uses USB 2.0 exclusively. USB 3.0, Firewire 800, or Thunderbolt are all faster than USB 2.0. RAIDs with support for faster connections come with a heftier price tag, but time is money. You'll save both in the long run if your backups are twice as fast.
  • Most enclosures have a short list of hard drives they won’t support, and they usually only support either 3.5“ drives or 2.5” drives—not both.
  • When shopping for drives for your new RAID enclosure, try to order as many of the same make and model as possible. This will ensure fewer compatibility issues down the road.

If you’re looking for an enclosure, OWC’s products come highly recommended. They sell everything from pre-configured RAID units to individual enclosures, and what you need is likely dependent on your computer's I/O.

2015

If you own a Mac from mid 2011 or later that’s equipped with Thunderbolt, or if you have a computer equipped with USB 3.0, I’d suggest the Mercury Elite Pro Dual enclosure. It comes with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, has a relatively small footprint (it could easily fit on top of a shoebox or a hardcover book if you plan on hiding it beneath a desk), and the 2-bay enclosure comes in at $299.99. What makes it nice is that it works with just about any drive, it comes with two Thunderbolt ports (and the necessary Thunderbolt cable), and USB 3.0 is also backwards-compatible with USB 2.0. This bay is about as future-proof as you can get in 2014.

The I/O of your RAID enclosure can make a huge difference. Take a look at this review from Mac Performance Guide — the reviewer, using Thunderbolt, was able to achieve read and write speeds of nearly 300mb/s in RAID 0 configuration. Of course, speeds are half that in a RAID 1 mirror. Using USB 3, the reviewer clocked slightly higher speeds than that, which means that the more expensive bay really delivers better results.

If you have a Mac equipped with Thunderbolt 2, consider the Pegasus2 enclosure from Promise. $700 gets you a 4-bay enclosure that can operate in RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, or 10, and using Thunderbolt 2, you can achieve throughput speeds of 20gbps.

Thunderbolt 2 should double the sort of read and write speeds Mac Performance Guide got with the Mercury Elite Pro. Based on the Thunderbolt 2 specifications, you could likely transfer data faster than your hard drives would write it.

It's always best to future proof your tools to the best of your ability.

Setting Up RAID

After you purchase the RAID parts you need, you need to run Disk Utility. This part is easy. Thankfully, Disk Utility is one of the hidden gems of OS X.

If you bought a pre-configured drive, consider using the Erase and Partition functions just to make sure your hard drive is running to its best capabilities. Disk Utility can guide you through all these options. I'd recommend you format the disk as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for best performance on OS X. This will guarantee it works well with your Mac. If you plan on using the hard drive with Windows machine, you'll need to use the MS-DOS (FAT) setting.

If you bought the parts individually, you'll need to use the RAID tab. Give the set of hard drives a name and drag the drives you're assembling from the left toolbar into the RAID set list. This will combine your drives into a single set. From there, choose your RAID type from the list.

The Mirroed RAID Set is RAID 1 and the Striped RAID Set option is RAID 0. The Concatenated RAID Disk Set is another option entirely. That means the RAID is not arranged redundantly; instead, it's just a bunch of disks. You don't get the speed of RAID 0 or the redundancy of RAID 1.

If you'd like to create a RAID 10 drive (or work in other combinations of RAID 1 and RAID 0 combined), you'll have to do this a couple times. It's more work than buying a pre-configured drive, but it's much more flexible later on.

Monitoring RAID

Another benefit of a custom-built RAID is that you have the ability to monitor your drives' statuses. Software like RaidEye, free, or RAID Monitor, $30, make monitoring your hard drives a much easier part of your existence. Both apps require the drive to be set up using Disk Utility (or the Command Line in Terminal, if you like coding your way to hard drive redundancy).

If you purchased a pre-configured RAID drive, you may not have any options here. LaCie offers a RAID Monitor app for Mac, but G-RAID does not offer a similar tool. These pre-configured enclosures also don't include any warning lights in the hardware, so it's even more difficult to tell if any of the drives aren't working properly. Building your own RAID drive proves doubly beneficial.

