I was copying some files from my old Macbook onto my external hard-drive, but at some point the file transfer completely stopped (no progress for 15+ minutes). I decided to stop the file transfer and try again. However, when I tried to stop the transfer anything connected to Finder disappeared - e.g. all icons on my desktop. Other programmes were still working, so I decided to quit everything while I could and reboot. However, this seems to have corrupted the external hard drive. I tried plugging it back in and it couldn't be mounted anymore. I tried it on a different MacBook Pro, and started running first aid from the disk utility. It was all going fine, but it is now at the "Checking catalog file" stage, and has completely frozen the Macbook. The colorful wheel just keeps spinning and nothing is responding. What should I do to avoid further damage? Just wait?

1 Answer 1

  1. If your drive is formatted HFS+, try DiskWarrior.
  2. If #1 does not help: In the unlikely event that the root cause of the failure lies in the drive controller/interface, rather than data corruption on the drive itself, you may wish to buy an empty HDD enclosure and try moving the physical drive into it.
  3. If #1 and #2 fail or do not apply, you'll need to erase your drive and restore your data from a backup.
  4. If all of the above fail, you have no backup and your data is worth the cost, use a professional data recovery service.

Whatever you do, try to minimize the amount of time that the damaged drive is connected to power in order to reduce the chance for further corruption.

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