How to fix 'the disk you inserted is not readable by this computer' on Mac?

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery on November 6th, 2017 |

I have a 1 TB Seagate external hard drive with many working files and family pictures in. My Mac computer recognizes it but can't access it and comes out with a tip: 'The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer'. I have tried several recovery programs, but none of them is helpful. Initializing it is my last choice but I do not want to for the result of losing everything on it. How can I recover data from my unreadable external hard drive?

'The disk is not readable' error is one of the most common Mac errors that happens to external hard drives, SD memory cards, USB flash drives and other storage devices. When it happens, you can see your drive in Disk Utility but can't access it, which may let you worry about data loss. This article will provide you with the reasons and solutions to 'The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer' error on macOS Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/Sierra 10.12.

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

How to fix 'The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer' error?

Follow the three steps as below to fix "The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer" on macOS High Sierra/Mojave.

Step 1: Recover data from unreadable drive

If you have important files on the unreadable drive, the first thing should be recovering data from the unreadable drive with reliable data recovery software, like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery. If you no important data or have a backup of of it, then go to step 2.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is free Mac data recovery software, which can recover data from unreadable hard drives with ease. With iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, lost or deleted documents, photos, videos, emails or music files can be recovered. It also supports recovering data lost from unmountable hard drives, formatted hard drives, unreadable flash drives, and recovering deleted files even from emptied Mac Trash.

1. Download and install iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on Mac.

2. Insert your USB drive/external hard drive/SD card in Mac and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Recover data from unreadable drive Mac

3. Select the unreadable drive and click "Next". The program starts to scan to find previous files on the unreadable drive.

4. After previewing the scanning results, choose files you want, click "Recover" and specify a different location to restore files.

5. Ensure all your needed files have been restored.

Step 2: Repair unreadable drive with Disk Utility

You can try to fix external drive not readable by this computer error with Disk Utility.

1. Launch Disk Utility.

2. Select the unreadable drive in the left side.

3. Select the 'First Aid' tab.

If Disk Utility tells you the disk is about to fail, back up your data and replace the disk. You can't repair the disk. Otherwise, continue to the next step.

4. Click Run.

If Disk Utility reports that the disk appears to be OK or has been repaired, you're done. Otherwise, you have to retrieve as much of your data as possible.

Repair unreadable drive with Disk Utility

Step 3: Fix 'The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer' error by reformatting

1. Launch Disk Utility.

2. Choose the unreadable drive from the left sidebar.

3. Click the erase tab on the top of the Window.

4. Enter the related info and click the 'Erase' button.

After format completes, the unreadable external drive will work again.

What causes 'The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer' error on Mac?

'The disk not readable' error often means the file directory is corrupted that the file system cannot recognize it. Corruption can happen for following reasons:
1. Virus infection/malware attack
2. Internal file system error
3. Sudden power outage
4. Improper eject
5. inappropriate operation
6. some physical damage

Katrina

Katrina is a data recovery expert @iBoysoft who loves to help readers solve various data recovery problems.

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