Top 6 Mac Hard Disk Drive Problems and Their Solutions- 100% Working

Updated on April 7, 2021 | Blog   | No Comments  

Overview of Mac Hard Drive Problems and Solutions in Details

Hard drives are used for storing files, but it can stop working, suddenly. This can cause you to lose important data. In case you have encountered such an issue, this is just the right article for you. Here, we are going to discuss the worst hard disk failure issues and the solutions to them. MacBook and iMac are powerful computers. However, it isn’t insusceptible to HD problems. Various problems can impact Mac’s SSD, hard drive, or hybrid drive that can make it difficult for you to recover data.

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List of 6 Most Commonly Faced Mac Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Problems with Solutions

To make sure that you don’t face such problems, we have come up with the 6 worst Mac hard drive issues and their solutions.

So, let’s dive in. 

#1)Hard Drive is Slow

These problems commonly arise due to prolonged usage or aging. However, other factors can slow down the Mac startup disk such as,

  • Outdated macOS
  • Full hard drive
  • Multiple enabled log-in items
  • Multiple apps running in the background
  • Hardware problems

What is the Solution of Mac Hard Drive is Slow Error?

There are various steps that you can take to boost Mac’s performance. Check them out below. 

  • Delete all unwanted files, duplicate data, unused apps from the hard drive
  • Update the operating system and also the third-party applications
  • Clean the log-in and desktop items
  • Check the Activity Monitor list of background processes and quit the ones you do not need. 
  • Repair the startup disk using Disk Utility
  • Upgrade the Mac firmware and hardware
  • Get rid of the widgets, plugins, and internet caches from Safari.

This list of actions might appear to be simple but they are not. You need time and patience to clean the hard drive manually and perform the tune-up jobs. This can be frustrating at times. 

#2)Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Disk Utility

At times, the Mac storage might fail to show up in the Disk Utility space. 

What is the Solution for Mac Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Disk Utility Error?

One of the worst problems that you can face with Mac is the Disk Utility Window not showing Mac storage drive. Most of the time than not, the storage device is dead, either partially or entirely. If it is a case of an unmounted Mac hard drive, it is still going to appear in the Disk Utility window. However, it is going to be greyed out.

Luckily, VikMajra Mac Data Recovery Tool can rescue files that are stored on the unmounted media that you can erase later for reuse.

In the case of the dead Mac hard drive, you have the option to replace the device after you recover the lost data using the Mac data recovery software. 

#3)Hard Drive Space Disappears

Mac users can encounter the problem of low free space when they use a low-capacity SSD like 128 GB. In that case, they often see the error message ‘Your startup disk is almost full’. Even when you store multimedia files in an external storage drive and important data in iCloud, the Mac storage drive is going to disappear automatically. The low storage problems might be caused due to junk file buildup, caches, temporary files, and leftovers of applications. 

What is the Solution to Mac Hard Drive Space Disappears Problem?

To solve the problem of drive space disappearing, you have to create more space on the startup disk by erasing temporary files.

For removing caches, follow the steps given below.

a)From ‘Dock’ open ‘Finder

b)Now, from the ‘Menu Bar’ click on ‘Go’ and then click on ‘Home’.

c)Next, just click on the ‘cog’ icon present at the top pane and choose ‘Show View Options’

d)On the pop-up window, choose the ‘Show Library Folder’ checkbox and then just close it.

e)Go to ‘Library’ and then ‘Caches’.

f)Erase all the caches. 

You also have the option to do the following.

a.From ‘Dock’ open ‘Finder

b.Now, click on ‘Go’ from the Menu Bar and then click on ‘Go to Folder’.

c.Type ‘~/Library/Caches’ from the dialog window and then click on ‘Go’. 

d.Now, erase all the caches.

Delete the temporary files from the particular folders present in the Library folder like Application Support Files, Logs, and unrequired iTunes files. When you remove temporary files frequently, it will create space on mac and keep the drive from disappearing.

#4)External Hard Drive Unrecognized or Not Mounting

Often as you connect the external hard drive to Mac, it will mount and will show up on your Desktop. It might also appear in ‘Finder’. Nevertheless, at times, the disk might fail to mount when you connect it. In circumstances like this, it will not even appear in ‘Finder’.

