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Why Can't Disk Utility Repair A Hard Drive While Windows Can?

Hi, Sometimes, my external hard drive will accidentally disconnect, and I have to repair it to start it working again. Using First Aid through Disk Utility on my Mac doesn't fix it at all, but I can repair it with no issue if I try to do it on a Windows computer. This happens without fail, every single time I've had this problem. Does anyone know why this might be happening? I am using a Mid-2012 Macbook Pro, running macOS High Sierra. The hard drive is 2TB, and is in exFAT format. My uneducated hunch is that it being in exFAT format is what's causing the issue, but if anyone else has any ideas, I'd appreciate them.

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Vain Rowe

Vain Rowe

Answered on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The exFAT format is compatible with different computer operating systems but it's not Apple Disk Utility's liking. That's the possible reason causing the Disk Utility can't repair this hard drive on your Mac trouble. You can try to fix the trouble by repairing the hard drive in Single User Mode or a hard drive reformatting. Since you need to use it on multiple operating systems, the reformatting option is less recommended.

How to fix Disk Utility can't repair this disk on Mac by launching Single User Mode:

1. Restart your Mac and, before the Apple logo appears, hold down the Command + S keys to boot into Mac Single User Mode.

2. Type in:

/sbin/fsck -fy

3. If you see "File system was modified", then re-type in the command above again until you see "The volume _ appears to be OK".

4. To restart your Mac, type in:


If this method fails to repair your drive on Mac, you'd better repair your drive on a Windows device instead.


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