Rescuing data from your corrupt USB drive on Mac® is essential if it contains your valuable documents, photos, videos, etc. whose backup copy you haven’t created. You can’t erase the corrupt USB drive directly with Disk Utility to fix the corruption issue unless you recover the inaccessible data from it. This blog shares several methods to rescue data from a corrupt USB drive on Mac.
A USB drive is a removable external storage device that connects to a Mac through a USB port of type A, B, or C. It can be an external flash drive, hard drive, or solid-state drive, which you can use it for storing and transferring data from different Macs, viz. iMac, MacBook, Mac mini, etc.
Sometimes, when you connect your USB drive to a Mac, the following things can happen:
macOS fails to recognize your USB drive in Finder
Finder displays the drive, but its files and folders are not visible
The USB drive has files with weird file names that do not open when accessed
macOS displays error messages while accessing the USB drive’s data
Disk Utility shows the connected USB drive in gray
The symptoms suggest that your USB drive is corrupt and can be due to the following reasons:
An issue with the USB driver that makes the storage drive unrecognizable
Improper ejection of the USB drive when a write operation is still on the process
Connection to a system infected with malware that may lead to corruption of files
Damage of drive’s file system due to sudden power outage or surge
For USB flash drive or SSD, wearing of NAND cells due to aging and usage
Methods to Rescue Data from a Corrupt USB Drive on Mac
Method 1: Update USB Driver
Connect the corrupt USB
drive to your Mac.
Visit the manufacturer
website of the external USB drive.
Go to the Support page then the Downloads page.
Select Mac compatible software.
Select the required driver
Click Download then install the USB driver.
Safe eject the external
Wait for 10 seconds then
reconnect the USB drive.
Reboot your Mac. The USB
drive may work normally.
Method 2: Use First Aid of Disk Utility
Press the Command + Spacebar keys to open Spotlight.
Type ‘disk utility’ and press the Return key to open Disk Utility.
From the View menu, select Show All Devices.
From the sidebar, select your corrupt USB drive.
Click the First Aid tab. A message box appears with the message, “Would you like to run First Aid on “USB Drive Name” First Aid will check the volume for errors. It will then repair the volume if necessary.”
Step 1) Download the *free version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac.
Step 2) Install and launch the utility to interact with its graphical user interface.
Step 3) Select the required file types that are present on the corrupt USB drive then click Next.
Step 4) Select the corrupt USB drive then toggle on DeepScan and click Scan.
Step 5) Preview the scanned files and select all those that are required then click Recover.
Step 6) Browse the location to save the recoverable files and folders then click Save.
*Free version of the Mac USB drive recovery software allows free scanning and file preview. To save the recoverable files to the desired location, you need to activate the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software.
Fix Corrupt USB Drive on Mac
Step 1: Once data from the corrupt USB drive is rescued by using the Stellar Data Recovery tool, open Disk Utility to erase the drive with APFS or HSF file system format and resolve drive corruption.
Step 2: Select the USB drive from the sidebar and then click the Erase tab.
Step 3: On the dialog window, provide a name, choose a format and partition map, and then click Erase
Step 4: When the USB drive’s erase process is over, quit DiskUtility.
Step 5: Copy the recovered file from the saved location to the USB drive.
The blog shared different symptoms and reasons for USB drive corruption on Mac. It also elaborated various troubleshooting methods to rescue data from the corrupt USB drive on Mac. In the first method, you try updating the USB driver from the manufacturer’s website. The update can fix USB driver issue and hopefully allow the USB drive’s content to be visible on Mac.
In the second method, you try verifying and repairing the corrupt USB drive for errors and bad sectors by using Disk Utility’s First Aid feature. This may result in data loss due to the deallocation of bad sectors. So, try backing up the drive by creating its clone then operate.
In the third and the best method, you run a Mac USB data recovery software to scan, preview, and recover inaccessible data from the corrupt USB drive. Once you rescue data, you can fix the corrupt USB drive on Mac by erasing it with a file system format.
When you successfully
rescue the lost data and fix the corrupt USB drive on Mac, your next plan of
action would be to develop a strict backup strategy and follow it as per
schedule. With this, you would not have to worry about losing data in the future! A little step can go a long way!
Vishal is a data recovery expert @Stellar. He addresses data loss scenarios on a Mac. He intends to help people solve their macOS problems. Besides, Vishal prefers to read autobiographies, and his personal favorite is of Steve Jobs.