How to fix internal hard drive not showing up on Mac?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on January 5th, 2019

An internal hard drive is the most important part of a computer which is used to store data and support computer to work in a normal manner. If your iMac or MacBook does not recognize an internal hard drive and the drive is not showing up on Mac, not only will the system be unable to boot, but also the whole data stored on the computer will become inaccessible. Fortunately, there are still means of getting the data on the internal hard drive back and fix the internal hard drive not showing up issue.

Solution 1: Change the Finder settings

If your Mac computer works in a normal state but the internal hard drive is not showing up in Finder or on desktop, this is because the system is not set up to display hard drives in Finder or on desktop. Here is a simple fix for this:

Go to Finder > Preferences > General tab and select "Hard disks" to make external hard drives show on the desktop.

Show internal hard drive on the desktop

Solution 2: Check whether the internal hard drive is showing up in Disk Utility

The internal hard drive still not showing up on Mac? Then you can blame your hard drive. You can make use of Disk Utility to perform any disk volume-related tasks. Normally, if a disk is listed in the left side bar of Disk Utility, you can leave out the hardware problems.

Tips: If your Mac won’t boot, you have to boot into Recovery Mode and launch Disk Utility.

Scenario 1: Internal hard drive can be found in Disk Utility

If you find the internal hard drive showing up in Disk Utility, the drive may has some file system corruptions. Thankfully, Macs provide several clues to help you isolate and troubleshoot most logical issues.

Mount the internal hard drive on Mac

Sometimes, an internal hard drive won’t mount on Mac, it’s time to force it to. In Disk Utility, right click the hard drive and choose Mount. The internal hard drive should now appear under devices in the Finder.

Run First Aid to repair the internal hard drive

If the internal hard drive is still not mounting on Mac, you can run First Aid to verify and repair various issues related to hard disk problems.

Step 1: Boot your Mac into Recovery Mode. Start your Mac and hold down the Command and R keys simultaneously until you see an Apple logo or spinning globe. Then release the keys.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities menu.

Step 3: Select the corrupted internal hard drive from the left-hand panel.

Step 4: Click First Aid on the top of the window and wait while it verifying and repairing errors.

Repair corrupted internal hard drive via First Aid

Data recovery from corrupted internal hard drive

If unfortunately, Disk Utility can't repair the disk, the corruptions on the internal hard drive are so serious. In this situation, all data on the drive is so fragile that any operation will overwrite it. If you don't back up any data, please perform data recovery firstly.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is free Mac hard drive data recovery software which helps you recover documents, pictures, audios, videos, emails from the unmountable, unreadable, formatted, corrupted Macintosh HD, internal hard drive, external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc. Even when your Mac won't boot, the program can regain access to your machine without taking out the internal hard drive. It is 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.

Solution 1: If you have only one Mac computer

If you have only one Mac computer, please directly run iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery bootable media from iBoysoft Server and recover lost data from the unbootable Mac computer.

Solution 2: If you have two Mac computers

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on another Mac computer.

Step 2: Install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on the healthy Mac computer.

Step 3: Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on the menu bar and then select "Create Boot Drive".

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 4: Insert a USB drive into the healthy Mac computer.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 5: Follow the wizard to create a bootable recovery drive on the USB drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 6: When the creation process completes, you can insert the USB drive into the unbootable Mac computer, and then press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the Mac up.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 7: Select iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from the boot options.

Step 8: Follow the wizard to scan for the lost data on the corrupted internal hard drive.

Step 9: Choose the files you want to get back, and then click Recover button.

Erase the internal hard drive and reinstall macOS

After retrieving data from the corrupted internal hard drive, you can reformat the disk to make it usable again.

Step 1: Boot your Mac to Recovery Mode.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities menu.

Step 3: Select the corrupted internal hard drive from the side bar.

Step 4: Click on Erase from the top.

Step 5: Setup the required information to reformat the disk and click Done when finished.

Step 6: Go back to macOS Utilities screen and select Reinstall macOS.

Scenario 2: Internal hard drive not showing up in Disk Utility

If your internal hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility, the drive may have hardware problems. In this case, none of software is helpful. You can try steps below to reboot your Mac computer.

Boot up your Mac in Safe Boot

Safe Mode checks through your startup drive to make sure there are no problems there. It helps you resolve problems that are stopping your Mac from starting up. To boot up your Mac in Safe Mode, begin with your Mac switched off or restart it. Press and hold the Shift key. Then release the Shift key as soon as the login window appears. If you have FileVault turned on, you need to log in twice.

Reset the PRAM / NVRAM

NVRAM or PRAM stores the information about system settings, including system date and time, screen resolution, etc. If it get corrupted, you Mac won't boot as usual.

Step 1: Press the Power (Eject) button.

Step 2: Immediately press and hold down the Option (Alt) + Command + R + P keys together for 20 seconds (or until the screen goes all black and comes back to gray again, or you hear the startup sound (in some old models).

Step 3: Release the keys simultaneously.

Step 4: Wait while your Mac boots.

Step 5: Get to System Preferences and re-configure the settings as needed.

Send the internal hard drive to a local technician for help

If these solutions above fails to fix internal hard drive not showing up on Mac, Unfortunately, you have to send the internal hard drive to a local technician for help or replace it with a new one.

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