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Disk utility external hard drive mac

To do this, shut down or restart your Mac, switch it back on and immediately press these four keys together for at least 20 seconds: Option, Command, P, and R. It should look as though your Mac has started again; if it has, release the keys when you hear the second startup chime.

Before We Begin: Read-Only Volumes and NTFS

Hopefully, the hard drive has shown up now. Disk Utility is within System Preferences, or you can find it using Spotlight. If it is visible, then click the option to Mount, which should make it visible on the desktop and in the External Drives option in the Finder menu. But there might still be a way you can recover the data on the external drive. In the Sidebar tab you can choose which folders and devices will be shown in the left-hand column of the Finder window.

If your drive is having problems, you can try to fix them yourself with First Aid and therefore get access to your files.

Format a Mac's Drive Using Disk Utility (OS X El Capitan or Later)

First Aid tool will check the disk for errors and then attempt a repair as needed. It helps to verify and repair a range of issues related to startup HD and external drive problems. If you are able to fix the hard drive or SSD in your Mac or a external drive using Disk Utility you will hopefully be able to recover your files. If First Aid successful in fixing errors, the external drive should be available to mount. If the utility unable to repair issues, your drive truly broken or formatted using a file system that the Mac cannot read - in this way we suggest you follow the next steps to recover data from a damaged disk drive.

And second, it's free.


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You already have it, because it's included with OS X. The destination hard drive can be an internal or external drive. If it's an external drive, there are two considerations that will determine whether the backup you create will be usable as an emergency startup drive. Even if your backup drive isn't usable as a startup disk, you can still use it to restore your original startup drive if needed; it will just require a few extra steps to restore the data. Before you back up your startup drive, make sure the destination drive has no errors that could prevent a reliable backup from being made.

The disk verification process will begin. After a few minutes, the following message should appear: The disk repair process will begin. If there are errors listed after the repair has finished, repeat the steps listed above under Verification Errors. Disk Utility can sometimes only repair a few types of errors in a single pass, so it may take multiple passes before you get the all-clear message, letting you know that repairs are complete, with no remaining errors.

Now that we know the destination drive is in good shape, let's make sure that the source drive, your startup disk, has no disk permission problems.

Permission problems can prevent necessary files from being copied, or propagate bad file permissions to the backup, so this is a good time to perform this routine maintenance chore. The permissions repair process will begin.

Partition Drives and Format Partitions

The process can take a few minutes, so be patient. When it's finished, you'll see a "Permissions repair complete" message. Do not be concerned if the Repair Disk Permission process generates a lot of warnings, this is normal. With the destination disk ready, and your startup disk's permissions verified, it's time to perform the actual backup and create a replica of your startup disk.

During the process of creating the backup, the destination disk will be unmounted from the desktop, and then remounted. The destination disk will have the same name as the startup disk, because Disk Utility created an exact copy of the source disk, down to its name. Once the backup process is complete, you can rename the destination disk. You now have an exact replica of your startup disk. You can then upload this encrypted DMG file to cloud storage locations or save it on unencrypted removable drives. The Convert and Resize Image buttons will allow you to manage that disk image from the Disk Utility window.

The Restore feature allows you to copy one volume to another. You can use it to copy the contents of one partition to another, or to copy a disk image to a partition.

Back Up Your Startup Disk Using Disk Utility

You can later restore this disk image file to a partition, erasing that partition and copying the data from the disk image to it. How to Use Multiple Disks Intelligently: Combine disks and partitions into one or more RAID sets and choose whether you want to mirror, stripe, or concatenate your data. If one drive dies, your data is still available elsewhere.

Striping RAID 0 will alternate disk writes between one drive and the other for faster speed. Concatenation JBOD allows you to combine different drives as though they were one, useful in certain circumstances.

Photo credit: The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere.