If you are very lucky your hard drive or SSD isn't beyond repair and you will be able to fix the problem yourself and therefore get access to your files. If your drive is having problems and you become aware of this before the machine crashes, or if you manage to get it up and running again or in the case of an external drive your Mac is able to detect it , the first thing to do is launch Disk Utility.
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We have a complete guide to using Disk Utility here. Note that Apple updated Disk Utility in El Capitan and the options and capabilities have changed quite a bit since then. Back in the day it would have also been advised that you should fix Disk Permissions, but Apple removed the ability to repair permissions in Sierra, probably because meddling with permissions can cause all sorts of issues.
Recover Data from Corrupted External Hard Drive Mac
If you are able to fix the hard drive or SSD in your Mac or a external drive using Disk Utility you will hopefully be able to recover your files. We suggest you back up your Mac at this point before running the risk of the disk failing again. However when dealing with dying disks, they may not survive the experience. Now that modern Macs no longer ship with optical disk drives, you may not have an easy option to boot from another disk.
This is actually a partition on the drive that contains a version of the macOS that you can boot from. We have a complete guide to using Recovery mode here. Keep holding those keys until you see either an Apple logo or a spinning globe. If you manage to get in to Recovery mode, you should be able to run Disk Utility as described above, and potentially fix your disk so you can recover the data.
If Disk Utility manages to fix your drive enough to let you boot from it again, be very careful how you use it. You should plan to get an external drive plugged in as soon as you can, so that you can secure your data there.
If you have lost any data, it is very important to avoid using the drive, as anything that writes files to the drive, may be writing over your lost files. Which would render them unrecoverable. So if you manage to resurrect your sickly drive, quit all your software, including email, to avoid overwriting any list files. Once you have an external drive, you can then use that as your boot drive, and recover any lost files to there. Select the Drives to Test. Seagate, Samsung, LaCie, and Maxtor drive models are all supported drives. Please safely remove all other hard drives except the drive s that you want to test.
Select the Tests to Run. A menu of the possible diagnostic tests is shown. Select the test that you would like to perform. The test will begin immediately. These tests include: Fix all S. Upon completion of running the diagnostics, a log for each drive is saved to the program installation folder.
This program is called Check Disk ChkDsk. Always backup your data before running any check disk chkdsk scans of your hard drive. If there is a bad sector, any data that may have been accessible before chkdsk, will likely become inaccessible once the bad sector is re-allocated.
Access command prompt Hold the Windows key and press R. This command will attempt to fix any file system error. The length of time for this to complete will vary depending on the capacity of the drive. Selecting a different country will clear your cart. Europe, Middle East, Africa. Cons Folder names change to things like "DIR" which is a little inconvenient because you have to look through the folders and visually scan the files to find what you are looking for.
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