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    Mac Data Recovery

    MacOS Sonoma Making exFAT External Drives Inaccessible

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      Summary: MacOS Sonoma is causing problems with exFAT formatted external storage drives resulting in inaccessible data, non-mounting drives, and more. This post will discuss the possible workarounds to recover data from an inaccessible external storage drive on Mac. In case you have an inaccessible Mac hard drive, try Stellar Data Recovery Professional Mac to retrieve files.

      An all-new gaming mode, desktop widgets, enhanced video conferencing options, and more make Apple’s latest macOS Sonoma the most sought-after OS among Mac users. Updating to macOS Sonoma is also quite undemanding. However, recently, many users have been facing an access-related error after upgrading to macOS Sonoma, where their exFAT-formatted external drives become inaccessible or unstable once they are connected to the new OS.

      The issue is causing widespread panic among Mac users as they flock to various Apple forums for answers. While Apple has yet to release a statement addressing this critical issue, many users are trying to figure out the cause and find a workable solution to access their exFAT external drives.

      Inaccessible exFAT drives: How did we get here?

      In most cases, external drives, including flash drives are formatted by exFAT. Microsoft introduced the exFAT file system was introduced by in 2006 as a dedicated file system for flash-based storage devices, such as USB flash drives and memory cards. Although macOS has always supported the exFAT file system, the recently launched macOS Sonoma has made things tricky for external storage media users.

      Incompatibility Issue

      Many users are complaining about their SSDs getting corrupted due to the incompatibility between macOS Sonoma and the exFAT file system. Apple’s official community forum has an ongoing thread on the same issue. The main concern of the users is the inclusion of the exFAT file system in the “user-space”an area excluded from the macOS kernel.

      However, as mentioned above, a possible reason behind macOS Sonoma conflicting with ex-fat formatted external disks could be found in the macOS Sonoma release notes.

      According to the release notes –

      “The implementations of the exfat and msdos file systems on macOS have changed; these file systems are now provided by services running in user-space instead of by kernel extensions. If the application has explicit checks or support for either the exfat or msdos file systems, validate the applications with those file systems and report any issues. (110421802).”

      The “user-space” in macOS includes everything that is not a part of macOS’s kernel. If this is the reason why exFAT storage drives are not accessible on Mac devices running macOS Sonoma, it will naturally result in limited file usage due to limited privileges.

      Is there a way to recover data from an inaccessible exFAT drives on Mac?

      The best way to access an exFAT formatted external hard drive is via a Windows PC. However, if you don’t have a Windows PC for accessing files on an exFAT formatted external hard drive or don’t want to downgrade to a previous macOS, take help of a professional Mac file recovery software.

      A professional Mac data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is perfect for recovering lost, deleted, or inaccessible files from a Mac or supported external storage drives. Be it accidental deletion, formatting, or a crashed Mac system, this software can help you recover lost data from a wide range of scenarios.

      Using an incompatible external storage media can make its data inaccessible. If the drive is formatted to a non-Apple compatible file system like exFAT, you can use Stellar Data Recovery Professional to recover files.

      What’s Next?

      The Cupertino tech giant is yet to release an official statement and a possible fix for the ongoing issue. As a workaround, users can use a Windows PC to access their files on an exFAT-formatted drive or downgrade to macOS Ventura for the time-being.

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      About The Author

      Keshav Katyal

      A passionate writer, driven by his interest in everything tech, Keshav Katyal has always been captivated by the latest gadgets since childhood. His interest in gadgets grew when he got his first gaming console, the Nintendo Game Boy Advanced. Hours and days of tinkering with gadgets encouraged the inner geek in him who now loves writing about the latest technologies.

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