HELP: Disk you inserted is not readable by this computer.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by hellbutterfliez, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. hellbutterfliez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #1
    Hi!

    This is my first time posting so forgive me if i posted in the wrong section. Recently, (today actually) I accidentally removed my WD HD 1TB while watching a vid on my MBA 13" 2010. The vid was located in my external HD. When I connected the USB cable back to my MBA, the following message appeared:

    Disk you inserted is not readable by this computer.

    There were 3 options, initialize, ignore and eject. I chose eject and tried again. The same message appeared, even after several more times trying. When I clicked initialize, it said that my external HD was not formatted, but I had formatted it to MACOSExtended(journaled) in order to use it on my MBA. I am now wondering did this happen because I failed to remove my external HD properly? and is my data all gone?

    Also, if I were to format it once again, my data would be lost rite?

    Please advice. Thank you!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Most likely. That's why the "Eject" feature is there; to safely remove the drive so you can shut it off.
    Yep.
     
  3. walterwhite macrumors 6502

    walterwhite

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Location:
    South Central PA
    #3
  4. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #4
    Absolutely get DiskWarrior and let it rebuild the Hard Drive.

    Your data will be there after it rebuilds the directories.

    Always eject the drive in the future otherwise you'll be doing this again and again.
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    In my experience, pulling out a drive while reading doesn't harm anything. It's really when the drive is writing that it's a problem.

    If you haven't already, try rebooting the MBA. If that doesn't work, then try using Disk Utility (it's in your Application/Utilities folder). Connect the drive and select "ignore". See if Disk Utility can mount your drive.

    If none of these work, then try the suggestions posted above.
     
  6. hellbutterfliez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the reply guys!

    When I open up disk utility, i cant click repair. its faded. So what should I do? Re-format and then use disk warrior? would that work?
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    If you re-format, you'll lose any information you have on the drive. Don't do that unless you have your info backed up on a separate disk.

    Is the disk mounted? What other info can you share?
     
  8. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #8
    DO NOT REFORMAT!

    You will lose all your data if you reformat.

    Disk Utility Repair Disk should not be faded out unless you are trying to repair the boot disk. You must not be highlighting the proper drive on the left of Disk Utility. It sounds as if you highlighted the Boot Disk.

    If your External Drive is indeed showing in Disk Utility then highlight it and then you should be able to do a Repair Disk.

    If you can repair the disk then follow up with a Repair Permissions.

    If Repair Disk fails then get DiskWarrior and you will be fine.

    Just Install DiskWarrior and then highlight the damaged drive in the pull down window displayed and let DW do its repair.


    Again DO NOT REFORMAT!
     
  9. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #9
    You shouldn't have clicked "initialize". Pray now that DiskWarrior can still fix the drive.
     
  10. hellbutterfliez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #10
    thanks once again for the advice!

    I havent done anything yet so far. Im trying to get my hands on Diskwarrior.

    @ftaok im not sure if this helps, but when i open up disk utility, all the tabs at the bottom are faded, ie, verify, repair etc. I cant clock on anything. and sorry for being a newb, but what does mounted mean? sounds like i dun haf much hope for the data on my external drive?

    @cube hmmm. our of curiosity, what happened/happens when i click on initialize?
     
  11. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    In Disk Utility, there is a distinction between a drive and a volume. A drive is basically a hard drive that is physically connected to the Mac. A volume is a drive that is mounted.

    On the left window pane, you should see your drive if it's connected. It might say something like 250GB ST... this is the drive. If it's mounted, then there would be a volume name under the drive (indented) that could be something like "Macintosh HD".

    I'm guessing your drive isn't mounted. Click on the drive and select the "Mount" button on the icon bar. If everything's OK, then your drive should show up on the desktop.

    As for the "initialize" question. Initialize is the Mac way of saying Format. They're essentially the same thing. Don't do it if you want to keep your data intact.
     
  12. hellbutterfliez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #12
    In Disk Utility, there is a distinction between a drive and a volume. A drive is basically a hard drive that is physically connected to the Mac. A volume is a drive that is mounted.

    On the left window pane, you should see your drive if it's connected. It might say something like 250GB ST... this is the drive. If it's mounted, then there would be a volume name under the drive (indented) that could be something like "Macintosh HD".

    I'm guessing your drive isn't mounted. Click on the drive and select the "Mount" button on the icon bar. If everything's OK, then your drive should show up on the desktop.

