Best Ways to Free Recover Failed Mac Hard Drive Data

Untitled Document

Summary: In this post, we’ll share different methods to free recover your troubled Mac hard drive and its stored data. We’ll discuss how to:

1. Repair Mac Hard Drive by Using First Aid in Disk Utility
2. Repair Mac Hard Drive by Using FSCK in Single User Mode
3. Recover Mac Hard Drive Data by Using Free Software
4. Retrieve Mac Hard Drive Data by Using Recovery Drive
5. Avail the Best Hard Drive Recovery Service for Mac

Download the free Mac data recovery software to recover up to 1 GB of your hard drive data.


Mac storage drive, be it a hard drive or a solid-state drive (SSD), can fail or won’t load macOS due to file system corruption, bad sectors, or drive component failure due to aging. In such cases, you need to employ different troubleshooting methods to revive your failed or failing Mac storage drive. The next sections explain various ways to free recover your Mac hard drive and its stored data in your MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini.

1. Repair Mac Hard Drive by Using First Aid in Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a free macOS application that can help you resolve Mac hard drive problems. When your startup disk is corrupt, your Mac won’t boot. In that case, you need to launch Disk Utility in macOS Recovery mode and repair the disk. Steps are as follows:

Step 1: Power on your Mac and immediately press and hold Command + R keys. Release the keys when the Apple logo appears. Your Mac boots into macOS Recovery mode.


Step 2: From the macOS Utilities window, click Disk Utility and then click Continue. The Disk Utility window will appear.


Step 3: From the left pane of Disk Utility, select Macintosh HD, the startup disk. Click the First Aid tab from the top pane, then click Run.

Step 4: If Disk Utility repaired your Mac startup disk, restart your Mac and boot into Desktop normally. If Disk Utility fails, try the next troubleshooting method.

One limitation of Disk Utility is that it can’t repair a corrupt partition map. To repair the partition map on a startup disk, you need to erase the Mac storage drive with a new partition scheme. But erasing the drive without backing it up will result in data loss.

2. Repair Mac Hard Drive by Using FSCK in Single User Mode

Single User mode in macOS can be of great help to fix startup disk issues. When your Mac doesn’t boot, use the file system consistency check (fsck) command in Single User mode to repair the startup drive. Follow the given steps:

Step 1: Power on your Mac, then press and hold Command +S keys. Release the keys when some text appears on a black background. Your Mac will load the Single User mode.


Step 2: In the command prompt, type the command /sbin/fsck – fy, then press Return. If Macintosh HD is healthy, it will display the message: “The Volume (name) appears to be OK.” Restart your Mac normally.



Step 3: If fsck repaired the damaged hard drive, it shows the message: “File System Was Modified”. Re-run the above fsck command till you get the OK message. Restart Mac normally.


The fsck command quickly repairs disk errors in Mac storage drive. But it may or may not fix the corrupt startup drive entirely. If the corruption is beyond the built-in repair capabilities of macOS, then try to retrieve Mac data by using target disk mode.

3. Recover Mac Hard Drive Data by Using Free Software

When your failed Mac hard drive is mounted on another working Mac by using Target Disk Mode, use Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac to scan and recover your lost, deleted, or inaccessible data from the hard drive. Steps are as follows:

Step 1) Download and install Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac on your iMac, Mac mini, or MacBook Pro/Air.


Step 2) Launch the software. From the “Select What To Recover” screen, customize your scanby clicking the respective toggle switch, then click Next.


Step 3) From the “Select Location” screen, select Macintosh HD the startup disk. Click the Deep Scan toggle switch to turn in on, then click Scan. Wait till the scan finishes.


Step 4) Click a tab of your choice, expand the tree node from the left pane, and access the scanned files from the right. Select all the required files, then click Recover.


Step 5) On the dialog window, click Browse to specify an external hard drive as the save destination (to avoid data overwriting on scan drive), then click Save.

Step 6) Let the software complete the recovery process. Navigate to the save location to view your recovered files and folders.

Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac allows you to free scan, free preview, and free recover up to 1 GB of data on Mac. To recover data without any limit, activate the software. Besides, the software has a 30-days money-back guarantee, so activate with full confidence.

4. Retrieve Mac Hard Drive Data by Using Recovery Drive

When your Mac doesn’t boot even after fixing the drive, use a bootable Mac data recovery software to recover your lost data from the failed hard drive. Steps are as follows:

Note: You need to activate Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac to the professional or higher edition to unlock the bootable data recovery feature.

Step 1: Launch the Stellar Data Recovery Professional software on a working MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini. Plug-in an external USB flash drive of a minimum of 8 GB to create a recovery drive.

Step 2: From the software’s home screen, click the Click here link present at the bottom-left corner or go to More Tools > Create Recovery Drive.

Step 3: From the dialogue window, select the USB flash drive and then click the Create Recovery Drive button. Click OK on the confirmation message box. Let the tool create a recovery drive.

Warning: The drive will be formatted in the recovery drive creation process. So, make sure the flash drive is empty or back up the drive before clicking OK.

Step 4: Plug-in the USB recovery drive to the non-booting Mac. Power on the Mac, then press-hold the Option key. Release the key once the Startup Manager opens. Select the Recovery Drive.