What is the Solution of External Drive Not Recognized or Mounting on Mac?

To fix this problem, some of the common methods you can try are given below. 

4.1)Set the Mac to show the mounted drive on its Desktop

4.2)Try connecting it with some other cable

4.3)Unplug and then re-plug the drive

4.4)Try connecting to some other Mac

4.5)Use a different USB port for connecting it. 

In case none of these work, there may be something wrong with the external hard drive. You can create a backup of the hard drive using Disk Utility or third-party software. Thereafter, you can erase and reform the drive using a new file system. Nevertheless, in case there is no backup of the data, you cannot clone the hard drive with problems. In that case, you will have to choose Mac data recovery software like VikMajra.

#5)Disk Utility is Unable to Repair Mac Hard Drive

By using the Disk Utility ‘First Aid’ tab, you can fix the hard drive or some other storage drives for bad sectors, errors, etc. However, this doesn’t always help. At times, you will see the message ‘Disk Utility cannot repair this disk’. You will see this when Disk Utility fails to repair Mac hard drive. 

What is the Solution of Disk Utility is Unable to Fix Corrupted Mac Drive?

To check the basic structure of the storage drive, use the ‘fsck’ or ‘file system consistency check’ command in the ‘Single User Mode’. However, make sure that you back up the drive for some other external storage medium. This way you will not lose data while troubleshooting the error. After this, you will have to follow the steps given below.

a)Restart or start the Mac and then press and hold the Command and S button simultaneously. As soon as you see the white text button appearing on the screen, release the button. This will boot up Mac in the ‘Single User Mode’.

b)Next, type ‘fsck-fy’ on the command prompt and then press ‘Return’. Make sure you do not interrupt till the command is done with, as it might lead to data loss.

c)If you see the message ‘The volume Macintosh HD couldn’t be repaired’ or ‘The volume was modified’, use the command once more.

d)You have to use the command several times until you see the message, ‘The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK.’ Following this, you need to type ‘exit’.

This will restart the Mac.

#6)Hard Drive Isn’t Booting

Sometimes, the Mac hard drive will not boot. This problem might happen because of file system corruption, electronic component damage, bad sectors, or hard drive problems. This can cause valuable videos, photos, documents, etc. stored on Mac hard drive to become inaccessible.

What is the Solution of Mac Hard Drive Isn’t Booting Error Message?

You can use the methods given below to get back the data from a non-booting Mac. 

#a)Access the Non-Booting Mac Using Target Disk

You have to connect the non-booting Mac to a Mac that is working fine using Thunderbolt or FireWire cable. First, power on the working Mac, and then the non-booting Mac. After this, immediately, press the T button and hold it. When you see the Thunderbolt or FireWire icon appearing, release the T button. Now, you will be able to access the hard drive of the non-booting Mac from the working Mac. 

#b)Use Time Machine Backup

In case you have Time Machine backup, you have to connect to a non-booting Mac. Following this, power on the Mac, and press and hold Command and R keys, simultaneously. As soon as the Apple logo appears on the screen, Mac will enter the Mac operating system Recovery Mode. From the Utilities Window of the Mac operating system, click Restore from Time Machine Backup and then click on ‘Continue’ for performing the on-screen instructions for erasing Mac hard drive, reinstalling macOS, and restoring from Time Machine Backup drive.

#c)Boot the Non-Booting Mac Using Recovery Drive

For this, you have to download and install the VikMajra Mac Data Recovery Software on another Mac device. Next, you have to create a recovery drive using the thumb drive of a minimum of 8GB. Now, connect the boot drive to the non-booting Mac. Switch on the Mac and then press and hold the ‘Option’ key. Release the keys when the ‘Startup Managers’ opens up. Choose the Recovery Drive. From the windows of ‘macOS Utilities’, choose VikMajra recovery, click on ‘Continue’. Follow the instructions given onscreen for recovering the data from the non-booting Mac system.

About The Author

Poonam Yadav

Poonam Yadav is an expert technical writer and editor with over 10+ years of experience. She has deep knowledge about Software, IT Companies, Tutorials on Different Topics. She loves to explore new technology and DIY tools.

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