    As for the "initialize" question. Initialize is the Mac way of saying Format. They're essentially the same thing. Don't do it if you want to keep your data intact.


    Ohhh ok that explains a lot. thanks! (8

    Mmm in that case, i dont think that my drive is mounted. Unfortunately, i cant click mount cos its faded. any idea how i can correct this?
     
  13. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    Can you take a screen shot on the Disk Utility window. Make sure your USB drive is connected and turned on. I'm curious as to what's showing up.

    Alternatively, can you try the drive on another computer? If the drive was formatted using HFS+, you'll need to use a Mac. If it's formatted as FAT32 or NTFS, either a Mac or PC will do.
     
  14. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
  15. BobbyCat macrumors regular

    BobbyCat

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Beyond
    #15
    Not necessarily. The question is wether you still can connect to the drive or not.

    If the drive eventually shows up in Disc Utility or DiscWarrior, then you'll be able to fix the directory and everything should be fine in the end.

    If the drive never mounts again, then you're in a deeper mess. The data doesn't need to be gone forever, but it doesn't help if you can't access the drive at all.
    Check WDs support website and see if they have a solution for your model on Mac:
    1) If not, and the drive's still under warranty, you might get it replaced.
    2) If there's no solution to get a connection back to the drive, it may be cheaper to just buy a new one, and forget this painful experience. These things happen.

    Good luck, and let us know..
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    Here's a "last-ditch", end-of-the-line solution:

    If NOTHING you do seems to re-establish or revive the existing directories on the drive, you _might_ be able to "get at" the data by reinitializing the drive into a single partition, then using data recovery software to scavenge, recover, and re-assemble the files you're looking for.

    You WILL need a second, "scratch" drive for file recovery, and you'll need data recovery software, such as:
    - DataRescue3, or
    - Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery, or
    - Disk Drill
    (there are others that can be used, as well).

    It's _possible_ that the above applications will be able to access the drive "as is" (with a corrupted directory). If so, you're back in business. You don't need to go further. But if that doesn't work, keep reading.

    The problems you are having are due to a corrupted disk directory, and the actual files on the drive's sectors are probably ok.

    If something like Disk Warrior can't repair the directory, there may be no way to make the existing drive (corrupted directory) "mountable", and thus -- no way to get at the files.

    When you re-initialize a drive, you wipe out the old directory information and replace it with a new, "empty" directory. The actual drive sectors are not "touched" by reinitialization. EXCEPTION: if you choose to "zero out" the drive, you WILL obliterate all the data on all the sectors. YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS!

    All you want to do is a simple re-initialization of the drive.

    Once that's done, the drive will again be "mountable", even if it appears that there is no data on it. The data, of course, is still there -- but the new, "clean" directory can't see it.

    NOW you can "attack the drive" using the data recovery apps above.

    It WILL take a long time.
    It WILL result in many files without names (which were a product of the old directory that no longer exists).
    It WILL result the loss of all folder hierarchies (which were a product of the old directory that no longer exists).

    But you _might_ actually be able to recover the files you need to get at.

    I can personally attest from prior experience that this worked when NOTHING else seemed like it might (and it seemed like I was destined to lose the files I wanted). I was able to get most of the files back.

    Again, this is a last-ditch method. But it might work for you.
     
  17. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #17
    The TS hasn't even tried DW yet and you guys are telling him to re-nitialize?

    Grief.

    If he is too lazy to get DW and follow the instructions given here then just take the drive to the local landfill.

    BTW this is a Mac Forum, and unless otherwise stated, we are all going to assume the drive in question is HFS.
     
  18. hellbutterfliez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #18
    Thanks so much for all your advice and help guys!

    @ftaok mmm im v sorry but i have no idea how to put the image here, so isit possible for me to pm you or you pm me? my mail is dont_type_here@hotmail.com. Thank you so much!

    @fishrrman Thank you so much for explaining what I have to do. I managed to get my hands on a copy of Data Rescue 3. I ran a Deep Scan and I think i still have most of my files. However, I have no idea how to proceed from here, i.e mounting the drive so that my MBA can read it once again.

    @everyone else thank you for taking your time to help a mac newb out! I greatly appreciate it. (8
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    "@fishrrman Thank you so much for explaining what I have to do. I managed to get my hands on a copy of Data Rescue 3. I ran a Deep Scan and I think i still have most of my files. However, I have no idea how to proceed from here, i.e mounting the drive so that my MBA can read it once again."

