Solutions to recover data from uninitialized disks, fix uninitialized disks on Mac

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on November 3rd, 2017

Summary: This article talks about why disks become uninitialized, how to recover data from uninitialized disks with Mac data recovery software and fix uninitialized disks on Mac with easy steps. Keep reading.

When plugging in a disk to your Mac, you may find it showing up as uninitialized in Disk Utility, and can't be mounted at all. This problem usually happens to external hard drives, which are used to extend the computer's capacity or to make backup of important files. Once the disk becomes uninitialized on Mac, you will have no access to tons of data stored on it.

Don't worry. This page will show you all details and tutorials you care about uninitialized disks.

Table of contents
1. Why do disks become uninitialized on Mac?
2. Recover data from uninitialized disks on Mac
3. How to fix uninitialized disks on Mac?
4. How to initialize a disk on Mac?

Part I: Why do disks become uninitialized on Mac?

The reasons why your external hard drive becomes uninitialized might be due to partition table damage or loss, virus attacks, sudden power outage, improper ejection, etc. No matter what the cause is, the volumes on the not initialized disk will be invisible in Disk Utility, so as the data on it.

Thus, it's urgent to recover lost data from the uninitialized disks on Mac.

Part II: How to recover data from uninitialized disks on Mac?

Case 1: AppleAPFSMedia uninitialized on Mac

When I intended to edit one of the working documents on my AppleAPFSMedia (APFS), I couldn't open the drive. Then I went to Disk Utility and found the AppleAPFSMedia uninitialized. I've tried First Aid to repair it, but failed. I have no choice but to erase the uninitialized AppleAPFSMedia. However, some documents in it are so important for me, so how can I recover data from uninitialized AppleAPFSMedia?

Case 2: External hard drives uninitialized on Mac

After upgrading Mac to High Sierra, my external disk becomes uninitialized (don't know the exact cause) and is not working as before. Please provide me the solution to fix this uninitialized disk and how can I restore data from it.

Just as the two cases, this error usually happens to AppleAPFSMeida and external hard drives. The truth is, when the disk becomes uninitialized, the data stored on it still exists but becomes inaccessible. What's more, as long as the data hasn't been overwritten, it's possible to be got back.

To recover data from uninitialized disks on Mac, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, the free Mac data recovery software, will be helpful.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can not only recover data from uninitialized AppleAPFSMedia, but also recover data from uninitialized external hard drives, including WD My Passport drives, Seagate external hard drives, SD cards, and so on. It supports nearly all file types recovery, such as deleted photo recovery, video, audio, documents and emails recovery, etc.

How to recover data from uninitialized disks on Mac?

You can follow the steps to recover data from uninitialized disks as well.

Step 1: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 2: Choose the uninitialized disk, click "Next" to scan the disk.

Recover data from uninitialized disk on Mac

Step 3: Preview the scanning results, choose files you need, then click "Recover" and specify a different location to store the recovered files.

Recover data from uninitialized disk on Mac

Step 4: Go through to ensure you have got all lost files back.

What's more, it recovers data from formatted drives, recovers data from unreadable drives, recovers data from unmountable drives, inaccessible drives, deleted and lost partitions etc. It's fully compatible with macOS 10.15 (Catalina), 10.14 (Mojave)/10.13 (High Sierra)/macOS 10.12 (Sierra) and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Part III: How to fix uninitialized disks on Mac?

After recovering data from uninitialized disks on Mac, you can then go ahead to fix the disk without worrying about data loss.

Solution 1: Fix uninitialized disks in Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a built-in tool on Mac to solve disk related errors. You can try to fix uninitialized disks with this free tool.

Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the uninitialized disk from the left sidebar and click First Aid on the top of the window.

Step 3: Wait till the reparation process ends and click Done.

Then you can unplug the disk and re-plug it to check if the error is fixed. If Disk Utility failed on external hard drives, please move to the next solution.

Solution 2: Fix uninitialized disks by reformatting

Most of the time, the disk showing as uninitialized in Disk Utility is suffering partition table corruption or loss. Thus, reformatting is the best way to solve this problem.

Step 1: Go to Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the uninitialized disk and click Erase on the top of the window.

Step 3: Provide the required information, including Name and Format.

Step 4: Click Erase.

After the erasure finishes, unplug it and then re-plug it in to the Mac. Hopefully you can see the disk mounted correctly in Disk Utility.

Lastly, you can copy and paste the recovered data back to the disk again.

Part IV: How to initialize a disk on Mac?

1. What does initialize a disk on Mac mean?

Initializing a disk prepares the disk for use on Mac computers. Only after a disk is initialized can you partition it to separate sections and format it with certain file systems. Then, you can store various files on to the disk. So, if a disk is uninitialized, you can't access data on it, if any.

2. Does initializing a disk erase data on Mac?

Definitely, yes. It will wipe all data on it. That's why we always ask you to check whether you have a backup copy or to recover data with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

3. How to initialize a disk on Mac without data loss?

The Mac operating system automatically detects a disk that needs to be initialized and prompts you to initialize the disk with the error message "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer."

The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer on Mac

You can simply click the Initialize button and follow the onscreen wizard to initialize the disk on Mac. Just like erasing a disk, you need to provide a Name (what you identify this disk), a Scheme (what partition table you prefer, GUID or MBR) and a Format (how to organize data stored on the disk, known as file systems like APFS, HFS+, exFAT, etc.) for this disk.

Conclusion:

It's possible for us to encounter AppleAPFSMedia uninitialized on Mac, external hard drives uninitialized on Mac or other similar problems. Once it happens, the data will be inaccessible, but not necessarily mean data lost from the disk. You can run iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery to recover lost data from uninitialized disks with ease. Besides, you can also follow the tutorials above to fix the uninitialized disks on Mac, as well as initialize a disk on Mac without losing data.

If you have any question related to uninitialized disk on Mac, feel free to let us know.

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