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    Mac Data Recovery

    What is the Resource Fork Xattr Missing Error in macOS?

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      Summary: The resource fork xattr is missing error on macOS is an unexpected advisory generated in Disk Utility when the First Aid tool cannot find metadata in the resource fork of an associated file. Learn more about this issue and various fixes to help you resolve it. If this disk-related error has made your external/internal drive inaccessible, use a professional data recovery software for Mac to retrieve your data safely.

      Disk errors can lead to unexpected disk behaviors, such as system crashes and data corruption. Using the First Aid feature of Disk Utility feature, users can easily repair such disk errors.

      Disk utility allows users to format a drive to a Mac-compatible file system. However, sometimes, the formatted drive doesn’t function properly due to bad sectors or other issues with the drive or file system and shows different errors.

      In this blog, we’re dealing with a macOS error while running First Aid diagnostics on a problematic drive – Warning: inode (id 4080): Resource Fork xattr is missing for the compressed file.”

      resource fork xattr is missing for compressed file error on macOS

      What is the Warning: inode (id 4080): Resource Fork xattr is missing for compressed fileerror?

      The above error warning has two key components – Inode and Resource Fork.

      InodeInode or Index node is a type of data structure in a file system. Its primary function is to assign unique inode numbers to certain files so that they can be easily accessed and managed.

      Resource Fork xattr – On macOS, a resource fork is defined as a container that stores structured data of a file. It contains metadata from a file, such as icon bitmaps, window shapes, menu definitions, etc. It also includes associated data, such as the last modified time, file creation date, and more. Here, xattr means extended attributes.

      Reasons Behind the Resource Fork Xattr Missing Error Warning on macOS

      Disk utility errors generally indicate a serious issue with the drive. Sometimes, these errors could also result from a faulty external drive cable. Here’s a list of some possible reasons behind the Resource Fork xattr Missing Error message on your Mac –

      • Corrupt volume
      • Bad sectors
      • Minor drive issues
      • Missing or incompatible drivers
      • System issues

      Methods to Fix the Resource Fork Xattr Missing Error Message on macOS

      The Resource Fork xattr Missing Error message usually pops up while running First Aid via Disk utility. This error is a clear indicator of an underlying disk related issue, but it could also be due to a minor boot issue.

      Many users reported that restarting their system or running First Aid a couple of times helped resolve the issue. If you have encountered this error on an older Mac (pre-M1 Mac era), try connecting the problematic drive to a newer Mac to resolve compatibility issues, if any.

      While these simple workarounds might help you resolve the Resource Fork xattr Missing Error, in some cases, bad sectors or corrupted file system could be the root cause. In such a scenario, it would be better to safely retrieve data before reformatting the drive.

      This is because simply copying & pasting data from the drive can lead to missing data, incomplete file transfers, or data corruption.

      The best way to securely recover data is to employ a professional Mac data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac. This software can easily recover files from problematic drives, crashed or unbootable Macs, and inaccessible drives.

      To safely recover your files from an inaccessible Mac –

      • Connect the problematic drive to your Mac.
      • Download and install Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your Mac system.
      • Launch it.
      • On the first screen, select the type of data you want to recover. By default, Recover Everything is selected. Click Next.
      Recover data from a storage drive showing the resource fork xattr is missing for compressed file error on your mac
      • On the next screen, select the problematic drive and click Scan.
      • Let the process complete. Once finished, it will bring up all the recoverable files. You can preview them to check their integrity.
      • Once satisfied, click on Recover and follow the on-screen instructions to recover the files on another storage drive.

      After safely recovering your files and data, reformat the drive. Reformatting the drive to any Mac-compatible file system or even APFS can resolve minor issues or bugs causing this error.

      If nothing works, and the error persists even while scanning your Macintosh HD, you must recover your data and reinstall the macOS as a last resort to avoid unexpected data loss.


      The Resource Fork xattr Missing Error warning is an advisory that a Mac generates via First Aid. The system automatically resolves this issue over time when that specific file (on the inode) is overwritten. In rare cases, the error might make the storage drive unstable, making your data inaccessible.

      As data care experts, we always emphasize regular data backups. This really helps you in situations like accidental data loss, disk errors, unbootable systems, and more. Hence, if you have finally resolved the Resource Fork Xattr Missing Error, configure Time Machine backup, use iCloud, and also maintain a backup on an external drive.

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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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