How to fix external hard drive not initialized on Mac?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on February 22nd, 2018

Summary: Have you received "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" when trying to access you Seagate or WD external hard drive? Are your Mac or MacBook asking you to initialize the drive? Don't be panic! Keep reading and you will learn how to fix external hard drive not initialized on Mac and recover data from uninitialized disk.

This passage will show you the following contents:
Part 1: Problem
Part 2: Why is external hard drive not initialized on Mac?
Part 3: How to solve external hard drive not initialized on Mac?
Part 4: Conclusion

Problem: External hard drive shows uninitialized on Mac

After upgrading Mac to High Sierra, my external disk becomes uninitialized (don't know the exact cause) and is not working as before. Please provide me the solution to fix this uninitialized disk and how can I restore data from it.

---From Apple Support Community

Just like what happened above, the problem of uninitialized disk always happens not only on external hard drives but also on internal hard drives or other removable hard drives from WD, Seagate, etc. on macOS. When it occurs, you are unable to access the data on the external hard drive and get the following error message: "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." You will be given three options: initialize, ignore or eject.

The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer on Mac

In addition, the external hard drive will show uninitialized in Disk Utility.

External hard drive not initialized on Mac

Part 2: Why is external hard drive not initialized on Mac?

The "disk not initialized" means that the computer does not recognize the drive as formatted. In general, this issue can be caused by virus attack, corrupted master boot record, partition loss, bad sector, some computer file system corruption and more. If you can't figure out the specific case, please try the following solutions one by one to fix it.

Part 3: How to solve external hard drive not initialized on Mac?

First of all, if you have important data on the external hard drive, insert it and choose "ignore" in the popup. That's because this action will remove all data stored on the drive.

Solution 1: Repair the external hard drive with Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a macOS system utility that enables the user to perform tasks related to hard disks and storage devices. One of the main uses of Disk Utility is to repair disk. Follow this procedure to repair a disk.

Step 1: Choose Go > Utilities.

Step 2: Double-click Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select the external hard drive in the left pane for which you want to repair.

Step 4: Click the First Aid tab.

Solution 2: Recover data from uninitialized external hard drive and initialize the disk

If the problem continues, you have no choice but to initialize the external hard drive. If you didn't back up important data, you can download and install a professional data recovery tool to recover data from the uninitialized disk on Mac

Step 1: Recover data from uninitialized external hard drive on Mac

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is a free external hard drive data recovery tool that can recover data from uninitialized hard disks, external hard drive, SD card, memory card on macOS Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7. With this powerful software, you are able to recover almost all kind of files in an effortless and risk-free way, including photos, videos, audio files, text files and more.

Besides, iBoysoft Data Recovery also supports recovering deleted files even emptied from Mac Trash, recover data from dead/crashed MacBook, recover data from formatted, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible drives.

Through only 4 steps, you can recover data from uninitialized external hard drive:

1. Download, install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

2. Select the uninitialized external hard drive and click "Next" button to scan all lost data.

Recover data from uninitialized external hard drive on Mac

3. Preview the searching results, choose files you need, and click "Recover" to get them back.

Step 2: Initialize the external hard drive

Then you can initialize the external hard drive for reuse. Go to Launch Disk Utility. Select the external hard drive from the left sidebar of the window. Click the Erase button on the top of the Disk Utility window. Then follow the instructions to finish the reformatting process.

To conclude

This article is all about how to recover data from uninitialized disks and how to fix external hard drive not initialized on Mac. By using these methods above, this issue can be fixed without data loss.

No matter what accidents happen to your storage devices, we high recommend you to back up the drive always. If you forget to do that before, please fall back on iBoysoft Data Recovery, this software will help you recover your lost data back within simple clicks.

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