Mac Unable To Read External Hard Drive

Mac Unable To Read External Hard Drive
Q: 'I inserted my Seagate external hard to my Mac computer but it didn't show up. I tried reinitiating my Mac computer and reinserting my external hard drive, but failed! There are important work files on the hard drive. Why did the unrecognized problem happen? How can I repair my external hard drive and get my files back?'

Step 2: Connect the unrecognized external hard drive to your Mac. Step 3: Wait a few seconds, check if the drive is detected, and show up in this software. If you can’t see your external disk in our app, it seems the partition table of your external hard drive is extremely corrupted or there are hardware problems on it. Mac doesn't recognize external hard drive: Check Finder settings. Usually, the external hard drive will be automatically mounted by Mac. Then you can see it on the desktop or in Finder in seconds. But this time, the external hard drive is not showing up on your Mac.

Have you ever met the above-described scenario before? While your Seagate, Western Digital, PS4, or Buffalo external hard drive connected to the Windows or Mac computer, the device did not show up. The situation will erode your calmness especially when you have extremely important files in the unrecognized external hard drive. How to fix external hard drive not recognized? Don't worry, this article will provide you step-by-step instructions on how to get the problem settled.

Why Does Your PC Not Recognize External Hard Drive?

You might wonders why your Windows or Mac computer does not recognize the external hard drive. And this problem can be caused by some partition issues:

  • The external hard drive partition gets damaged.
  • The file system is crashed.
  • the drive errors occur in Windows or Mac computers.
  • The USB port is dead.

You can try to connect the hard drive to another computer or connect it with other USB ports. If all the methods do not work, you can follow the article tutorial to fix the external hard drive not recognized on Windows or Mac computer, and you can recover lost data from an external hard drive with Recoverit Data Recovery.

How to Fix External Hard Drive Not Recognized on Windows?

If you want to solve your external hard drive not recognized on Windows 7, Windows 10 efficiently, it is advised that you conduct a problem diagnosis. Only when you know the specific reason why your external hard drive not showing up, can you settle it case by case. If you are not sure of the cause, just follow the guide to eliminate the causes one by one and get the issue done.

Step 1 Make Sure Your USB Port Is Dead or Not

You might be plugging in the USB cable in a dead USB port. Unplug your external hard drive and plugin it into another USB port. Now, see if it is present there in the My Computer window. If not, follow step 2.

Step 2 Find Your External Hard Drive Partition in Disk Management Windows

Now, look for the external drive in the Disk Management window. To begin with, press Windows+R to arouse the Run interface. Type diskmgmt. msc to open the Disk Management window, where you can find your drive even if it is not recognized because of no partition. If you cannot find the drive in the Disk Management window then you can go for step 3.

Step 3 Check It Is Computer or Hard Drive Default

By plugging in another USB port or finding the hard drive in the Disk Management interface, still, you cannot get the issue settled. Then there might be any problem with your Windows computer. Connect it to another computer, and follow step 1 to step 3 to check the external drive is recognized or not. If the drive still not shows up on another Windows computer, there must be something wrong with the drive, otherwise follow step 4.

Step 4 Find out The Problematic Hard Drive

To further diagnose a driver problem, press Windows+R and type 'devmgmt.msc' to expand Disk Drives. Look for a device having a yellow exclamation mark, which indicates a problematic hard driver. Now, right-click on the problematic device and read the error message after selecting properties. This issue can resolve in the following two ways:

  • Click on the update driver button for installing updated drivers.
  • Uninstall the driver and restart your computer. After restarting, the Windows will automatically reinstall and reconfigure the driver.

Now, plug in the external hard drive again or follow step 5 if the drive is still not recognized.

Step 5 Does Partition or Format Cause Hard Drive not Show Up?

Partitioning and formatting can also lead to the external not recognized issue. Partitioning can be fixed through Windows Disk Management tools. To create a new partition, just click the Unallocated Space and select New Simple Volume. You can create a new partition by following onscreen instructions.

Sometimes, your hard drive is formatted by the ext4 file system of Linux, NTFS file system, HFS Plus file system, or FAT32 file system, which is not recognized by your Windows. You can reformat the external hard drive through Windows to solve the issue. For this purpose, right-click on the partition, select Format, and then select the file system. Please kindly get noted! it is important and necessary you backup all your files on other systems before proceeding with 'format instruction', otherwise all your files will be wiped.

How to Fix External Hard Drive Not Recognized on Mac

Mac computer also detects an external drive automatically. If it doesn't, follow these steps:

Step 1 Look for Your External Hard Drive in 'Finder' Interface

First of all, click on File, and then press the New Finder window. Now, look for the hard drive below the Remote Disk.