The Bottom Line

RAID performance isn’t cheap but, if you’re a professional, it’s beneficial to get the best storage unit you can. And although no hard drive is perfect, a redundant unit can help minimize onsite damage should a drive fail. The catch with this product category is that you really do get what you pay for: a cheap RAID drive without any high-speed I/O is going to be much less beneficial than an expensive unit with expansive and forward-thinking outputs.

Ultimately, you’re also the only person who owns your needs. Most people I know don’t need RAIDs, but I’d argue that those who run their own businesses—particularly if part of a small creative studio—have very little reason not to get one. These drives offer peace of mind for what I think ends up being a fair price in the long run, and they're fairly easy to set up. If you disagree, let me ask you: how much is your data worth?

Each year, data storage provider Backblaze publishes hard drive reliability statistics, and the results are always the same: the lifetime annualized failure rate for modern hard drives is around 2 percent. In other words, you can expect 2 out of every 100 hard drives to fail during a full year of use.

Since it’s only a matter of time before you become yet another victim of these gloomy statistics, you should familiarize yourself with the best Mac disk repair software tools right now so that you know what to do when the worst happens and you lose important data.

What to Look for in Mac Disk Repair Software?

There are certain things we always look for when selecting Mac disk repair software. Let’s take a closer look at some of them so that you better understand what separates outstanding disk repair software applications from those that are merely good.

1. Compatibility with Mac file systems

Mac computers rely on different file systems than Windows and Linux machines. The default file system of newer Macs is called Apple File System (APFS), while older Macs use Hierarchical File System (HFS+ or HFS Plus). For disk repair software to be useful, it must support all Mac file systems, and, ideally, also Windows and Linux file systems.

2. S.M.A.R.T. monitoring capabilities

Prevention is worth a pound of cure, and S.M.A.R.T. monitoring can help you detect emerging hard drive issues a long time before they become a problem, giving you enough time to back up your data to a safe location and determine the best solution.

3. HDD management functionality

When repairing a hard drive, it’s often necessary to move large quantities of files around, delete corrupted partitions, and perform other HDD management tasks, so selecting Mac disk repair software that supports them is always a good idea.

4. The ability to repair bad sectors

Bad sectors can lead to stability issues and cause read/write operations to fail. Fortunately, there are many Mac disk repair software tool that can not only detect them but also repair them, and we describe several of them in this article.

5. Hard drive corruption repair

Hard drive corruption often goes hand-in-hand with the presence of bad sectors, but it can also be caused by malware, buggy software, and various hardware issues. When addressed in a timely manner, hard drive corruption doesn’t necessarily have to cause data loss, especially when the best hard drive repair software is used.

6. Data backup & recovery

To avoid data loss, it’s paramount to regularly back up all important data. To do that, you may not even need to install dedicated backup software because many disk repair software applications come with built-in data backup and recovery capabilities. Of course, it never hurts to have more than one copy of your files, so don’t hesitate to combine local backups with cloud backups.

8. Easy-to-use user interface

It goes without saying that you don’t want to waste your time on a disk repair application that’s pain to use when there are so many excellent options available. The application of your choice should have a modern user interface that’s easy to understand and doesn’t require you to read a manual just to understand available options.

9. Availability of a free trial version

The fact is that the best disk repair software solutions are not free—at least not entirely. We say that because many disk repair software solutions offer a free trial version that let’s you play with all key features without spending a single dollar, allowing you to decide whether the software is really worth it or not.

10. Positive online reviews

The web is an excellent source of information, and we highly recommend you use it to read online reviews of disk repair software to learn which applications real users like and dislike. When hundreds of users from around the world praise certain software, there’s a very good chance that the software is worth downloading.

1. Disk Drill for Mac

Selecting the best disk repair software for Mac would be much more difficult if it wasn’t for Disk Drill for Mac. This popular data recovery and disk repair software has been around since 2010, offering a simplified approach to data recovery. Since the release of the first version, Disk Drill for Mac has received several major updates, and its latest version looks and feels modern and polished.

