Recover lost FAT Partition Data from HFS External Drive

FAT is a widely used file system supported by Mac, Windows and other modern storage devices. Having FAT partition on your HFS formatted external drive can provide you with several benefits. But, the FAT file system can get corrupt or else deleted, resulting in data loss. This is a serious concern and must be addressed immediately, as the longer you wait the lesser the chances of full data recovery from the lost partition. Therefore, read the blog further as we have shared tips on how to successfully recover FAT partition on Mac external drive.

FAT and Ex-FAT File System on HFS External Drive

It is possible to have multiple file systems in one hard drive; you can apportion your 4 Terabyte external hard drive into 2 or more segments. The 2 Terabyte can be dedicated to HFS file system and the remaining 2 TB for FAT or Ex-FAT file system. This allows you to access data stored on the drive from the multiple operating systems. Thus, transferring files between the Windows and macOS is feasible. In order to recover files from an inaccessible FAT partition and to properly create multiple file systems within single hard drive, continue reading further.

Reasons behind Loss of Data and FAT Partitions

Several factors contribute to the loss of FAT partitions. Some of the most popular ones are briefed below:

  1. Catalogue File Corruption: Catalogue File may result in error whenever the user multitasks (as HFS file system is designed to write only one file to the file structure at a time). Other data may be waiting in queue to be written while one file clogs the system. This is a serious concern as damage to the file may result in the destruction of the entire file system and data loss can occur.
  2. File System Corruption: A file system is a directory for files; it stores all the information related to the location of the file. Any corruption in the FAT file system will result in you being unable to access the desired files. Error in the FAT system can occur if the process of changing the file system of partition is interrupted.
  3. Accidentally Formatting: This usually occurs when the user in an attempt to free storage space deletes FAT partitions without thoroughly verifying the content of the partition.
  4. Partitioning/Re-partitioning Errors: During the process of FAT partitioning/re-partitioning, there are some errors that may emerge like “an error occurred when updating bitmap”, “boot sector copy has not been found”, “error reading disk number into MBR”, etc. These errors prevent the partition from functioning normally and the drive may become inaccessible causing data loss.
  5. Power failure: While running a disk error checker application, a sudden power failure can damage the data on the partition.

Recover FAT Partition with Mac Data Recovery Software

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is a versatile software that supports almost all known file systems such as APFS, HFS, HFS+, FAT, Ex-FAT, and NTFS. With the help of this software, you can effectively recover the lost data in FAT partition from HFS external drive. Apart from FAT, you can also recover data from partitions with other file system like the popular NTFS.

Format and Setup FAT Partition after Successful Data Recovery

Once you have recovered the FAT based data using the Stellar Data Recovery for Mac, you need to format the external drive and re-partition to avoid wastage of storage spaces. Follow the below steps to successfully setup multiple file systems on a Mac external drive:

After you have properly connected the external drive to the Mac,

  • Go to the Utilities window, select Disk Utility, and click Continue
  • Select the external drive to erase
  • Go to Erase and format the entire drive
  • Again from Disk Utility, select the disk to partition and click Partition
  • Click (+) button below the “pie chart”. This will split the drive into two equal partitions. The new partition will be called ‘untitled’
  • Under partition information, select the ‘untitled’ partition and name it, choose a file system, and specify a size.
  • Click Apply

Note: It is absolutely crucial that you backup your data before attempting format or disk partitioning as you will lose all your data after a drive is formatted.

In Conclusion

It is common to have more than one file system on the Mac external hard drive. It provides the user with the advantage of file sharing between different OS. However, due to the above-mentioned reasons, data on a FAT file system may get corrupt or else the FAT partition becomes inaccessible. Therefore, we have recommended a reliable software to effectively recover data from your lost FAT partition. Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software helps you to recover photos, videos, audios, documents, and much more in an efficient and effective manner. It’s easy to use interface makes data recovery process a breeze.

  1. Lillian Glover July 18, 2018
    • Arpana July 18, 2018
  2. Jean Maldonado June 18, 2018
    • Arpana June 19, 2018
  3. Damien C. Collier June 5, 2018
    • Arpana June 6, 2018

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