File system verify or repair failed on external hard drive, how to fix?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on February 26th, 2018

My WD My Passport couldn't be mounted or repaired in Disk Utility. When I ran First Aid, I got error message: "file system verify or repair failed". The external hard drive is full of important backup files. Anyone can tell me how to fix this error?

First Aid in Disk Utility is a Mac built-in tool which is usually be applied to verify and repair minor errors on external hard disks. Sometimes however, First Aid may fail on external hard drives and return error messages like "file system verify or repair failed".

In fact, "file system verify or repair failed" error happens mostly on external hard drives because they are plugged in and out between different computers, and the file system is so easy to be damaged. Getting the error "File system verify or repair failed" on external hard drives usually means you will have no way to access data stored on it. Here you have the solutions.

How to fix 'file system verify or repair failed' error on external hard drive?

file system verify or repair failed on external hard drive

Solution 1: Fix 'file system verify or repair failed' error on external hard drive via fsck command

If Disk Utility is unable to verify and repair an external hard disk, then fsck command line should be your next choice, which is a tool for checking the consistency of a file system. Follow the guidance to fix "file system verify or repair failed" error on external hard drive with fask command.

Step 1: Restart our Mac computer.

Step 2: Hold down "Command+S".

Step 3: Some white text will scroll by quickly. When it stops, type in "/sbin/fsck –fy", then press "Enter".

Step 4: Type in "/sbin/fsck_hfs -fy /dev/drive letter (for example disk 2)". fsck will check the file system and attempt to repair any damage that it finds on the external hard drive.

Step 5: When fsck finishes checking and repairing the file system, type "reboot" into the command prompt and press "Enter". Then your Mac will reboot, bringing us to the normal login screen.

Solution 2: Reformat the external hard drive

If fsck command line can't fix "file system verify or repair failed" error on the external hard drive, the last chance is to reformat the external hard drive. But reformatting will erase all files stored on the external hard drive, which will cause irreparable data loss. Thus, if data on the external hard drive is important to you, you'd better recover data from the external hard drive at first with free Mac data recovery software

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is able to recover data from external hard drives with "file system verify or repair failed" error. Besides, it can recover data from unreadable hard drives, recover data from unrecognized hard drives, recover data from corrupted hard drives, recover data from unmountable hard drives, recover data from inaccessible hard drives, recover data from uninitialized hard drives, etc. It's compatible with macOS Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 and OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Step 1: Recover data from the external hard drive

1. Free download, install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

2. Select the external hard drive which has "file system verify or repair failed" error and click "Next" button.

Recover data from corrupted external hard drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

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

Step 2: Fix 'file system verify or repair failed' error on the external hard drive by reformatting

After external hard drive data recovery completed, we can reformat the drive so that it can be usable again. If you don't care about files on the external hard drive, or have backup at another place, you can perform reformatting directly.

1. Launch Disk Utility.

2. Select the external hard drive on the left part of the window.

3. Click "Erase" on the top of the window.

4. Complete related information (name, format, scheme), then click "Erase".

If you still can't fix the external hard drive 'file system verify or repair failed' error in Disk Utility, it's very likely that the drive is about to fail and needs to be replaced.

Still have questions?