The average Mac user can simply launch Disk Drill for Mac, select the problematic hard drive and click the Recover button. Disk Drill for Mac will automatically run diagnostics on the hard drive to determine its condition. It will then select the optimal data recovery method and proceed to recover deleted and lost files. Once it’s finished, the user can browse through a list of recoverable files and mark individual files and even entire folders for recovery.

Disk Drill for Mac supports all major file systems (HFS & HFS+, FAT/FAT32/exFAT, NTFS, EXT3/EXT4), and it works with internal and external storage devices alike. Included with it are multiple Mac HDD repair tools, including a disk monitoring tool that can alert you when your hard drive starts to show signs of failure.

Key Features

  • Easy to use disk repair tool with one-click approach to data recovery.
  • All major file systems and storage devices are supported.
  • The data recovery process can be paused and scanned at any time.
  • Free version available for testing purposes.
  • The Pro version of Disk Drill for Mac comes with several extra Mac HDD repair tools.

Price: $89.00 for the Pro version + $29.00 for lifetime updates.

Verdict
Disk Drill for Mac is easily the best data repair software for Mac because it comes with several easy-to-use Mac HDD repair tools capable of diagnosing just about any hard drive issues you may run into.

2. TechTool Protogo

While not nearly as popular as it used to be some 10 years ago, TechTool Protogo, now part of the TechTool Pro product line, still remains one of the best disk repair software Mac users should know about. Unlike many other disk repair tools for Mac computers, TechTool Protogo can bypass the operating system and run directly from a bootable diagnostic device, which is essentially a convenient disk repair toolbox with the right tool for just about any disk repair job.

Because many hard drive issues are caused by external factors, such as overheating or a faulty power supply, it’s great to see TechTool Protogo include one of the most comprehensive hardware testing tools in the industry. With it, it’s extremely straightforward to spot temperature sensors that have exceeded the normal range and pinpoint the exact cause of your hard drive issues.

Another useful tool included in TechTool Protogo is the Volume Rebuild tool. As its name suggests, the Volume Rebuild tool can repair volumes that have suffered logical damage (caused by non-mechanical issues). Best of all, it can handle not just native Mac drive formats but also MS-DOS (FAT32) and ExFAT volumes.

Key Features

  • Stand-alone hard disk repair tool Mac users can run from a bootable device.
  • Offers comprehensive hardware diagnostics.
  • Can be used to remedy logical damage to data.

Price: $129.99

Verdict
TechTool Protogo is a Swiss Army knife-type repair disk utility that has been around since the days of Macintosh. Its latest version may not be as popular as some of the older versions, but its disk repair capabilities are still impressive.

3. DiskWarrior 5

DiskWarrior specializes in eliminating directory errors on Mac computers. Its signature approach to disk repair prevents data loss by creating an error-free version of the damaged data and comparing it with the original data to verify its integrity. This approach has earned DiskWarrior multiple awards over the years, and users who have been able to avoid a disastrous loss of data with this Mac drive repair software swear by it.

The latest version of DiskWarrior runs on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, macOS 10.12 Sierra, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, macOS 10.14 Mojave, and macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Even if you don’t repair directory errors caused crashes, power loss, and other unexpected interruptions, you should still consider using DiskWarrior because it can greatly improve the performance of your system. How? By optimizing the directory structure for maximum performance. According to the developers of DiskWarrior, such optimization can result in up to a 60 percent decrease in the time it takes programs to scan the directory.

Key Features

  • Its unique approach to disk repairs prevents data loss.
  • Effectively eliminates most directory errors.
  • Improves the performance of Mac computers.
  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and newer.

Price: $119.95

Verdict
There are many disk repair tools for Mac that make lofty promises even though they can’t do much more than the Disk Utility app, but DiskWarrior isn’t one of them. This disk repair tool for Mac has pioneered its own approach to disk repair, helping its customers solve challenging directory issues without risking data loss.

