On macOS, if a disk is failing, you will sometimes get the message below. The OS will put the disk into read-only mode. You can get your files off of it but you can't write to it.

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My question is, is there any way to bypass this, and put the disk BACK into normal read-write mode?

  • Your only option is to move the data to another disk. I've been in this situation several times. If you have the option to save the data, do so before the disk crashes hard and you can't get anything off it.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


Have you tried repairing the disk from recovery HD or while booting into MacOS from a different hard drive?

If you truly want to be able to write to that disk again I would recommend this attempt: Clone the HD to a different HD. Check the health of the new HD and make sure all the files are accountable. Then reformat the previous HD, check the health then put the files back... However, the disk may be writable again, it’s not going to be reliable.

If I were you, I would get ready to retire drive.

  • You don't even get the chance to repair the disk. As soon as it's connected, after a long pause, it mounts with this error message. At that point, you can't do anything to it but read data off. No repair utilities can help it. The drive is definitely dead/dying, but it would be handy to be able to override this condition when it happens. It's usually very sudden when this happens and even if data is fully backed up in time machine, it would still be nice to be able to connect the drive and access it. Particularly because a bad drive often enters this mode while trying to upgrade the OS...
    – l008com
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 9:53
  • ...which end up getting it stuck in an endless loop.
    – l008com
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 9:54
  • You can access it - by reading the files, what it won't do is let you write to it - presumably so it does not write in the wrong places...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 10:09

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