3 Ways to Repair Corrupt Mac Solid-State Drive

Summary: Is your APFS or HFS+ formatted internal or external Mac solid-state drive corrupt? So, you aren’t able to boot your Mac from the logically damaged SSD. Or, you can’t access the data stored on the corrupt external SSD. Don’t worry! Read this blog to learn three different ways to repair a corrupt Mac SSD on Big Sur 11 or earlier macOS versions. Also, download the trial copy of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on a working MacBook, Mac mini, or iMac to scan and retrieve files from a corrupt SSD.

3 Ways to Repair Corrupt Mac Solid-State Drive

Table of Contents

  1. SSD Corruption Example
  2. Common Reasons for SSD Corruption
  3. Mac SSD Repair Action
  4. Don’t Format your SSD
  5. SSD Data Recovery on Mac
  6. Format SSD on Mac

SSD Corruption Example

“Lately, my MacBook Pro takes a long time to save files on the internal SSD. Sometimes, the system crashes during boot, at times, the SSD throws a read-only error, and I need to restart my Mac often. What’s the reason for the issue, and how can I repair my APFS formatted internal SSD? Please advise to resolve the issue ASAP!”

The above scenario indicates that you’ve encountered corruption in your Mac solid-state drive. The reasons for SSD corruption could be logical or hardware-related.

Common Reasons for SSD Corruption

  • Improper formatting of SSD
  • Partial reinstallation of macOS
  • Unsafe ejection of the external SSD
  • Sudden power outage or power surge
  • Corruption or deletion of APFS container
  • Abnormal Mac shutdown
  • Hardware failure in SSD

Next, we’ll discuss the three different ways to repair a corrupt APFS or HFS+ solid-state drive.

Mac SSD Repair Action

A. Repair Corrupt Mac SSD Using Disk Utility

Fixing minor corruption in your APFS or HFS+ formatted SSD can be quickly done through Disk Utility. The utility provides a ‘First Aid’ option that checks SSD for file system corruption and fixes it. To repair a corrupt APFS or HFS+ formatted SSD, follow the given steps:

  1. For external SSD, navigate to Finder > Application > Utilities. Next, double-click Disk Utility to launch the disk management app.
  2. For internal SSD, start or restart your Mac and hold Command + R keys. Release them when the Apple logo appears. Mac boots into macOS Recovery mode. From the macOS Utilities window, select Disk Utility, and click Continue.
  3. Select the APFS or HFS+ disk or volume that you wish to repair from the sidebar of Disk Utility.
  4. Click the First Aid tab, then click Run. Let Disk Utility repair your corrupt SSD.

When the SSD is about to fail, Disk Utility shows a message stating that you won’t repair the drive. Disk Utility also asks you to back up your data and replace the disk.

B. Repair Corrupt Mac SSD Using Terminal

The Terminal app in your macOS is a powerful tool to perform low-level tasks and operations on volumes and containers. So, when Disk Utility fails to repair your corrupt SSD, try Terminal commands to fix logical damages.

  1. For external SSD, go to Finder > Applications > Utilities. Next, double-click Terminal to launch the application.
  2. For internal SSD, boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode, as explained before. Then, from the top Menu Bar, go to Utilities > Terminal to launch the Terminal app.
  3. At the command prompt, type diskutil list, then hit Return. Note the identifier of the SSD.
  4. Type diskutil verifyVolume SSD_ID, then hit Return. If your SSD is the startup disk, then use / as the SSD identifier. Else, type the SSD identifier as noted earlier.
  5. During verification, if no error appears, SSD repair won’t be helpful. However, if your Mac drive is corrupt and needs to be repaired, type diskutil repairVolume SSD_ID then hit Return. Here, use the appropriate SSD identifier.

C. Repair Corrupt Mac SSD Using FSCK Command

When Disk Utility fails to repair corrupt APFS formatted SSD on Mac, try the file system consistency check (fsck) command. Steps are as follows:

  1. Start or restart your Mac and hold Command + S keys. Release them when white text appears on the screen—Mac boots into Single User mode.
  2. At the command prompt, type diskutil list, then hit Return. Note the disk# of the SSD.
  3. Type /sbin/fsck_apfs –fy /dev/disk#, then hit Return.
  4. If the ‘File system was modified’ message appears, rerun the command, then hit Return.
  5. When the ‘The volume (name) appears to be OK.’ message appears, type reboot. Let your Mac boot normally.