Step 5: From the macOS Utilities window, select Stellar Data Recovery. When it opens, customize the scan, then click Next. Select Macintosh HD for data recovery then toggle on Deep Scan.

Note: For macOS Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave you need to load Stellar Data Recovery extension to scan the startup drive.

Step 6: After the scan, preview all the recoverable files from Macintosh HD. Click Recover and specify another external hard drive as a save destination. Then, click Save.

Step 7: Once data recovery is performed, erase Macintosh HD by using Disk Utility in macOS Recovery mode. If the failed hard drive can’t be fixed, replace the drive with a new one, preferably an SSD.

Alternatively, you can transform the failed Mac storage drive into an external one then recover data by using a healthy Mac. In case you don’t have a working Mac, you can use a Windows PC to recover data from a Mac-based hard drive.

5. Avail the Best Hard Drive Recovery Service for Mac

If your Mac storage drive is affected by a physical failure and you don’t want to lose its stored data, then avail the best data recovery service. Stellar Data Recovery Service offers the best in class data recovery with its class 100 cleanroom and advanced data recovery tools to salvage data from a failed hard drive or SSD. Get the Mac hard drive recovery service in case of:

  • Clicking, ticking, or buzzing sound
  • Scratched platter
  • Electronic equipment damage
  • Burnt storage medium
  • A disaster like a flood, fire, etc.

5. Conclusion

We hope the post helped you to free recover failed Mac storage drive using the troubleshooting ways described in detail here. As a best practice, do the following:

  • Back up your Mac by using Time Machine
  • Use Disk Utility, FSCK, or Target Disk mode whenever required
  • Replace failed Mac hard drive with SSD and restore Mac from backup
  • Use Stellar Data Recovery for Mac for your troubled hard drive. Compare all editions.
  • Keep a USB recovery drive ready to salvage a non-booting Mac

Also Read:
Top 10 Free Mac Data Recovery Software
2. How to Recover Data from Crashed Mac Hard Drive

  1. Raghavendra Prasad August 30, 2020
    • Vishal August 31, 2020
  2. Steve June 9, 2020
    • Vishal June 10, 2020
      • Steve June 28, 2020
  3. Thomas February 9, 2020
    • Vishal February 9, 2020
  4. paul David bloom January 19, 2020
    • paul David bloom January 19, 2020
  5. paul David bloom January 19, 2020
    • Vishal January 20, 2020
  6. Sunny December 17, 2019
    • Vishal December 18, 2019
  7. steve November 6, 2019
    • Vishal November 6, 2019
  8. John Purlia May 20, 2019
    • Vishal May 22, 2019
  9. Judy Jackson January 24, 2019
    • Vishal January 25, 2019
  10. Mark January 15, 2019
    • Vishal January 15, 2019
      • Mark January 16, 2019
      • Vishal January 16, 2019
  11. Erika January 11, 2019
    • Vishal January 11, 2019
  12. John McCarley December 21, 2018
    • Vishal December 21, 2018
  13. Joan Hanes December 21, 2018
  14. Pradeep October 26, 2018
    • Vishal October 30, 2018
  15. James Medina August 30, 2018
    • Vishal August 31, 2018
  16. Jim Issac July 8, 2018
    • Vishal July 9, 2018
  17. Humberto May 17, 2018
    • Vishal May 21, 2018
  18. Emanuel Paul April 25, 2018
    • Vishal April 26, 2018
  19. Silvia Johns March 26, 2018
    • Vishal March 29, 2018
  20. Anna Roybal March 14, 2018
    • Vishal March 15, 2018
  21. Gebriel December 22, 2017
    • Shailendra Kumar December 29, 2017
  22. Rudra Purusottam November 29, 2017
    • Vishal November 30, 2017
  23. Rajah October 14, 2017
    • Vishal October 23, 2017
  24. Mago July 6, 2017
    • Vishal July 6, 2017
  25. Mago July 5, 2017
    • Vishal July 5, 2017
  26. Mago July 3, 2017
    • Vishal July 4, 2017
      • Mago July 4, 2017
      • Vishal July 4, 2017
      • Mago July 4, 2017
      • Vishal July 4, 2017
  27. Laurie Robbins June 7, 2017
  28. violet June 4, 2017
  29. Jennie Bryan May 18, 2017
    • Vishal May 18, 2017
  30. Clarice Webster May 17, 2017
    • Vishal May 17, 2017
  31. George Salcedo March 23, 2017
    • Vishal March 24, 2017
  32. Shane March 22, 2017
    • Vishal March 22, 2017
  33. Caroline February 23, 2017
    • Vishal February 23, 2017
  34. Ann February 3, 2017
    • Vishal February 3, 2017
  35. Vishal January 30, 2017
  36. Timothy Perryman January 30, 2017
  37. Seth December 21, 2016
    • Vishal December 22, 2016
  38. Cary November 5, 2016
    • Vishal November 7, 2016
  39. Simon August 9, 2016
    • Vishal August 12, 2016
  40. Shatrick chand July 27, 2016
    • Vishal August 3, 2016
  41. Joe July 14, 2016
  42. Chad L. Basler June 20, 2016
    • Vishal June 21, 2016
  43. Evelia B. Mathewson June 8, 2016
    • Vishal June 8, 2016

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.