I have a Western Digital Passport 2TB external HDD that I use for Time Machine backups. I formatted it using APFS and it is encrypted. I've used it for around 2 years now, backing up every week.

When I now attach it to my MacBook Pro 16" 2019 running Monterey 12.5, it doesn't mount. The drive spins up and I don't hear any abnormal sounds. Disk Utility and commands like diskutil freeze until I pull the device out. Finder also becomes incredibly slow.

I don't think the device itself is damaged, and the backups don't really matter to me if I can simply reformat the drive. The problem is nothing can actually identify the device without freezing.

Is there a solution, preferably free, to repair the drive or reformat it?

  • 1
    Can you try it on another Mac, just as a sanity check? Jul 27, 2022 at 15:30
  • Unfortunately I only own one Mac. I checked on a Windows laptop and it shows a healthy partition, but I don't see the HDD in This PC. I might be able to format through there, but I'd rather try get it working first.
    – mevens
    Jul 27, 2022 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


I couldn't get it to work or format on a Mac or Linux laptop without freezing the system. I checked the HDD's SMART status through BIOS and found no issues.

My solution was to use Windows's Disk Management to delete the partition and temporarily formatted it as exFAT. On MacOS I then reformatted it to APFS and it has been working fine.

The volume must have become damaged at some point and macOS couldn't handle it.


Could you expand upon this answer? I have a time machine backup that isn't reading on Mac and freezes Disk Utility when I plug it in.

  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – bmike
    Dec 5, 2023 at 3:55
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – agarza
    Dec 5, 2023 at 4:29
  • The disk drive was corrupted. I am not sure why. I had to essentially re-format the drive. The problem, is my MacBook would freeze if I plugged the drive in. I had to use a Windows laptop to re-format the drive to exFAT so that my Mac could read it, then I set the drive up again for Time Machine. Unfortunately I lost all my old backups.
    – mevens
    Dec 7, 2023 at 8:11

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