Home > Questions

External hard drive contents disappear, what should I do?

The contents of two external drives connected to my 27" iMac retina (late 2014) seem to disappear a few hours after I switch the machine on. The only way for me to access the contents of the drives again is to restart the iMac. I'm running Mojave 10.14.6. I have checked both drives in Disk Utility and there appear to be no issues. One of the drives is only a few months old. Any thoughts would be most welcome - thank you!

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Ciki Liu

Answered on Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Are you using any screen savers? They can be the culprits. What's more, some drive manufacturer utilities such as Western Digital's external drive utilities can cause your external hard drive not working properly on Mac. Simply uninstall these programs to fix the files disappearing from external hard drive issue. If they're not helping, you can recover data from it by using professional data recovery tool, and format the drive.

Option 1. Uninstall screen saver and search for missing files in your /Library folder.

Step 1. Uninstall intense screen saver such as Flurry. These apps can result in missing files from the external hard drive.

Step 2. Restart your computer after uninstalling programs on Mac.

Step 3. Launch Finder. Click on Go from the top menu bar. Choose Go to Folder from the drop-down list.

Step 4. Enter the folder path /Library and hit on Go.

In the /Library folder, check if you can find the files disappearing from your external hard drive.

Option 2. Uninstall drive manufacturer utilities.

Although the native drive manufacturer utilities such as WD SmartWare can be a handy tool to manage your external HDDs, they can cause conflicts with normal macOS functionality. Therefore, if you are using any of these tools, uninstall them on your Mac.

Option 3. Recover data from faulty external hard drive and format it.

If by any case your external hard drive is not showing up files still, you can recover data from the external hard drive by using powerful Mac data recovery tools such as iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac. After that, format the drive to have a fresh start.

Step 1. Download iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to restore lost files from your external hard drive. This advanced Mac data recovery tool can scan and recover every trace of your lost files.

Step 2. Launch Disk Utility from Launchpad > Other. 

Step 3. Select your external HDD and click on the Erase button in the top menu.

Step 4. Fill in the disk name, format, and keep the scheme to finish the erase procedure.

Now your drive should work as usual. 

People Also Ask

Read More Questions

Read More Advice From iBoysoft's Computer Experts

Disco rígido WD não é reconhecido pelo Mac

Solução para o WD hard drive não aparecer, funcionar, ser reconhecido no Mac

Tutorial para resolver o problema do WD hard drive não aparecer, funcionar ou ser reconhecido no Mac e recuperar dados.

Finder reagiert nicht auf dem Mac

Wie behebt man Mac Finder, der nicht reagiert auf Mac Sonoma/Ventura

Finder auf dem Mac reagiert nicht? Dieser Beitrag hilft bei der Behebung von Finder-Problemen, einschließlich Nicht-Arbeiten von Finder nach dem Upgrade auf macOS Sonoma, Abstürze von Finder und Einfrieren von Finder.

Arreglar Time Machine no pudo crear una instantánea local

Error 'Time Machine no pudo crear una instantánea local' [Solución]

¿No puedes hacer una copia de seguridad de tu Mac con Time Machine y recibes el error 'Time Machine no pudo crear una instantánea local para realizar la copia de seguridad'? Aprende dos formas probadas de resolver el problema.