How to fix/repair invalid volume header error on external hard drive?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on January 29th, 2018

I have an external hard drive, formatted in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) which I used with my iBook G4 (OS X Tiger). One day I plugged the drive in and OS X couldn't mount it. I tried repairing it in Disk Utility and the repair failed with an "Invalid volume header". I have many important files in the external hard drive. How can I fix invalid volume header external hard drive without data loss?

As a HFS+ file system error, invalid volume header is a fairly common and relatively serious problem. If you are fed up with invalid volume header external hard drive, you are at the right place. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of invalid volume header and get an easy method to repair invalid volume header error on external hard drive.

What is invalid volume header error on external hard drive?

Each individual hard drive volume is related to a separate header that contains its information, such as volume name and size, starting and ending sectors, used and free spaces, and more. Only when the volume header is valid, we are allowed to access the volume and data stored on the volume. That's to say, invalid volume header error will lead to inaccessibility of volume and data loss. Invalid volume header error happens not only on external hard drive, but also on hard drive, SD card, USB drive, memory card, pen drive, etc.

What causes invalid volume header error on external hard drive?

Invalid volume header error often results from damaged file system, such as virus attack, hard drive failure, file system corruption, bad sectors or any improper operation on the hard drive. External hard drives are more likely to have invalid volume header error, because their file systems are easier to be damaged when they are plugged in and out for transferring files between computers.

Easy way to fix/repair invalid volume header error

When we receive invalid volume header error in Disk Utility, you might think of reformatting the invalid header external hard drive. But if we reformat the external hard drive directly, all data stored on the external hard drive will be erased. To avoid data loss, we should recover lost data from invalid header external hard drive before reformatting. Here we recommend you a free Mac data recovery software.

Step 1: Recover lost data from invalid volume header external hard drive with free Mac data recovery

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is a free Mac data recovery that can recover lost data from invalid volume header external hard drive, hard drive, USB drive, SD card, memory card, pen drive, etc. on macOS Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 Sierra/10.11/10.9/10.8/10.7. Meanwhile, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can also 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.

Tutorial to recover lost data from invalid volume header external hard drive

1. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

2. Select the invalid volume header external hard drive and click "Next" to start scanning.

Recover lost data from invalid volume header external hard drive

3. Preview scanning results, choose files we need, and click "Recover" to recover files.

What's more, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is the best APFS data recovery software that can recover lost data from encrypted APFS volume, recover lost data from formatted APFS drive, recover lost data from unmountable APFS drive, recover lost data from unreadable APFS drive, recover lost data from corrupted APFS drive, recover lost data from inaccessible APFS drive, recover deleted/lost APFS partition, etc.

Step 2: Fix invalid volume header error by reformatting

After getting lost files back, we can fix invalid volume header error by reformatting it.

1. Launch Disk Utility.

2. Select the invalid volume header 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 data on the invalid volume header external hard drive is useless for us, we can fix invalid volume header error directly.

Still have questions?