May 26, 2024

Having trouble with your Mac external hard drive not showing up? Let’s explore some potential fixes for this frustrating issue.

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Checking Connections and Power Supply

To start troubleshooting why your Mac external hard drive is not showing up, the first step is to check the connections. Make sure the USB cable is securely plugged into both the hard drive and your Mac. If you are using a power supply for the hard drive, ensure that it is also properly connected and receiving power.

Next, verify that the power supply is functioning correctly. Try using a different power outlet or USB port to rule out any issues with the power source. If the hard drive has an indicator light, check to see if it is illuminated when plugged in.

If the connections and power supply are all in order, you may need to delve deeper into the issue by looking at the system settings on your Mac. Open Finder and navigate to the Disk Utility. Here, you can see if the external hard drive is recognized by your Mac and if there are any errors that need to be fixed.

Adjusting Finder and System Preferences

Next, navigate to your System Preferences and select Security & Privacy. Under the Privacy tab, click on Full Disk Access and make sure that the checkbox next to Finder is ticked. This will allow Finder to access your external hard drive.

If your external hard drive is still not showing up, you may need to check the Format of the drive. Macs typically work best with drives formatted in Mac OS Extended or APFS. You can use the Disk Utility application to reformat the drive if needed.

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Additionally, check the USB cable and port to ensure they are functioning properly. Try connecting the drive to a different port or using a different cable to see if that resolves the issue.

Using Disk Utility and Running First Aid

In Disk Utility, locate your external hard drive on the left-hand side. Click on it and then click on the “First Aid” tab. Click on the “Run” button to start the First Aid process. This will check and repair any errors on your external hard drive.

After the First Aid process is complete, eject your external hard drive and reconnect it to your Mac. Check if it is now showing up on your desktop or in Finder. If it still doesn’t show up, try restarting your Mac and repeating the process.

If your external hard drive is still not showing up after trying these steps, there may be a hardware issue with the drive itself. In this case, you may need to contact the manufacturer for further assistance or consider taking it to a professional for repair.

Using Disk Utility and running First Aid can help resolve common issues with external hard drives not showing up on your Mac.

Formatting and Compatibility Checks

Formatting Check Compatibility Check
Ensure the external hard drive is formatted correctly for Mac OS, such as using HFS+ or APFS. Check if the external hard drive is compatible with your Mac’s operating system version.
Use Disk Utility to format the external hard drive to the correct file system. Verify if the external hard drive is recognized by the Mac system profiler.
Backup any important data on the external hard drive before formatting. Try connecting the external hard drive to a different Mac or computer to see if it is detected.

Resetting NVRAM and Booting in Safe Mode

To reset the NVRAM on your Mac, start by shutting down your computer. Next, turn it back on and immediately hold down Command + Option + P + R until you hear the startup sound for the second time. This will reset the NVRAM settings, which can sometimes resolve issues with external hard drives not showing up on your Mac.

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If resetting the NVRAM doesn’t fix the issue, you can try booting your Mac in Safe Mode. To do this, restart your computer and hold down the Shift key until you see the Apple logo. Safe Mode disables certain software and drivers that could be causing the problem with your external hard drive.

In Safe Mode, check if your external hard drive is now showing up on your Mac. If it does, there may be a conflicting software or driver causing the issue. You can then restart your Mac to exit Safe Mode and troubleshoot further.

By resetting the NVRAM and booting in Safe Mode, you can potentially fix the problem of your Mac not recognizing your external hard drive. If these steps don’t work, you may need to consider other troubleshooting methods or seek professional help.

Recovering Data from Non-Responsive Drives

  • Check for physical damage:
    • Inspect the external hard drive for any physical damage such as cracks or broken parts.
    • If there is physical damage, consider seeking professional help or data recovery services.
  • Change USB ports or cables:
    • Try connecting the external hard drive to a different USB port on your Mac.
    • If that doesn’t work, try using a different USB cable to connect the drive.
  • Use Disk Utility:
    • Open Disk Utility by going to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
    • Select the non-responsive drive from the list on the left side of the window.
    • Click on the “First Aid” option to repair any errors on the drive.
  • Try data recovery software:
    • Download and install a reputable data recovery software on your Mac.
    • Follow the software’s instructions to scan the non-responsive drive for lost files.
    • Recover any important data found during the scan.

Troubleshooting Hardware and Connection Failures

If your Mac external hard drive is not showing up, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to try and resolve the issue.

First, check the connections between your external hard drive and your Mac. Make sure the USB or Thunderbolt cable is securely plugged in on both ends.

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If the connections are secure and the external hard drive is still not showing up, try restarting your Mac. Sometimes a simple restart can resolve connectivity issues.

If restarting doesn’t work, try connecting the external hard drive to a different USB port on your Mac. It’s possible that the port you were using is faulty.

You can also try connecting the external hard drive to a different Mac or PC to see if it shows up there. This can help determine if the issue is with the external hard drive itself or with your Mac.

If none of these steps work, there may be an issue with the external hard drive itself. In this case, you may need to contact the manufacturer for further assistance or consider getting a replacement.

F.A.Qs

Why doesn’t my hard drive show up anymore?

Your hard drive may not be showing up due to a connection issue, file system error, drive letter conflict, outdated driver, or detection errors. It is important to troubleshoot these possibilities to resolve the issue.

How do I get my hard drive back on my Mac?

To get your hard drive back on your Mac, you can use the Disk Utility app. Simply select the volume you want to restore and click the Restore button. Choose the volume you want to copy, click Restore, and then Done.

Why is my SSD suddenly not detected on my Mac?

Your SSD may not be detected on your Mac due to loose or damaged connecting wires, or an incompatible SATA to USB 3.0 adapter.

Why can’t my Mac find my disk?

Your Mac may not be able to find your disk because it may not be connected properly. Make sure the disk is connected to a power source, turned on, and properly connected to your computer. If you are using a USB disk, try disconnecting and reconnecting it. If you receive an alert message indicating that a disk is missing or has failed, you may need to use First Aid to repair the disk.

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