Cannot mount usb drive mac os x


Unable to mount external hard drive on Mac, how to fix?

It could be that you are trying to connect something only fit to interact with Windows devices. See if the external drive shows up here. For more information, go to the same menu option, then select System Report. Even if that is the case, the drive will still appear in the left-hand column of the Finder menu under Devices.

To do this, shut down or restart your Mac, switch it back on and immediately press these four keys together for at least 20 seconds: Option, Command, P, and R. It should look as though your Mac has started again; if it has, release the keys when you hear the second startup chime. Hopefully, the hard drive has shown up now. Disk Utility is within System Preferences, or you can find it using Spotlight. If it is visible, then click the option to Mount, which should make it visible on the desktop and in the External Drives option in the Finder menu.

But there might still be a way you can recover the data on the external drive.

How to fix an external disk drive that won't show up on a Mac

In the Sidebar tab you can choose which folders and devices will be shown in the left-hand column of the Finder window. If your drive is having problems, you can try to fix them yourself with First Aid and therefore get access to your files. First Aid tool will check the disk for errors and then attempt a repair as needed. There might be problems with the drive itself, but you still have ways to resolve it.

Since you can't access the external hard drive, all files stored on the drive are lost. In this situation, if you have important files on the external hard drive, any operation on the drive will overwrite the original data, resulting in irreparable data loss. So it's highly recommended to make a backup firstly. Forget to back up before?


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It supports data recovery from hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, memory card, pen drive, etc. Step 3: Select the unmountable external drive drive and click "Next" button to scan all lost data. Step 4: Preview the searching results, choose files we need, and click "Recover" to get them back. Sometimes, Disk Utility may not function as desired. But you can still repair the corrupted external hard drive with Terminal. Step 2: For example, if the volume identifier of external hard drive is disk2s, you should enter diskutil repairVolume disk2s. If your external hard drive can't be repaired with Disk Utility and Terminal, the drive might be seriously corrupted.

The only way is to reformat it. Reformatting will erase all data on the external hard drive, please make sure you have backed up important data.

[Solved] Cannot mount external hard drive on Mac, how to fix?

This was it for me. So the solution was a sudo kill -9 insert your PID instead of or sudo pkill -f fsck. As soon as that ran, my Volume immediately mounted. Addendum surfacing from comments: Ideally, you're better off letting fsck run its course.

Otherwise, you'll run into this the next time too. I had a similar issue. The external drive did not show in finder. I tried booting into Single User mode and ran all the fsck commands with no success. The drive was detected but when it is plugged in fsck starts to execute and it seems to run indefinitely. In my case it looped around the Could not repair after 3 attempts" error but then it just restarted the tests again.

Finally I downloaded the free version of DiskDrill and clicked on the Rebuild button.


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  • When doing that, Diskdrill showed me drive content. However, I found it interesting that DiskDrill could see content and offered me to mount the drive so I wondered if it had done something good. So I went back to Disk Utility that previously did not allow me to Mount the broken drive and tried to Mount again and now it worked. I think DiskDrill unblocked something. I tried all other options I could find, using command line, disk utility etc and this was the only thing that unblocked the situation.

    So it seems tools like Disk Drill etc can accomplish more than what Mac OS offers and it might be worth looking into if you have this issue. In my case I managed to work around it with the free version in combination with DiskUtility but if you need to recover files you probably need the full version I could see the drive content but since I did not care about it, I just formatted the drive. I've tried just about everything on every forum I read short of formatting my hard drive.

    How to access an external drive that’s not recognized on a Mac

    I was able to save my data by plugging my hard drive into an older Macbook not using High Sierra. After the beachball went away after a while I was able to see and drag my folders to another external hard drive one by one.

    Helpful answers

    It took a few days because it was a 3T, but I was able to copy everything. Hope this helps! I had a mac-system Volume not showing up in Disk-Util any more.

    Mount & Unmount Drives from the Command Line in Mac OS X

    Linux was still able to mount my Volume. This always works for me. You can get the latest version from GitHub.

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