Fix Disk Utility error: invalid node structure on Mac

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery Tips updated on September 22nd, 2020 |

Invalid node structure error is a sign of corrupt storage disk directory structure. It occurs on external hard drive, internal hard drive, SD card, USB card, memory card and other storage devices on Mac. In face of invalid node structure error, our storage devices turn to be unmountable and all enclosed files are inaccessible.

Fix invalid node structure on Mac

If it's an internal hard drive with invalid sturcture node needs to be repaired, our Mac computer will work slowly with the spinner, and even won't boot past the the Apple Logo. If it's an external hard drive, the disk needs to be repaired before you mount it for accessing files.

Fortunately, for the erorr of invalid node structure, we do have some great solutions and useful tools to handle this problem without data loss.

Solution 1: Repair invalid node structure error with fsck command

Since Disk Utility can't repair the logic error of invalid node structure, the command line tool fsck should be our next choice, which reviews and repairs the underlying structure of a hard drive. We can follow the below steps to fix invalid node structure error with fsck:

Step 1: Restart our Mac computer.

Step 2: Hold down "Command+S" to boot your Mac into Single User Mode.

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 of the corrupted disk (for example disk 2)". fsck will check the file system and attempt to repair any damage that it finds on hard drive.

Step 5: You can repeat this repairing command until you see the feedback: The volume appears to be OK. After fsck is finished checking and repairing the file system, type "reboot" into the command prompt and press "Enter". Then our Mac will reboot, returning us to the usual login screen.

What if FSCK command failed to repair the invalid node structure error? Then your choice would be recovering data from the corrupted hard disk and erasing the disk to a working condition.

• The invalid node structure error stops Mac from booting up, how to get files off the Mac hard drive?

Solution 2: Recover data and fix invalid node structure error by reformatting

Since invalid node structure error is a file system problem, it can easily get fixed by reformatting through Disk Utility. But reformatting will erase all files stored on the hard drive. To avoid important data loss, we should recover lost data from hard drive at first with a free Mac data recovery software.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is the best Mac data recovery software that can recover lost data from hard drive which has invalid node structure, recover lost data from unreadable hard drive, recover lost data from unrecognized hard drive, recover lost data from corrupted hard drive, recover lost data from unmountable hard drive, recover lost data from inaccessible hard drive, recover lost data from uninitialized hard drive, etc. on macOS Big Sur 11/Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 Sierra/10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Step 1: Recover lost data from hard drive which has invalid node structure

If your Mac turns on or it's an external hard drive suffering from the invalid structure node problem, you can follow these steps to recover data from the hard drive before reformatting the disk.

1. Free download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

2. Connect hard drive to Mac and then launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Recover lost data from hard drive which has invalid node structure

3. Select the hard drive where we have lost files and click "Next" to search for all lost files on the drive.

4. Preview the listed files, choose those we want, and click "Recover" to get them back.

Step 2: Fix/repair invalid node structure error by reformatting

After data recovery completed, we can fix/repair invalid node structure error on hard drive by reformatting

1. Launch Disk Utility.

2. Select the 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 don't care about files on the hard drive or have backup at other place, we can reformat the external hard drive on Mac directly.