Mac can't repair HFS+ hard drive, how to fix?

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

I have an external hard-disk with a single Mac OS Extended partition. This disk stopped working couple of days ago. I tried to repair the partition with disk utility but no luck. The error message: Disk Utility can't repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files. Any ideas or tools I can try to repair my disk?

It's so desperate if you get the above error message when repairing HFS+ internal or external hard drive with Disk Utility. Normally, Disk Utility is enough to check and verify your hard drive. But if the directory structure of the HFS+ hard drive is seriously corrupt, the drive is beyond the repair scope of Disk Utility. What to do if Mac can't repair HFS+ hard drive?

How to fix Mac can't repair HFS+ hard drive?

Step 1: Make a backup

Data is always the most vital thing for us. The first thing is to back up data from corrupted HFS+ hard drive. If you don't make a backup before, at the moment, you are not allowed to copy and paste files from the drive. Fortunately, some professional data recovery tools can help you recover lost data when Mac can't repair HFS+ hard drive.

As a free HFS+ data recovery software, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is highly recommended to recover lost data from corrupted, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible, formatted HFS+, HFS, APFS, FAT32, exFAT hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, memory card, etc. on macOS Big Sur 11/Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12/10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

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

2. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac and choose the corrupted HFS+ hard drive.

3. Select the corrupted HFS+ hard drive and click "Next" to scan all lost files.

Recover lost data from corrupted hard drive on Mac

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

4. Have a check to ensure all lost files have been successfully recovered.

Step 2: Repair the corrupted HFS+ hard drive with fsck command

There is a chance to repair the corrupted HFS+ hard drive with fsck command. But use the command line, you have to start up your Mac computer and log as an administrator.

1. Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities).

2. Enter "df -h1" and then press Return to determine your filesytem ID.

3. Type in "sudo fsck_hfs -r -d /dev/disk1s1".

Learn what you can do when Mac won't let you log in.

When prompted, enter your admin password, then press Return to begin the verification. This command line will resolve error like invalid volume file/directory count and likewise.

Step 2: Reformat the corrupted hard drive

If fsck command line doesn't work, the last choice is to reformat the corrupted HFS+ hard drive. Because any file system error can easily fixed by reformatting even when macOS can't repair the disk.

How to reformat external hard drive on Mac computers?

Still have questions?