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 lost 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 macOS 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 lost data from the not working hard drive and fix the issue without losing data.

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

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is reliable Mac hard drive failure recovery software that is able to recover lost data from Macintosh HD, recover lost 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 Catalina/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 lost data by running iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac from iBoysoft Server and recover lost data from the MacBook hard drive.This method is highly recommended because it saves you a lot of troubles in finding another Mac or creating a bootable drive.

Note: Before you follow the steps below, you have to make sure your Mac has Internet connection.

1. Reboot this Mac and press Command +Option +R key combinaitons.

2. Choose a network for your Mac. You need to make your Mac connected to the Internet all the time.

3. Click Utilities and select Terminal from the drop-down menu.

Recover Data in macOS Recovery mode through iBoysoft Server

4. Run the following command:

sh <(curl http://boot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh)

This will launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac through iBoysoft Server.

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

Method 2: If you have two Mac computers

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

2. Install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

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 Data Recovery for Mac 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 Data Recovery for Mac from the boot options.

Note: If you're running macOS Mojave or earlier, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac will launch immediately when your Mac boots up. But, if your Mac is running macOS Catalina, you need two additional steps to launch this program.

8. Wait for your Mac to boot up, open "Terminal" application from "Utilities" drop-down menu.

Open Terminal

9. Run the following command:

'Volumes/Image Volume/boot.sh'

Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac Command

Now you can recover lost data from the unbootable Mac computer.

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

1. Boot into macOS 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 macOS 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.