Mac doesn't recognize internal hard drive, how to fix?

Posted by Vivian to Mac Data Recovery on January 17th, 2019

Usually, the internal hard drive is the statup/boot drive for a Mac. It not only loads the operating system but also is responsible for storing data. Therefore, it is frustrating if your Mac doesn't recognize the internal hard drive and you can't access the data on this drive. What's worse, when you want to recover data, you find that you don't have any data backup. Luckily, according to your situation, this article will provide 4 feasible solutions for you to fix Mac not recognizing the internal hard drive.

Scenario 1: The internal hard drive can be recognized by Disk Utility

If your Mac doesn't recognize the internal hard drive, you can check if Disk Utility under Recovery Mode is able to recognize it. This really matters because if you can see the drive but the internal hard drive is not mounted in Disk Utility, your internal hard drive has no hardware problem and you can try the following solutions to fix your issue.

Solution 1: Repair with First Aid in Disk Utility

The issue that Mac doesn't recognize the internal hard drive could be fixed with Disk Utility under Recovery Mode. macOS Recovery is part of the built-in recovery system of your Mac, from which you can start up and use its utilities to repair certain logical errors of the internal hard drive.

Step 1: Restart your Mac and immediately press and hold Command + R keys to get into Recovery Mode, then release the keys when you see the Apple logo.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility in macOS/Mac OS X Utilities and click "Continue".

Step 3: Select the internal hard drive and run First Aid to check and repair errors in this drive.

Solution 2: Try to boot in Safe Mode

Booting in Safe Mode will check the errors in the directory of your internal hard drive. To boot in Safe Mode, you need to restart the Mac and hold "Shift" immediately, and release it until you see the login window. When you see a "Safe Boot" message on the startup window, you can restart the Mac and try to recover data from this internal hard drive.

Solution 3: Recover data and erase the unrecognizable internal hard drive

If the internal hard drive is not recognized by your Mac still, then the file system of this internal hard drive could have corrupted. Is there any other way that you can access the data on this unrecognizable internal hard disk? Of course. You can recover data from this unrecognizable internal hard disk with Mac data recovery software like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery. Then, you can reformat this internal hard drive so that you can use this drive again.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is professional Mac data recovery software. It can not only recover data from unbootable Macs, but also recover documents, photos, emails, music, etc. from formatted/unmountable/inaccessible external drives. This software supports recovering data from encrypted APFS, APFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32 drives on macOS Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra and OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Method 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.

Method 2: If you have two Mac computers

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on another Mac, install and launch it.

Step 2: Click iBoysoft Data Recovery at the upper left corner of Mac menu bar and select "Create Boot Drive".

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 3: Insert a USB drive into the healthy Mac computer.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 4: Follow the wizard to create a bootable recovery USB drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 5: After you have completed creating boot drive, insert this bootable USB drive into the failed Mac and press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the MacBook up.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 6: Select iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from the boot options.

Step 7: Follow the wizard to recover data from the internal hard drive.

Step 8: Restart the Mac, press and hold Command + R keys immediately to get into Recovery Mode.

Step 9: Select Disk Utility in the Utilities and click "Continue".

Step 10: Select the internal hard drive and click "Erase" to reformat this drive.

Step 11: Return to macOS/Mac OS X Utilities in Recovery Mode and select "Reinstall macOS".

After reinstalling the operating system, this internal hard drive could be showing up again.

Scenario 2: The internal hard drive cannot be recognized by Disk Utility

However, if your Mac can't recognize the internal hard drive, this internal hard drive might have some hardware problems. You can either send it to a local repair store, which could be costly, or say goodbye to this drive and buy a new one.

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