MacBook hard drive stopped working, how to fix it without losing data?

By Molly | Posted to Mac Data Recovery on September 6th, 2018 |

My MacBook Pro has stopped working as normal. When I turn it on it takes me to the select user screen. When I log in, I get a grey loading bar below the avatar and user name. When this gets to about half way the computer shuts down. If I go to Disk Utility I get strange disk names. If I try to verify 'Macintosh HD' I get an error saying "Error: This disk needs to be repaired. Click Repair Disk." I can't do this as Repair Disk is greyed out. I need some help about how to fix the improperly working MacBook hard drive and get data back.

When talking about Mac hard drive stopped working, we usually mean the errors like Mac hard drive dead or crashed, Mac internal hard drive not mounting, or Macintosh HD not mounted, unrecognized, unreadable, inaccessible, etc. This Mac not working error may happen to MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac equally.

In this article we will talk about how to fix MacBook hard drive stopped working issue and how to recover data from the not working Mac hard drive.

How to fix MacBook hard drive stopped working?

Solution 1: Fix not working Mac hard drive with Disk Utility

Disk Utility is designed to scan your connected drives for errors, erase a disk, repair disk permissions, check the disk's structure for physical errors and more. If MacBook hard drive stopped working, you can run Disk Utility in Recovery Mode.

Step 1: Restart your MacBook, hold down the Command + R keys immediately upon hearing the startup chime and hold the keys until the Apple logo appears.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility under macOS Utilities menu and click Continue.

Step 3: Select the stopped working MacBook hard drive from the sidebar.

Step 4: Click First Aid and wait while Disk Utility fixing hard drive errors.

If you get the disk appears to be OK or errors have been repaired, restart your MacBook and ideally it will work properly now.

Solution 2: Reformatting the not working MacBook hard drive

If Disk Utility can't repair this disk, the only way to fix the stopped working MacBook hard drive is reformatting the drive and reinstalling macOS - resetting the Mac to factory settings.

Before formatting the stopped working MacBook hard drive, please back up as much of your data as possible. Or, you can follow the steps as below to recover data from the not working hard drive and fix the issue without losing data.

Step 1: Recover data from not working MacBook hard drive.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is reliable Mac hard drive failure recovery software that is able to recover lost data from Macintosh HD, recover data from external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, memory cards, Pen drives, etc., no matter it is corrupted, formatted, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible on macOS Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra and Mac OS X.

Method 1: If you have only one unbootable Mac computer

If you have only one Mac computer and it stops working now, you can still recover data by running iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from iBoysoft Server and recover lost data from the MacBook hard drive.

  1. Reboot this Mac and press Command +Option +R key combinaitons.
  2. Click Utilities and select Terminal from the drop-down menu.
  3. Recover Data in Recovery Mode through iBoysoft Server

  4. Type: curl -o /tmp/boot.sh http://boot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh && chmod 777 /tmp/boot.sh && /tmp/boot.sh and press Enter. This will launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery through iBoysoft Server.
  5. Recover Data in Recovery Mode through iBoysoft Server

  6. After launching iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, you can select the MacBook hard drive and recover data with few clicks.

Method 2: If you have two Mac computers

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

2. Install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

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

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

4. Insert a USB drive into your Mac computer.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

5. Follow the wizard to create a bootable recovery drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

6. After that, please insert iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery bootable USB drive into the unbootable Mac computer, and then press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the computer up.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

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

8. Follow the wizard to scan for lost data on the MacBook hard drive.

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

Step 2: Erase the not working MacBook hard drive in Recovery Mode.

1. Boot into Recovery Mode in the mentioned way above.

2. Go to Disk Utility.

3. Select the not working hard drive from the sidebar.

3. Click on Erase on the top. Here you need to setup the format type and name, then wait till the process completed.

Step 3: Reinstall operating system to the reformatted hard drive in Recovery Mode.

It will take a while when reinstalling the OS. Then, your MacBook should work without problem.

If your MacBook still does not work, it's very likely the hard drive is physically damaged and need to be repaired or replaced.

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