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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?

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  • Can you try it on another Mac, just as a sanity check? Jul 27 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 at 15:34

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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.

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