Step 2 Make Sure the External Hard Drive Is Properly Connected to Mac

If the external drive is not there, make sure that the USB cable is properly plugged in. It is advised you can change another USB port to have a try.

Step 3 Open 'Disk Utility' to Mount The External Hard Drive on Mac

Sometimes, the drive is connected but not mounted. To mount a drive, open Disk Utility and look for the external hard drive in the list. If it is there, click on the Mounting button. Then open a Finder window to see if the drive is mounted or not.

Step 4 Ensure Enough Power for The Drive

If you still cannot find it in the Finder, it is supposed that the drive does not enough power. A single USB port can only provide 5V. In that case, use a USB cable with two USB connections. One is for the external hard drive and the other is for Mac. Therefore, It can supply the power required by the external hard drive.

These steps for fixing an external hard drive not recognized on Windows and Mac are suitable for external hard drives of all capacities and manufacturers. And for your convenience, here also attaches the Wondershare Recoverit tutorial on how to fix the external hard drive not showing up. However, if still the issue is not resolved, you can avail of professional help.

Video Tutorial on How to Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up

A Professional External Hard Drive Data Recovery Software

After fixing the hard drive that is not recognized on Windows and Mac, you might want to get your data back. Here We introduce a professional external hard drive data recovery software - Wondershare Recoverit to you. Also, its operation steps are clearly listed to help you recover your hard drive data effectively and efficiently.

Wondershare Recoverit

It is trusted by over 5 million global users

It can save your files, photos, videos, audios, etc

It is able to recover data from any Mac or Windows system

Steps on How to Recover Data from External Hard Drive

Download and install Recoverit Data Recovery on your computer. Launch Recoverit to your Windows or Mac computers. Then follow the next step to perform external hard drive data recovery on a Windows or Mac computer.

Step 1. Select The External Hard Drive

Connect your external hard drive to the computer, select it while the disk is detected on the program.

Step 2. Scan The Hard Drive

The external hard drive recovery software will start scanning the device to search the lost files.

Step 3. Preview And Recover The Files

In minutes, all recovered files will display. You can preview photos, videos, music, word, excel, ppt, pdf, etc. Select your files and click the Recover button to restore them.

When the external hard drive gets damaged, you can try to fix it with the solution mentioned above. Also, get your data back with Wondershare Recoverit in three simple steps. Download and try it for now.

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Summary:This article will show you 8 solutions to troubleshoot the external hard drive not mounting in macOS Big Sur/Catalina/Mojave error and how to recover lost data from unmountable external hard drives with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

By Eileen Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on May 11th, 2021

Normally, when you plug in an external hard drive to Macs, you'll see it mounted on the desktop, in Finder and in Disk Utility. Then you can read, edit, copy and delete files on the mounted external hard drive. However, if you areunable to mount external hard drives or it reminds you with the ' error' message, you cannot access your important data on this drive at all. The worst thing is that you don't even have any data backup when your external hard drive is unmountable. But now you can ease your mind, in this page, you will see 8 feasible solutions that you can try to make the external hard drive mounted in macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra.

Table of contents
1. How to recover lost data if Mac won't boot after Mojave update?
2. Read more about Mounting a disk

How to fix external hard drive not mounting in macOS Catalina/Mojave issue?

Solution 1: Check if the hard drive is properly plugged in.

Since the connection between your Mac and external hard drives relies on cables, loose connections could be the cause that your external hard drive is not recognized by your Mac computer.

If the unstable connection is the case, your external hard drive would not be mounted even with a slight disturbance. Sometimes the cable itself will become hot because of a faulty connection. Therefore, you need to make sure that the connection, i.e. the USB cable, is in good condition.

Solution 2: Check if the USB port/USB hub is unmatchable, damaged or lack of power.

If your external hard drive or USB flash drive is not mounted on Mac, try plugging it into another USB port or a USB hub. That's because there're USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports and they have some differences: USB 3.0 has higher transfer rates, provides more power, more bandwidth, etc. than USB 2.0. As you can see, insufficient power supply or damaged USB ports could also lead to external hard drives not mounting in macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra.

To check this error, you can unplug the problematic external hard drive and plug a functional external hard drive into this USB port to see if it can be mounted normally.

Solution 3: Check if your Mac is set to show mounted drives on the desktop.

It's also possible that your Mac has alreadyrecognized the external hard drive butnot showing up on Mac desktop or Finder. Under such circumstance, you should go to Finder > Preferences > General and make sure the 'External disks' option is ticked. Then you'll see the external hard drive mounted on the desktop.

