How to fix/repair WD external hard drive not readable on Mac?

By Juno | Posted to Mac Data Recovery, updated on July 4th, 2019 |

Summary: If you receive the error message: "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" when plugging a WD external hard drive into your Mac, try 5 solutions to repair unreadable external hard drives in this article. Worry about losing data? You can recover files from this WD drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery at first.

External hard drives make it much easier to store, transfer, and back up files on Mac. That is the reason why WD external hard drives are preferred by so many users. However, it is possible that your WD hard drive becomes unreadable suddenly. Shocked when your computer can't read your external hard disk?

As a matter of fact, external hard drives becoming not readable on Mac is a general issue. But you don't have to worry now because this article will tell you why your WD exterbnal hard drive is not readable by your Mac, and then it will include 5 solutions to repair this unreadable external hard drive easily.

Table of contents
1. Why your external hard drive is not readable by Mac computers?
2. How to fix not readable WD external hard drive on Mac?

If you plug a WD external hard drive to your Mac but your computer is unable to read it, you may be facing the same disk problem as the following query from Apple Community:

I tried to connect my 1TB WD external hard drive to my MacBook Pro today. It makes a musical, three "note" sounds. But then my computer tells me: "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer". I am totally at a loss. I don't know why my drive becomes unreadable and I really need the files on the drive. Is there any method that can fix this not readable WD external hard drive? Can I get my lost files back?

The truth is, most people are noobs, and they use external hard drives just for simple storage and backup. As a result, when their hard disk suddenly won't work on Mac computers, they are left high and dry.

Then exactly, why your WD external hard disk suddenly becomes unreadable?

Why your external hard drive is not readable by Mac computers?

What causes external drive not readable by this computer? The reasons are varied.

Here are the main reasons:

File system corruption: Mac can't read your external hard drive because of the file system corruption. Most of the time, if your drive is infected with virus, or you ejected this drive without unmounting it, the partition table or directory structure of this drive could be damaged. And these internal file system errors would make your hard disk unreadable.

Component failure: This is one of the most common causes, especially when the unreadable HDD is producing some unusual sounds like ticking, buzzing, etc. If this is your case, you'd better send this disk to some disk repair services because your external hard drive probably has been physically damaged.

Also, factors like faulty connections, power failure, etc. could also be the troublemaker. But no matter what the reason is, this problem needs to be fixed as soon as possible for sure.

Unreadable WD external hard drive on Mac

How to fix/repair WD external hard drive not readable on Mac?

There are 5 solutions you can try to solve this 'disk not readable' issue, and you can check them one by one.

Solution 1: Reconnect this external hard drive to your Mac

First of all, you can try your luck by re-connecting. Simply unmount it and eject it safely. Then, plug this WD external hard drive into your computer and attempt to access it again. If this error still pops up, you could move on to the next method.

Solution 2: Check if your USB drive is supplied with enough power

Lack of power could be the cause that your Mac won't read this drive. Therefore, you can check this power information and then fix your disk problem possibly.

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo at the upper left of your desktop.

Step 2: Choose About This Mac and select System Report.

Step 3: Find and select USB in the left sidebar, then your USB devices will be listed in the right.

Step 4: Select your WD external hard drive and go through its information.

Step 5: You will find the Current Available (mA) and Current Required (mA) columns. You can do your math and see if your disk drive is lack of power. If so, you can eject some unnecessary devices so that this WD drive can have enough power supply.

WD external hard drive in Mac system information

Solution 3: Update your USB driver

Still can't access this drive? Well, if your disk is connected through USB port instead of Thunderbolt, then you can check whether your USB driver is outdated or not.

To check if any updates are available, please do the following:

Step 1: Click on the Apple in the upper left corner of the screen

Step 2: Select App store....

Step 3: Any software or macOS updates available will be listed here, and you are able to download them. Or else, you will be told your software is up to date.

driver update on Mac

Solution 4: Repair WD external hard drive not readable with Disk Utility

However, if none of those options has worked and your WD external drive still is not readable by your Mac, then this disk could have some disk errors that need to be repaired. Fortunately, the Mac built-in disk repair tool, Disk Utility can help you out.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Click Launchpad at the dock of your Mac and go to Other.

Step 2: Find and open Disk Utility.

Step 3: Choose the unreadable WD external drive on the left sidebar.

Step 4: Click First Aid in the top center and then click Run to repair this disk.

First Aid WD external hard drive on Mac

But if the external hard drive is greyed out in Disk Utility, you need to move to the next solution.

Solution 5: Recover data and reformat the WD external hard drive

If First Aid is unable to repair this disk, the file system of your drive could be seriously damaged or even corrupted. In this case, you can only reformat the drive with a new file system.

Tips: You should not erase this disk immediately if you have important files on this drive, because reformatting will delete data on this drive and you will lose your files consequently. So, please make sure that you have a copy of data backup. If you didn't make any backup before, then you can recover these files with a reliable data recovery tool.

If you don't worry about data loss and just want to repair this external drive, you can move forward to Step 2 in this part.

How to recover data from unreadable WD external hard drives?

There is a large amount of data recovery software available online, so you can select a professional and good-quality utility to have a try. Here iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is used as an example.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is free data recovery software that can recover data from unreadable external hard drives. It can recover files from external hard drives of WD, Seagate, Toshiba, etc. Moreover, this data recovery program can recover data from unrecognized external hard drives and recover data from corrupted/formatted/unmountable external hard drives. If files like photos are deleted from SD cards, USB flash drives, memory cards, etc. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can also be a helper. You can use this Mac data recovery on macOS 10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Step 1: Recover data from unreadable external hard drives with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

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

2. Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Unreadable WD external hard drive data recovery software

3. Select the not readable WD external hard drive and click "Next" button to scan all lost data.

4. Preview the searching results, choose files we need, and click "Recover" to restore files.

5. Have a check to ensure we have got all lost data back.

Step 2: Reformat the unreadable WD external hard drive

After successfully recovered all lost data, you can fix not readable WD external hard drive by formatting. The operation below is about how to reformat an external hard drive on a Mac computer.

  1. Open Finder and click Go at the left top of your desktop, then go to Utilities.
  2. Find Disk Utility and open it.
  3. Click the icon of not readable WD external hard drive on the left part of the window.
  4. Click Erase on the top of the Disk Utility window.
  5. Complete the related information (name, format, scheme), then click the Erase button.

Conclusion:

Hope this article can help you to fix the 'disk is not readable' issue without losing any file. If you can't repair this disk with the solutions above, it's better to recover data from this unreadable external hard drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, and then send it to a local repair store for good.

Juno

Juno is a technical expert @iBoysoft. She has over 5-year experience in data recovery/repair technology. She loves to write data recovery tips and tutorials.

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