4. OnyX

Apple’s main goal is to make Mac computers accessible to as many users as possible. To make this happen, Apple sometimes hides more advanced features that might otherwise confuse less tech-savvy users. However, many of these hidden features are exactly what you need to diagnose and repair disk problems. OnyX is a versatile disk repair tool Mac users can use to access a large number of hidden features with ease.

The main window of OnyX is split into several tabs:

  • The Maintenance tab lets you access common system maintenance tasks and script, allowing you to rebuild cache files, repair file permissions, and more.
  • Next to it is the Cleaning tab, which is where you need to go it you want to delete system cache files or large logs.
  • The Automation tab is home to multiple routine tasks that you can automate with a single click to keep your Mac in the best possible condition without any manual work.
  • The Utilities tab is home to lesser-known Mac apps that most regular users don’t even know exist.
  • Worth mentioning is also the Parameters tab, which gives you a great degree of control over the look and feel of the operating system and individual apps.

Since OnyX is completely free, there’s absolutely no reason to not give it a try and see what it has to offer. Just make sure to download the right version for your Mac because there’s a specific version of OnyX for each major version of the operating system. The correct version for macOS 10.15 Catalina is OnyX 3.7.2, while the users of macOS 10.14 Mojave should download OnyX 3.6.8.

Key Features

  • Completely free and supported by donations.
  • Provides easy access to advanced Mac features and apps.
  • Let’s you configure hidden macOS settings and parameters.
Best raid drives for mac 2015

Price: Free

Best External Raid For Mac

Verdict
If you consider yourself to be an advanced Mac user, you need to have OnyX installed on your system because you would be hard-pressed to find a more convenient way how to access hidden features, especially one that’s free.

5. Data Rescue 5 for Mac

Data Rescue 5 for Mac has a lot in common with our favorite Mac disk repair software, Disk Drill for Mac. Both software applications are comprehensive data recovery solutions intended to recover permanently deleted files from a variety of storage devices. Just like Disk Drill for Mac, Data Rescue 5 offers two distinct data recovery methods: Quick Scan and Deep Scan. Last but not least, both data recovery solutions have been around for a long time and received many positive reviews from professional reviewers and customers alike.

Data Rescue 5 for Mac has a fairly barebones user interface, and it’s clear that its developers haven’t put much effort into making this hard drive repair software inviting for Mac users. The good news is that you won’t spend too much time interacting with Data Rescue 5 because all you need to do to start the recovery process is click the Start Recovering Files button and select a drive to scan. The Quick Scan data recovery mode takes just a short while to complete, but Deep Scan often requires multiple hours to finish. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to pause the scan, which is why it’s best to start it before going to bed.

With a single Data Rescue 5 license, you can perform an unlimited number of recoveries from up to 5 drives. Because you can often find Data Rescue 5 on sale, we recommend you wait a while before you pay the full price.

Key Features

  • Two distinct data recovery modes.
  • Supports all common storage devices.
  • Lets you perform an unlimited number of recoveries from up to 5 drives.

Price: $99.00

Verdict
Data Rescue 5 for Mac is a compelling alternative to Disk Drill for Mac with a few major shortcomings that prevent it from ranking higher on this list.

6. AppCleaner

Leftover application files eat up valuable storage space, and their presence on the hard drive can cause problems with newer versions of the applications that originally created them. To keep your hard drive clean and organized, you should uninstall applications with AppCleaner, one of the most useful free Mac utilities in the world.

When you drop an application into AppCleaner, the utility automatically finds all files that belong to it and safely deletes them. AppCleaner works on all versions of macOS from High Sierra up to Catalina, but you won’t find it in the App Store because its developer, FreeMacSoft, distributes it only on its website.

Key Features

  • Thoroughly uninstalls unwanted apps.
  • Is available for free.

Price: Free

Verdict
Apple should make AppCleaner the default uninstall method on macOS instead of allowing applications to leave behind files that do nothing but eat up valuable storage space and cause problems with other applications.

