How to Repair Hard Drive If Mac Won’t Turn ON

Issues with your hard drive can easily be fixed using the First Aid feature in Disk Utility. This is if your Mac is turning ON and you are able to login to your system without any issues. But what if you’re Mac won’t turn ON? Accessing Disk Utility or other troubleshooting tools may not be so straightforward.

Such booting issues in Mac may occur due to corruption in the file structure, incompatible login items, broken permissions, directory or cache issues etc.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to repair hard drive issues when your Mac won’t turn ON. So read on to learn more.

Solution 1: Access Disk Utility through Recovery Mode

Entering Recovery Mode allows you to access Disk Utility through which you can repair your hard drive. To enter Recovery Mode, follow the steps below.

  1. Restart your Mac and press Command + R keys after the startup chime
  2. Keep pressing the keys until you see the utility screen
  3. In the utility menu, select Disk Utility and choose your Mac’s hard drive
  4. In the First Aid tab, click on Verify Disk to repair your drive

Disk Utility will scan your drive for errors and notify if your disk needs repair. If you receive this message, click on Repair Disk. Disk repair may take a while depending on the size of the drive and on the number of errors. Wait until all the errors are fixed and try to boot into your system normally.

Solution 2: Use Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a type of boot mode in Mac that starts with a limited set of extensions and functionalities. This mode is mainly used to repair startup issues by repairing the directory and clearing cache.

If safe mode works without any issues, try booting your system normally.

  • If are able to boot into your Mac as usual without any issues, there was probably an issue that Safe mode has fixed now.
  • If you are still not able to boot normally, it means that the issue still persists. If this is the case, proceed to the next step.

Solution 3: Run FSCK (Single User mode)

This mode is used to check and repair the consistency of the file system.  It requires that you use the single user mode to perform this operation. To run FSCK, follow the steps below.

  1. Restart your Mac and as soon as you hear the startup chime, click on Command + S until you see a black background with white text
  2. In the command line, type ‘fsck –fy’ and wait for the operation to complete
  3. If you find ‘A file system was modified’ message, run ‘fsck-fy’ again till you see ‘The volume appears to be Ok’ message.
  4. Then type ‘reboot’ to exit Single user mode and boot your Mac in the usual way.


However, if FSCK fails repeatedly and Disk Utility reports errors like ‘Disk Utility can’t repair the disk’, it could be an indication that your hard drive is failing. In such cases, you may want to retrieve all your data as soon as possible and replace the drive. It may not be a good idea to trust your valuable data with this drive.

To retrieve data when your system isn’t booting, you can use data recovery tools such as Yodot hard drive recovery. It is a great choice to recover data from corrupt, damaged or failing hard drives. The software is designed to perform a detailed scan and recover data in perfect condition. Download a free trial and try it today!