“My external hard drive contains 30GB of photos, videos, and other important files. I have used this hard drive with my Macbook for the past year. Recently, when I connected my external hard drive to my Mac to transfer some files, to my surprise, I could not see any of my files on the drive. The entire hard drive was blank; now, this is annoying because these photos and videos are extremely important to me. Is there any way I can recover data from an external hard drive? I have seen some solutions talking about using data recovery software. Do they really work? Can I rely on them?“
This is a query of a user seen on a forum describing his data loss scenario. If you have encountered a similar data loss scenario, don’t worry; you are not alone. This is a prevalent data loss scenario; on average more than 1000 people incur monthly data loss. Very few end up successfully recovering data from their external hard drive.
By the end of this article, you can recover data without any hassle. However, one crucial point to be noted is to immediately stop using the external hard drive after you have lost or accidentally deleted data. This will increase the chances of recovering data from external hard drives on the Mac.
How to Recover Data from an External Hard Drive Mac?
I have gathered three simple ways to restore an external hard drive on Mac. Follow these methods, and you will have your data back without hassle.
Method 1: Yodot Mac Data Recovery to Recover Data From External Hard Drive Mac
Method 2: Recover Files From External HDD Using Mac Trash
Method 3: Retrieve Data From the External Hard Drive Mac by Time Machine Backup
1. Yodot Mac Data Recovery to Recover Data From External Hard Drive Mac
The Yodot Mac Data Recovery tool works on an advanced algorithm that will scan the external drive sector by sector to recover every data on the external hard drive and supports HFS+, HFSX, FAT, NTFS, and exFAT file systems. Download and try the tool to recover data from an external hard drive on Mac:
Steps to Retrieve Data from External Hard Drive on Mac by the tool:
- Download and install the Yodot Mac Data Recovery tool on your system for Mac external hard drive data recovery.
- After installation, click on Volume Recovery, and the tool shows available Volumes / Drives.
- Select the particular Volume/Drive from where your data got lost and click Next.
- Once you click on next, the tool starts the scanning process. Once the scanning process ends, you can view the files in the folder in a Data View and File Type View.
- Preview the retrieved data from the external hard drive on Mac using the Preview option.
- Select the files or folders which you want to recover and click on Save.
2. Recover Files From External HDD Using Mac Trash
The Mac external hard drive has a hidden trash folder that stores the files and folders you deleted while using an external hard drive.
Note – Retrieving data from Mac Trash is based on how you configure the Trash.
To recover the data from the external hard drive Mac, connect the drive; the external drive’s trash folder will be displayed along with the system trash folder. Then, follow the steps to use Trash to restore files from an external hard drive Mac.
- Start by connecting the external hard drive to the Mac system
- Launch the Trash
- Look for the file which you want to recover.
- After finding the file, select the Put Back option by right-clicking it. So you can retrieve data from an external hard drive Mac.
3. Retrieve Data From External Hard Drive Mac by Time Machine Backup
The Time Machine Backup is a built-in tool that allows you to configure and backup data on both internal and external hard drives on Mac. If you have configured Time Machine backup, you can recover data from the external hard drive on Mac using the steps below.
- Connect the external hard drive with Time Machine backup files to your Mac system.
- Launch the Finder on the particular folder where your data has been lost
- Launch the Time Machine icon, which is available on the menu bar
- Look for the backup by using the Timeline.
- Select the files you need to retrieve and click the Restore option.
Added Information – How To Repair External Hard Drive on Mac
1. Repair Using FSCK Command
The work of the FSCK command is to verify the connectivity of the file system. Suppose the FSCK command finds no connectivity between the directory and the file system. It connects the directory to the lost+found directory of the file system. In order to use the FSCK Command, you have to launch the terminal app and boot into single-user mode.
Given below are the steps to repair Mac external hard drive using the FSCK command:
Note – This feature is supported only for the below Mojave versions.
- Proceed to the launchpad and type Terminal so that you can launch the Terminal.
- Input the command diskutil list; by giving this command, you can find your external hard drive from the list, confirm the identifier path, for example (/dev/disk3), and press the Return key.
- Later, restart your Mac and quickly hold both the Command + S keys to boot into the Single User Mode.
- Input the command /sbin/fsck -fy and click the Return Key
- Give the command /sbin/fsck -fy /(your drive’s identifier path) and press Return
- Once the process gets over, type Reboot and hit Return and Restart your Mac
2. Format Your External Hard Drive
Formatting the external drive will fix and repair any hardware-related issues. Before formatting the drive, it’s necessary to take a backup, as formatting the drive will erase all the stored data. Once you have done it, format the external hard drive by the steps given below:
- Launch Disk Utility by opening Launchpad and typing Disk Utility on the search field
- Select your external hard drive from the left sidebar.
- Click on Erase Button
- Give the drive’s name and partition scheme type, and select a preferred format.
- Finally, click Erase
3. Repair Using Disk Utility
The in-built repair tool Disk Utility will repair minor issues like File Corruption or formatting. Follow the steps below on how to use the tool.
- Launch Disk Utility, choose your external hard drive from the left sidebar
- Select the First Aid button, which is available on top of the screen.
- Select Run to confirm, and then select Done once the process ends.
I’m finishing this article here; I hope you got some ideas to restore data from an external hard drive Mac. If you need help with the manual methods to retrieve data from an external hard drive Mac, feel free to use the Yodot Mac Data Recovery tool. Help others who face the same situation by sharing this article.
The external hard disk might not show up because of a corrupted drive, physically damaged drive, bad USB cable, etc.
Connect your external hard disk to your Mac PC, launch the Disk Utility, and use the First Aid feature on the disk utility to fix the corrupted external hard drive on your Mac.
To reset the external hard drive, go to Disk Utility, choose your particular drive, and click on the Erase button to restore the external hard drive on Mac.