7. Drive Genius

Many hard drive issues can be prevented with proper maintenance, and Drive Genius has all the maintenance features you need to keep your hard drive in top condition. The features are split into three categories:

  • Protect: Consistency Check, Repair, Rebuild, Malware Scan, BootWell, Instant DrivePulse, Repair, Active Files.
  • Clean Up: Repartition, Find Duplicates, Find Large Files, Clone, Secure Erase, Initialize, IconGenius, Information.
  • Speed Up: Defragment, Speed.

That’s 18 features in total. Arguably the most interesting feature of them all is Instant DrivePulse, Repair. Its purpose is to check your hard drive for hardware-related problems, such as those that may result from a damaged drive, bad cable, or bad connection. Unfortunately, Drive Genius isn’t compatible with all recent versions of macOS, but there’s a demo version available that you can use to test if this hard disk repair tool runs on your Mac.

Key Features

  • Comes with 18 useful disk repair features.
  • Free demo version available.
  • Professional version available for a one-time payment.

Price: $299.00

Verdict
For the average Mac user who doesn’t troubleshoot multiple disk issues on a daily basis, the Drive Genius is probably an overkill, but professionals can easily justify the steep price considering that they can get access to 18 useful disk repair features.

8. Carbon Copy Cloner

Carbon Copy Cloner is the right Mac disk repair software to use when all other disk repair software applications fail. Its main feature is the ability to create bootable backups that can be stored anywhere and used in a minute. When a disaster strikes, you can simply boot from a Carbon Copy Cloner backup and repair the malfunctioning disk later.

Just like Time Machine in macOS, Carbon Copy Cloner can constantly back up your files, allowing you to go back in time and retrieve an older version of any file that was stored on your Mac. You can schedule backups to run as often as you want, and Carbon Copy Cloner can keep you informed about their progress via the Notification Center or email.

Key Features

  • Ability to create bootable backups.
  • Can seamlessly back up your files as you work on your Mac.
  • Complex backup scheduling features.

Price: $39.99

Verdict
After Apple’s Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner may just be the most popular backup application for macOS, and it’s easy to see why. Its ability to recover from bootable backups can save you when all other hard drive repair software fails.

9. AppleJack

Aimed at advanced Mac users, AppleJack is a command-line utility that runs in Single User Mode. You can use it to repair your hard drive, repair permissions, get rid of possibly corrupted cache files, and validate the system’s preference files. To boot into Single User Mode, all you need to do is boot up your Mac and hold down Command + S keys together as soon as the boot process begins. From there, you enter the admin password to log in and typing applejack, or applejack auto, or applejack auto restart.

Despite being aimed at advanced Mac users, AppleJack is fairly easy to use because it presents all available options on the screen in the form of a text-based menu. You simply enter your choice, press Enter on the keyboard, and let AppleJack do the hard work.

Key Features

  • Command-line utility with a menu-based interface.
  • Works even when your Mac can’t boot into macOS.

Price: Free

Verdict
AppleJack is an easy choice for advanced Mac users who are not afraid of the Single User Mode and command-line interfaces.

10. Memtest OS X

There’s a good reason why Memtest OX X occupies the last place on this list: it’s actually not a Mac HDD repair tool. Instead, it’s a memory testing software application capable of booting from a USB flash drive and testing the RAM in your Mac for faults.

We decided to include it on this list because many Mac issues that seem to be caused by a faulty hard drive can just as easily be caused by a faulty memory module. With Memtest OS X, you can confirm or rule out your suspicion and avoid fixing an imaginary problem.

The latest version of Memtest OS X has an easy-to-use graphical user interface with mouse support, and it offers 13 different RAM testing algorithms. Regular Mac users can stick with the free version of Memtest OS X, but professionals should also consider the Pro Edition.

Key Features

  • Industry-standard RAM testing software application.
  • Graphical interface with mouse support.
  • 13 different RAM testing algorithms.

Price: Free

Verdict
When it comes to RAM testing, there’s no reason to look any further than Memtest OS X, and the free version is enough for confirming that you’re dealing with a disk-related issue.

Related Article
We have reviewed the top 15 data recovery software applications for the Mac to help you get your data back.

