One of the most frustrating things to have to deal with is a sudden loss of important documents and data from your external hard drive. And the feeling is even worse when you realize that in all likelihood, it is because your hard drive is corrupt. And whatever the reason is in such situations, it’s easy to feel hopeless and think of throwing it away.
However, there is a chance that you can still recover the failed hard drive and save yourself some money. So, we’re going to quickly dive into what it means to have a corrupted hard drive, how to fix the problem, and also how you can prevent it from happening again.
Why is my external hard drive corrupted?
A corrupted hard drive is different from a damaged hard drive that has been dropped or broken because the problem with these drives is that they have software errors. These errors will usually cause it to not connect to your computer or even be recognized by your macOS system. This means that you won't be able to read/write any files stored in it.
However, keep in mind that this type of corruption is also possible in internal hard drives and other external peripherals. One of the most common causes of file corruption is an interrupted data transfer that can lead to a file system error. This often happens because you ended up either unplugging the device in the middle of a file transfer. Or the files were too large and took too long to be copied, which lead to an abnormality in your hard drive’s directory.
In this respect, you should utilize a usb c multiport hub to carry out any large data transfers. These accessories will let you expand your Mac’s connectivity ports, allowing you to plug in multiple external peripherals at once. They also usually offer fast data transfer speeds that will ensure the risk of corruption is slim, keeping your hard drive and Mac safe from unnecessary risk.
However, if your external hard drive is corrupted, you will have to fix it using one of two ways. By formatting or without formatting.
How To Fix It without formatting
Most people would prefer to avoid formatting their hard drives because it would mean deleting everything on your hard drive to fix the problem. And there are usually two ways you can go about this method.
- Is The Connection Secure?
Check to make sure that your USB connection is working properly. In some cases, you may think that your hard drive is corrupt when it could be that it is not a secure connection. It could be the device isn’t plugged incorrectly or maybe the USB port of your Mac is not working properly. Either way, you should make sure that is not the problem by restarting your Mac or using another USB port or adapter.
Alternatively, the usb hub that you are using may be faulty, in which case you can buy a new surface pro hub from Lention for better reliability. This accessory features two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI port, two SD/microSD card slots, and offers integrated charging of up to 60W for any device. It is also powerful and universally compatible enough to work with a variety of devices. This makes it a dependable choice for both home or work use. Plus, it is also lightweight enough for travel use, if you find yourself moving around a lot.
- Use First Aid
Another method that you can try to fix the hard drive is using the First Aid recovery tool. This is a small utility tool built into every Mac and allows you to identify and repair any minor disk errors. In this case, you can use it to fix your corrupted external hard drive. You can find it by heading to Launchpad > Disk Utility > Select External Hard Drive > First Aid > Run. If that does not work, then the hard drive is probably too corrupted to be fixed using this method.
How To Fix It by Formatting
If your hard drive is too corrupted, performing a format is the final solution. It will remove all the errors and write a whole new file system. Plus, it will also erase all the files stored inside. You can perform the format process by heading to Launchpad > Disk Utility > Select External Hard Drive > Erase. From there, you will need to give the hard drive a name. Then select ExFAT as the Format > GUIDE as the Scheme > Erase.
Once the formatting process has been successfully completed, make sure that you eject it safely from your Mac before reconnecting it. You should be able to see that the hard drive is readable now.
How to prevent corruption?
Although disk corruption can happen to almost anyone, there are still several precautionary measures that you can take to prevent the problem from happening again anytime soon. The main one that we would suggest is getting yourself a dependable usb hub to facilitate fast transfers and connections between your mac and other external devices. This will significantly reduce the risk of possible corruption shortly.
And what we suggest that you use is a usb c docking station dual monitor, so if you are in the market for one, go check out Lention’s (D92) Docking Station. This universally compatible docking station will expand your Mac’s ports and allow you to safely connect a whole host of peripherals without fear or risk of accidental data corruption. It features two ports for both microphone and audio input and a dual 4K HDMI and DisplayPort output that facilitates both mirror and extend mode. Plus, it also has 6 high-speed USB 3.0 ports and 1 Gigabit Ethernet port for a fast wired internet connection, as a bonus.
We also recommend that you always safely eject your hard drives when you are not using them. You should also avoid disconnecting them in the middle of a file transfer. Moreover, take care not to drop the hard drive or expose it to water or any dusty environments.