You can also set your Mac to show external hard drives in Finder. Go to Finder > Preferences > Sidebar and make sure the 'External disks' option under 'Locations' is ticked.

Solution 4: Check if the external hard drive is NTFS formatted.

NTFS (New Technology File System) is a proprietary file system developed by Microsoft. However, for some reasons, macOS comes with read-only support for NTFS; its disabled-by-default write support for NTFS is unstable. Even though the NTFS formatted external hard drive can show up in Disk Utility, external hard drives might not be mounting as normal.

You can go to Disk Utility and check the file system of the external hard drive is NTFS or not, if this is the case, you can back up the files on the NTFS external hard drive and format it to Mac supported file systems (APFS, HFS+ or HFS) or file systems supported by both Windows and Mac, like FAT32 and exFAT.

Nevertheless, the best phenomenon is that you can read and write NTFS both on Macs and on Windows without fuss. So, a good NTFS for Mac application will enable you to write NTFS external hard drives on macOS without reformatting.

Solution 5: Check if the external hard drive is mountable in Disk Utility.

You can check if your external hard drive is mounting in Disk Utility. If your external hard drive appears there but is not mounted, you can click the Mount icon then the external hard drive will be mounted in macOS Catalina/Mojave.

However, if the external hard drive appears in Disk Utility but is unmountable or no volumes of that external drive listed, you got both good news and bad news. Good news is that showing the external hard drive in Disk Utility means the drive has no hardware problem, while the bad news is that the file system of this drive probably is corrupted.

But don't worry, macOS has a built-in repair tool, called First Aid, to fix minor disk errors. You can try to fix the external hard drive not mounting issue with this useful program. Just go to Utilities > Disk Utility and click First Aid.

Solution 6: Fix the unmountable external hard drive with Terminal.

If your external hard drive can't be recognized by your Mac and First Aid failed to repair it, you can try to remount via Terminal by following the steps carefully as below:

1. Go to Applications > Utility > Terminal.

2. Type in diskutil list. Look for the section labeled /dev/disk_ (external, physical), remember the disk number.

Mac Unable To Read External Hard Drive Symptoms

3. Type indiskutil info disk_. Replace '_' with your external disk number. This is to check if your system recognizes this drive.

4. Once confirmed, type in diskutil eject disk_ to eject the external drive.

5. Physically remove the external drive and then re-plug it. Hopefully, your external hard drive will be mounted in macOS Catalina/Mojave.

Solution 7: Check if the external hard drive is corrupted.

If unfortunately, none of the above solutions worked, it's very likely that the files system of the external hard drive is corrupted or damaged too seriously to be recognized by macOS Catalina/Mojave. It could be the result of file system broken, virus attacks, improper ejection, etc. And if you have no important files on this drive, you can directly assign a new file system for this external hard drive by reformatting.

• How to format external hard drives on Mac?

Solution 8: Recover lost data and reformat the unmountable external hard drive.

But what if you have invaluable data that you don't want to lose on this inaccessible external hard drive? In this case, recovering data from this drive with professional data recovery software, such asiBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, would be your access to this unmountable external hard drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is able to recover lost data fromnot mounted external hard drives in macOS Monterey/Big Sur/Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra,recover lost data from corrupted external APFS drives,recover lost data from unreadable external hard drives,recover deleted/lost data from APFS drives, and recover lost data from formatted APFS files, etc.

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on Mac.

Step 2: Launch this program. Select the unmountable hard drive and click 'Next'. The program will start scanning this drive for lost files.

Step 3: After the scanning process finishes, you can double click the found files and preview them.

Step 4: Choose what you want to get back and click 'Recover'.

Step 5: Go through the recovered files and make sure your desired files are recovered from this external hard drive successfully.

If, unfortunately, your data lost from external hard drive in macOS Catalina/Mojave, whether the disk was formatted accidentally or files were deleted mistakenly, you can recover lost data from unmountable hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac. But compared with data recovery software, the best way to escape from data loss is to back up your files on a regular basis.

Read more about Mounting a disk

Mounting a hard disk makes it accessible by the computer. This is a software process that 'activates' the disk, which makes the folders and files on the disk readable by the computer. If a hard drive is physically connected, but not mounted, the computer will not recognize it.

Even though most operating systems, such as macOS, will mount newly connected disks by default, you still can't avoid accidental problems in that the hard drive is connected through devices like cable, USB port, etc. To fix external hard drive not mounting issue, you need to exclude the errors one by one, and to avoid external hard drive not mounting on macOS Catalina/Mojave, remember to safely unmount the external disk before ejection to avoid possible file data corruption.

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