Don’t Format Your SSD

When your Mac prompts you to format your external SSD due to file system corruption, please don’t form the drive as it can result in the emptying of your SSD. And, all the data stored on the SSD will turn inaccessible. Instead, you should click Cancel and recover data from the SSD using a Mac data recovery software. The recovery process is shared next.

SSD Data Recovery on Mac

If none of the above repair methods fixes your corrupt Mac APFS/HFS+ SSD, use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to recover your inaccessible data from the corrupt SSD. Follow the given steps to recover data from a corrupt SSD:

Step 1: Download and install the free trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini.

Free Download Button

Step 2: In the ‘Select What To Recover’ screen, you can recover everything or customize your scan to choose from Documents, Emails, Videos, Audio, and Photos. Click Next.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

Step 3: In the ‘Recover From’ screen, choose the corrupt SSD from where you want to recover your data, then click Scan. The software looks for your recoverable files. The scanning process may take some time, depending on the size and condition of your storage media.

Note: If the desired result is not found, run Deep Scan by clicking the ‘Click Here’ link at the bottom of the software screen.

Select Location
  • If SSD partition is not visible from the ‘Recover From’ screen, click ‘Can’t Find Volume’ then click Scan.
  • Choose the Mac SSD that contained the partition and click Search. You can further Deep Scan if the desired partition is not found.
  • Under the ‘Partitions Found’ section, choose the desired partition and click Scan.

Step 4: Let the scan process complete. Click OK after the scan is over. If needed, you can abort the scanning process in between after the initial phase by clicking Stop. Also, you can save the current scan information that lets you postpone the recovery process. This scan information can be loaded later to recover your crucial data. Just make sure the affected drive is connected to your Mac before loading the scan information.

Step 5: Click on a file to see the preview. Select the desired files from the list and click Recover.


Step 6: On the Recover message box, click Browse and locate the destination where you wish to save your recovered data. Click Save. The recovered data from the corrupt APFS SSD will be saved at your desired location.

Recover Message Box > Click Browse

Note: The trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac allows unlimited free SSD scan and file preview. To save your recoverable data from the corrupt SSD, activate the software.

To know more about the software and the data recovery method, watch the following video:

Read MoreRecover Data from non-booting Mac

Format SSD on Mac

After you’ve recovered your inaccessible data from your corrupt SSD, whether internal or external, you now need to format the SSD using Disk Utility. The steps are as follows:

  1. For internal corrupt SSD, boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode and open Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities window.
  2. For external corrupt SSD, go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility to launch the disk management application.
  3. From the sidebar of the Disk Utility window, select the SSD, and click the Erase tab from the top of the app’s window.
  4. Enter the name, format, and scheme for the SSD, then click the Erase button. Once the erase operation is done, quit Disk Utility.
  5. For internal SSD, reinstall macOS from the macOS Utilities window. Then, perform the steps as per the instructions.
  6. Restore the recovered data to the revived internal or external SSD. Thus, the storage medium is ready for use without any corruption issues.

Formatting your corrupt SSD will fix the corruption issue entirely from the storage medium. This method is quite useful when you can’t repair your SSD using any of the said methods.


Mac SSD corruption is quite common. So, to protect yourself from data loss, back up your Mac using the Time machine backup drive. If you don’t have Time Machine backup, try the three methods mentioned in the blog to repair SSD corruption. But it is always advisable to select the right approach when it comes to your precious data.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is one such solution that you must implement immediately and restore your lost and deleted data from a severely corrupt, formatted, or inaccessible SSD. The software can also help you recover your data from a corrupt APFS, HFS+, or HFS formatted drive or any other storage medium formatted in ex-FAT, FAT, or NTFS.

  1. Louie Pope April 16, 2018
    • Vishal April 16, 2018

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