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Recover Data Lost after Ejecting Mac USB Hard Drive Cable Abruptly

Vishal  | Updated on February 9, 2021 | Mac hard drive recovery   | 2 Comments   | 4 min read

Summary: This blog explains in detail why you should remove your Mac external drive safely.

But, more importantly, it also shares a few methods to recover the drive and the data stored within, in case you’re facing such a situation due to abrupt drive ejection.

To recover your data from the external storage drive, free download the below tool:

Recover Data Lost after Ejecting Mac USB Hard Drive Cable Abruptly
External drive ejected abruptly?

The moment you’re done using your external storage drive on a Mac, it is important to ‘eject’ the drive safely before physically unplugging it from the Mac. Improper ejection might cause issues such as disk corruption, file system corruption, and partition loss, etc. All of these issues would result in data loss, aside from rendering the drive unusable until these issues are sorted out.

External Drive Safe Ejection on macOS

Why Eject Safely on Mac?

Safe drive ejection is a fundamental practice to prevent unwanted errors and potential data loss. Safe ejection of your external storage drive on Mac prevents:

  • Disk corruption: It occurs when macOS cannot finish writing data to the drive due to any hindrance to the write operations as a result of abrupt ejection, power failure, etc.
  • File system corruption: It takes place when the storage drive file system turns corrupt and unreadable due to driver failure, improper shutdown, etc.
  • Partition loss: It happens when the storage drive loses its partition due to deletion of partition, virus, abrupt unplugging of the storage drive, etc.
  • Data Loss: It occurs when the external storage drive turns corrupt, and all its stored data disappears due to no file system.
Disk not ejected properly error message

How to Eject a Drive Safely on Mac?

To eject your external storage drive safely on your Mac, perform any one the following:

  • Drag-and-drop the external storage drive icon from Desktop to Trash.
  • Open Finder from Dock and click the eject icon beside the external storage drive.
Press eject icon
  • Select the external storage drive and press the Command + E keys

Data Recovery from Corrupt External Storage Drive on Mac

Step 1: Recovering the inaccessible data

When an external storage drive turns corrupt, DO NOT ERASE it immediately to fix the drive corruption issue—unless you’ve recovered the lost data. Erasing the drive will result in permanent data loss. So, the first step should be to recover the underlying data from the drive.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional is an advanced DIY Mac hard recovery software that can help you retrieve lost data from a corrupt external storage drive.


To recover your missing data from the external storage drive, perform the following:

  • Select: Open the software and select the types of file you desire to recover. Click Next. Then, select the location of your external storage drive.
Mac-Data-Recovery - Select Files
Select the data types
  • Scan: Turn on Deep Scan then click Scan to perform rigorous scanning of the external storage drive. Preview the scanned items and select all those that are required.
Stellar Mac Data Recovery
Select the external drive
  • Recover: Click Recover then specify the location to save the recoverable files and click Save. After the tool recovers all the data, view them from the specified location.
Stellar Mac Data Recovery - Saving Files
Recover data

Whether it is drive corruption, file system corruption, partition loss, or data loss, the software salvages your lost data from any logical data loss scenarios. Also, owing to its intuitive user-interface and time-saving features, the software makes the recovery process a cakewalk.

Step 2: Erasing the storage drive after Data Recovery

Once you’ve performed the data recovery task, erase the drive with a new file system format. This formatting recreates accessible volume on the external storage medium.

To erase the external storage drive, do the following:

I. Open Disk Utility from Finder > Applications > Utilities.

II. Select the corrupt external storage drive from the sidebar then click the Erase tab.

III. Specify the Name, Format, and Scheme of the storage drive then click the Erase button.

Erase external drive

IV. Once the erase operation is complete, restore the recovered data to the formatted drive.

V. Safely eject the storage drive.


Ejecting an external storage drive is an easy process that can as be done in multiple ways. All it takes is about five seconds to follow the recommended procedure. Also, proper ejection ensures that the data stored on it is safe and you’re less likely to experience any other problems.

Abrupt unplugging of the external storage drive while it is in use may cause data corruption and even data loss. Therefore, always eject the external drive safely before unplugging from your Mac.

But, in the event of data loss due to improper and abrupt ejection, you can turn to Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to recover your lost data. Once the data recovery is through, you can erase the drive by using Disk Utility, and restore the recovered data on to it.

  1. Bryan Laney March 22, 2018
    • Vishal March 26, 2018

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