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It can be frustrating and scary to find that the drive on your Mac is broken. Whether it's because of physical damage, a mistake in logic, or a corrupted file system, being unable to get to your data can make you stressed and stop you from working. But if you have the right tools and method, there are things you can do to try to mount the damaged drive and get back your important files. It's simple and easy to understand how to mount and repair a damaged drive on your Mac. This guide will show you how to do it.

mount damaged drive on Mac

We'll review everything you need to know to deal with this problem, from ensuring the connections are good and using built-in tools like Disk Utility to looking into third-party software and professional data recovery services. By doing these things and being careful, you can make it more likely that you can get your data back and lessen the effect that drives damage has on your digital life.

Understanding the Damage:

A drive can get broken in several ways, each needing a different solution. Here is a list of common situations:

Logical Damage:

It means that problems with the file system or directory layout make it impossible for the Mac to see the drive. Most of the time, this is a less serious case that can be fixed with software tools.

Physical Damage:

It includes physical damage, such as lost drives, broken internal parts, or water damage. You might need professional data recovery services to get your information back.

Try to Mount Damaged Drive on Mac

Before You Begin:

  • Backup: If you can, prioritize backing up any data to reach the damaged drive. You can move the files to a different working drive.
  • Power Cycling: Small problems can sometimes be fixed by restarting the computer. Turn off your Mac and the USB drive, wait a moment, and then turn them back on.

Mounting with Disk Utility:

The first thing that will protect you is Disk Utility. It gives you tools to check out the drive's file system and fix it. How to use it:

  • Start up Disk Utility: In Finder, go to Applications, Utilities, and Disk Utility.
  • Figure out the Drive: In the list on the left, look for your broken drive. It could be mentioned with a general name or be greyed out.
  • First Aid: Right-click on the drive and choose "First Aid" from the menu.
  • Pick the Repair option: Disk Utility will offer a way to fix the problem based on what it finds. Pick "Repair Disk" and do what it says on the screen.

mount damaged drive on Mac

Terminal Commands (For Advanced Users):

If Disk Utility doesn't fix the problem, advanced users can try using Terminal instructions to fix it. Be careful; you could lose information if you use these commands incorrectly. Do not move forward until you can handle it and have made a full backup.

  • Launch Terminal: To get to Terminal, go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  • Identify Drive: The diskutil list tool shows all the connected drives. You can find the broken one by its disk identifier, such as /dev/disk1.
  • Disk Repair Commands: Different file systems need different fixed commands. For example, HFS+ and APFS use different commands. Find the right command for your file system and disk number, and ensure it's for recovering and not deleting data.
How to Force Mount Disk on Mac

How to Force Mount Disk on Mac

Check how to use Terminal commands to force mount a damaged drive on Mac without losing data.

How to Recover Lost Data from Damaged or Erased Drive on Mac?

Data Recovery Software: This can be very helpful if the built-in tools don't work. These programs look through the drive for recoverable data bits to restore lost or inaccessible files.

Picking out software to recover lost data:

Free vs. Paid:

Free data recovery software might limit the types or sizes of files it can restore. Options that cost money have more functions and a better chance of working.

Research Reviews:

Before you buy data recovery software, read reviews and look at other options. Do Your Data Recovery for Mac, Disk Drill, Stellar Data Recovery, and EaseUS Data Recovery Software are good choices.

Do Your Data Recovery for Mac is a reliable software for recovering lost data from damaged, unmounted or erased hard drive on Mac.

Do Your Data Recovery for Mac

  • Recover permanently deleted files.
  • Recover erased or formatted hard drive.
  • Export data from inaccessible drive to your Mac.

Using data recovery software:

Step 1. Download and install Do Your Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac, then run it from Launchpad, select the damaged drive to start data recovery.

Recover Lost Data from Damaged or Erased Drive on Mac

Step 2. Click on Scan button to deeply scan the damaged drive and find all recoverable files.

Recover Lost Data from Damaged or Erased Drive on Mac

Step 3. Select the wanted files, click on Recover button. Then choose a location to save the recovered files.

Recover Lost Data from Damaged or Erased Drive on Mac

Do Your Data Recovery for Mac also can help you mount damaged drive on Mac, fix damaged drive or format external hard drive, etc. Just choose Disk Manager and then select the tool you need.

mount damaged drive on Mac

Professional Data Recovery Services:

If the data on the damaged drive is very important and cannot be retrieved with software, you might want to seek help from professional data recovery services.

These businesses have the tools and knowledge to handle difficult data recovery situations. Expect costs to be high, and make sure you pick a service company with a good reputation.

Important Considerations:

  • Success Rates: Recovering lost data, especially from physically destroyed drives, is impossible. The chance of success depends on the extent of the damage.
  • Cost: Professional data recovery can cost a lot of money, so you should consider how much the data is worth.

Prevention is Key:

  • Regular Backups: A regular backup plan with Time Machine or cloud storage is very important.
  • Safe Handling: Be careful not to drop or bump your drives, as this could damage them.
  • File System Compatibility: If the damaged drive uses a file system that doesn't work with macOS, like NTFS for Windows, you might need to use third-party software to access it.
  • Permissions Issues: Sometimes, permission problems can stop rising. Use the "Repair Permissions" tool in Disk Utility (available in older macOS versions) to reset the permissions. But remember that this function isn't in the newest versions anymore because it's not needed as much.
  • Mounting in Safe Mode: Sometimes, software issues that prevent mounting can be fixed by starting your Mac in Safe Mode. Hold the Shift key and restart your Mac to enter Safe Mode.


It can be difficult to deal with a broken drive on your Mac, but if you have the right tools and method, you can try to mount the drive and get your data back. Remember to put safety steps like backups and careful handling on your list to avoid more damage.

Even though some types of drive damage might not be able to be fixed, looking into all of your choices can help you get your data back. If nothing else works, hiring a professional data recovery service might be the only way to get back important data from a broken drive.

FAQs About Mounting Damaged Drive on Mac

1. How to recover lost data from a damaged or unmounted drive on Mac?

Data recovery software, such as Do Your Data Recovery for Mac, can help you recover lost data from damaged drive or inaccessible drive on Mac:

  • Download and install Do Your Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac.
  • Open Do Your Data Recovery for Mac, select the damaged drive to start data recovery.
  • Click on Scan button to deeply scan the damaged drive.
  • Preview and recover lost files after scanning.

2. How to mount damaged drive on Mac?

First of all, open Disk Utility, select the damaged drive, click on First Aid button to repair the drive. Then click on Mount button to mount the drive.

3. How to repair a drive on Mac?

  • Open Disk Utility.
  • Connect the drive to the Mac.
  • Select the drive, click on First Aid button.
  • Scan and repair the damaged drive.
DoYourData Author

Written & Updated by Ricky Lin

Ricky Lin is an senior editor of DoYourData who lives in Adelaide, Australia. He is interested in writing technology articles related with data recovery, computer issue fixes, disk clone, iPhone data recovery, video edit, Mac optimization, etc. He Joined DoYourData in 2019 and have written 500+ articles to help both Windows users and Mac users to solve data or computer problems.

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