    You need ANOTHER, "scratch" drive to let DataRescue3 "recover the files to that drive".

    DR3 can't recover the files "to the same drive".

    Suggestion:
    Check these out:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=usb+sata+dock&x=0&y=0
    (many items shown, pick a cheap one, they all function the same way)

    Then, get a "bare" drive from a good vendor (I like newegg.com).

    Once you have both of these, put the bare drive into the dock, connect it to the Mac, power everything up, and use Disk Utility to initialize it. You might just name it "scratch" for now.

    Run DataRescue again, and when it prompts you for a drive that you want to recover the files _TO_, "aim it" at the scratch drive.

    You're probably thinking, "gee, do I really have to do that and buy that stuff?"

    Reply: Do you want the files back?
     
  20. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #20
    If you can see the data with Data Rescue, you more than likely can repair the drive with DiskWarrior without having to try and pick out one file at a time and copy to another drive.

    Just sayin!
     
  21. oslomac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #21
    I had a 2TB Seagate Expansion External Drive fail and Data Rescue 3 saved me

    My Seagate 2TB had all my backup commercial multimedia files, as well as personal photos & video libraries, when all of a sudden it failed, 3 days before my redundant backup drive arrived. The internal drive in the Seagate Expansion is a Barracuda 7200.11 2TB drive, and while it was still under warranty, I wasn't willing to surrender all my files just to get a free replacement drive with $89 price new at Amazon.

    After reading this discussion, I tried Data Rescue 3, and it worked like a charm. Before using it, the only thing that I could get the external drive to do when connected to a third party IDE-USB adaptor kit was to register as a drive, but it refused to mount or read. Now that I have copied all the files to my new drive, I will try reformatting the Barracuda drive and see if it resolves the issue. Just in case, I have already purchased 3 extra backup drives at 2TB each.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  22. onurokan macrumors newbie

    onurokan

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2017
    #22
    I had the same problem and everthing I have done didnt solved my problem. Then I used Diskwarrior 5 and problem solved. Diskwarrior 5 saved my life!!!
     
  23. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Location:
    near Boston, MA
    #23
    OP probably got married and has grand children since he posted this thread....:rolleyes:
     
  24. smgc4216 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    #24
    I'm so glad I've found your post... after reading older posts about this as I was wondering what steps are now valid... and I'm not tech savvy.
    I'm hoping like hell to get the info on a Seagate 2TB portable hard drive (1 yr old) back. I left my Mac plugged in the other night along with this hd and found the message 'disk not ejected properly'. I hadn't moved the MAC or cables in any way and the hd was still plugged in. I tried it in another port and got the message 'disk not readable by this computer' so I ejected it knowing that initialise will delete the info so I selected eject. I rebooted my Mac and plugged the hd in but it's not working on this or another pc.

    In using the info from older posts (and steps) here are my questions:
    1 – reboot MBA – what’s this, how and where? do I need to do this first?
    2 – plug in, select ‘ignore’, locate disk utility to see if it can mount the hd - yip it’s there and shows I can click on ‘first aid, restore, info’ – what do I select?
    3 – then click repair?
    4 – select repair permissions – and do what exactly?
    5 – if repair disk fails, get Disk Warrior 5 - I'll google its location I guess
    6 – install Disk Warrior, highlight hd and let it do the repair – anything else I need to know for DW?

    I have a second Seagate issue (1 yr old) but I'll try and get through this really important fix first.

    Anyone's help is very much appreciated - and can you please confirm that these are the correct order of steps I need to take first.
     
  25. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #25
    smgc...

    You can try DiskWarrior first, but be aware that the ONLY THING it can do is repair or rebuild a bad directory.
    That may work for you, or it may not.

    If that doesn't help, you might have to go to data RECOVERY software, such as DataRescue.

    Since you said you tried the problem drive on a pc, I'm going to -guess- that it's formatted "for the PC", and not as HFS+?
    I'm wondering if DiskWarrior will even touch this. I was always under the impression that DW is for HFS+ drives only (but I could be wrong).

    If the drive IS "cross-formatted" (such as fat32), you might have luck "on the PC side" using something like Spinright (I -think- that's the name, I don't do Windows).

    Something you could try first:
    - Download DataRescue from ProSoft. You can download and try it out FOR FREE.
    - Does DR "see" the problem drive?
    - If so, can you run the "deep scan"?
     

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