External Hard Drive not mounting (visible in DU)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ClawKing, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. ClawKing macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    I have an external hard drive (specs below) that will not mount in finder.

    When connecting the hard drive, it does not appear in finder, so I have checked disk utility, and the generic name for the disk appears (Seagate Expansion Desk Media) with a Volume marked "Untitled" underneath it (greyed out) - I've attached a screenshot.

    I've tried the following:
    Restarting Mac
    Connecting and disconnecting hard drive
    Connecting hard drive to 2 different macs (same issue)
    Disk Utility First Aid
    Repair/Verify Permissions using terminal
    Tried different ports and cables, same issue

    Running OS X El Capitan (Latest)

    I'm reluctant to erase the hard drive, as it has a few hundred gigs of storage on it. It isn't irretrievable data, so wouldn't be a disaster, if that's whats necessary, I wouldn't bother (not going to trust the drive again!)


    Thanks all
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Was the drive partition named Untitled all along... or is that something new? I have seen when drives fail they often revert back to that default Untitled volume name.
  3. ClawKing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    Nope, had a couple of partitions which had been named. I though that the drive appearing as "untitled" was a bad sign.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yeah... not good then. You could try a reformat or fuss around with something like DiskWarrior if you want, but I would toss that thing in the trash if it was me. I am assuming here you did not do anything with hardware or software that brought this on and it just happened spontaneously?
  5. ClawKing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    I had a feeling it could be dead.
    A reformat would be pointless I think - I don't intend to use the drive again in case this happens again.

    All that's on the drive is rips of my film collection, so a big pain ahead to recatalogue it all, but not more than a big inconvenience luckily.

    No nothing done with the drive, it's a desktop drive that just sits there, so no physical problems caused by that.
  6. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2010
    Install this on your Mac and see if your external hdd is detected by it. If so, this will perform
    a diagnostic test which will give you a fairly good idea if the drive is failing / has failed.

  7. ClawKing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    Thanks for the advice, I've just given this a shot.

    The app initially recognises the external drive, but requires a driver to be installed. Unfortunately as the partitions won't mount, the driver installer isn't able to install it, so I can't run the programme.

    Thanks for all the help folks.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    If you're still reading:

    You might try DiskWarrior first. It's ONLY function is to repair damaged directories, but it does this VERY well.

    If that doesn't work, you might try data recovery software such as DataRescue. It might work on the drive "as it stands". But be aware that sometimes DR might not be able to "see" the drive to "get at" it.

    If none of the above works, you could try this as an absolute last resort:
    1. Reinitialize the drive into ONE partition, DO NOT choose to "zero out" the data by doing a secure erase.
    2. Now, mount the drive in the finder. It will (of course) appear to be "empty", because re-initializing it wiped out the old directory and replaced it with a "clean" one.
    3. NOW launch DataRescue and "aim it" at the [seemingly] "empty" drive. But the drive is -not- "empty", only the directory is. The old files are still there on the drive's sectors.
    4. DR will now bypass the directory, and "go right to the platters", scavenge the data it finds, and save it to a scratch disk.

    This seems illogical, but it can work -- and it DID work for me, when I had a partition "disappear" on me. That partition had mp3 files, and I was able to get nearly all of them back by the process above.

    You will almost certainly lose prior file names and folder hierarchies.
    If the files involved are media files (music, movies, pictures) you -may- be able to get filenames back through metadata associated with the files.

    If nothing else works, the above is worth a try instead of just tossing out the drive.

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