Top Causes of Mac Hard Drive Damage

Even the most reliable hard drive in the world can fail or become corrupted for a number of reasons:

  • Software bugs: When privileged software applications misbehave, they can cause filesystem corruption or make it impossible to boot into the operating system. That’s why you should never give admin permissions to applications you don’t fully trust.
  • Human error: It’s natural for us to make mistakes, especially when we attempt something for the first time, such as partitioning a hard drive. Unfortunately, human errors can have disastrous consequences and lead to permanent loss of data, so be extra careful and never follow any online instructions without cross-referencing them first.
  • Hardware failure: Hard drive reliability statistics don’t lie: there isn’t a single manufacturer that produces hard drives with 100 percent reliability. To avoid data loss caused by a sudden hardware failure, use a disk health monitoring tool and replace the hard drive before its condition deteriorates too much.
  • Firmware issues: There have been several causes of faulty hard drive firmware leading to hard drive damage and data loss in the past. While hard drive manufacturers are usually quick to release an updated version of the firmware, it’s up to end-users to update their hard drives.
  • External factors: Hard drive damage can also be caused by external factors such as natural disasters, power surges, and various unforeseen mishaps. Having a reliable backup plan in place is the only way how you can always be prepared for the worst.

Benefits of Hard Disk Repair Software Solutions

Best Raid Drives For Mac 2015 Download

When something goes wrong with your hard drive, you have several options on how to proceed. You can take the hard drive to a professional hard drive repair shop and ask them to fix the issue for you. You can also use hard disk repair software and attempt to fix the problem by yourself. Here are some reasons why the do-it-yourself approach is better:

  • Speed: Depending on which hard drive repair shop you choose, it can take as much as several weeks for your hard drive to return back to you. If that’s the only hard drive you have, you’re out of luck. With a hard disk repair software solution, you can repair your hard disk in just a few minutes.
  • Convenience: Modern hard disk repair software solutions like Disk Drill for Mac are extremely convenient to use. They walk you through the entire process, allowing you to fix your hard drive from the comfort of your home, allowing you to experience the satisfaction of repairing your own Mac.
  • Price: Professional hard disk repair services tend to cost a lot of money, and there’s no guarantee that the repair shop you choose won’t use the same software tool you could easily download from the internet, perhaps even for free. Before you give your hard-earned money to someone else, use the disk repair software for Mac listed in this article to fix the problem by yourself.

Did You Know?

Each year, data storage provider Backblaze gathers data about over 100,000 spinning hard drives used in its cloud storage ecosystem, summarizing the gathered data in comprehensive reports published on its website. On average, approximately 2 percent of hard drives used by Backblaze fail each year, which means that 2 out of every 100 hard drives go to Silicon Heaven.

FAQ

If you can’t boot in macOS to perform hard disk repair using any of the 10 tools listed above, you need to restart your computer in macOS Recovery and repair the hard disk using Disk Utility:

  1. Turn on your Mac and press and hold Command-R.
  2. Select Disk Utility from the utilities window and click Continue.
  3. Choose View and select Show All Devices.
  4. Select your hard disk in the side bar and click the First Air button.
  5. Click Run and Continue to repair the hard disk with Disk Utility.

You can run whole disk repair on a Mac by launching the diskutil application in Terminal:

  1. Launch Terminal from the Utilities folder.
  2. Type or paste in the following command: diskutil list
  3. Remember the name of your disk.
  4. Issue the following command to repair it: diskutil repairvolume [disk name]

Disk Utility can fail for many different reasons. The disk may have suffered mechanical damage, the file system may be corrupted, or there may be malware present on the system that’s blocking Disk Utility and preventing it from finishing the repair process.

Conclusion

Best Raid Drives For Mac 2015 Laptop

After testing countless Mac disk repair software applications, we were able to narrow them down to just 10. Disk Drill for Mac earned the top spot thanks to its ease of use, excellent data recovery performance, and useful disk repair tools. Overall, Mac users can choose from a wide variety of disk repair tools, many of which are free or offer a trial version.