Computer Support Blog

MiniTool Helps Get Files Off Failing Hard Drive On Mac

A failing or already failed Mac hard drive is definitely a nightmare for all Mac users since few people don’t store important data on hard drive. The bad news is that you can easily get a failing or failed hard drive. Well, the good news is you have ways to get lost files back!

All of the drives we are using to store data are not 100% reliable. Everyone should know that by now (and back everything up) but even if you are doing it properly, there are times when a drive fails and you have nowhere else to get its contents except from the drive itself.

Hard disk failure can happen anytime due to the bad power supply, virus attack, damaged block, sectors and corrupted operating system files, etc. But there are top 6 reasons of hard disk failure.

1. Firmware or manufacturer faults

2. Heat

3. Electronic failure or power surges


Mechanicial or internet failure

5. Corrupted files

6. Human errors

Things would be much easier if the failed hard drive is an external one; you can connect this corrupted hard drive to another Mac computer which works great to see what happens. Yet, you also don’t need to behave like ants on a hot pan since I’ll provide four practical ways to recover data from failed Mac hard drive.

Methods to Get Files off Failing Hard Drive on Mac The First Method – Use Professional Mac Hard Drive Recovery Software

You may not have heard of MiniTool Mac Data Recovery before, but many of you have known a little bit about MiniTool® Software Ltd.; it is a software manufacturer with high reputation and great achievements (its most famous product is MiniTool Partition Wizard – a wonderful partition magic). Today, I am going to introduce another wonderful tool designed by this company to you and teach you how to complete Mac hard drive data recovery with it in detail.

Step one: you should do different things in this step according to two different situations.

  • Please download the free edition of MiniTool Mac Data Recovery if the hard drive on your Mac is going to die (behaves strangely), but still works now.
  • Please find another Mac computer and download the bootable edition of MiniTool Mac Data Recovery if the internal hard drive on your Mac is failed now and you are not allowed to restart it normally.



Please note:

As for how much does it cost for data recovery (the data recovery prices), there’s no clear answer.

  • Of course, you can recover files from hard drive Mac for free with the free edition; but it only allows you to get 1MB of data.
  • As for the bootable edition, it allows you to scan lost files only, so free hard drive recovery on non-bootable Mac is not possible.

In order to recover the needed files found by the software, you’d better obtain a license to an advanced edition. Click here to see the license type comparison.

The Second Method – Call the FSCK command

Many people ask – how do I repair my Mac hard drive. This is a difficult question to answer, actually (since everyone’s situation is different). But I do have some useful tips that may help you repair disk on Mac, and making use of FSCK command is one of them. You should try this to see if it works after you have got back all files off failing hard drive on Mac.

  1. Turn off your Mac.
  2. Start the Mac again by pressing the power button.
  3. Press & hold the “Command” + “S” button at the same time to boot into single-user mode.
  4. Release the keys when you see white text on the screen.
  5. Wait until the end of text scroll (at that time, you’ll see a “#” symbol).
  6. Type “/sbin/fsck -fy”.
  7. Press “Return” and wait.

You can see from the above screenshot that each part of the hard drive’s directory has been checked, so this process will take a few minutes.

  • If there is any problem on your drive, the system will fix it automatically and give you a message - “File System Was Modified” - in the end.
  • Of course, if you use this command to check your drive when it’s running properly, you’ll receive this message: “The volume * (* represents the name of your hard drive) appears to be OK”.

The Third Method – Rely on Target Disk Mode

According to Apple, The way of connecting two Mac computers to make one of them appears as an external hard disk on the other is called “target disk mode”. Obviously, this mode can help you recover data from MacBook Pro hard drive more easily.

But how does this work? What are the prerequisites? Please keep reading.

Please do the following things:

  1. Find a FireWire or Thunderbolt
  2. Use it to connect the two Mac computers.
  3. Start the Mac which has a failing/failed hard drive.
  4. Press the “T” button on the keyboard at once to boot into the Firewire/Thunderbolt mode.

If this succeeds, you will see a large Firewire/Thunderbolt icon on the Mac screen and you’ll see the failed hard drive icon on the desktop of the other Mac which is working well. Now, you can do whatever you want: repair disk on Mac and recover data from failed Mac hard drive to a healthy internal/external hard drive.

Please remember to make sure that both Macs are provided with the uninterrupted power supply in the whole process.

The Fourth Method – Turn Internal Hard Drive into External

To be specific, converting an internal Mac hard drive into an external one can be regarded as an alternative solution of target disk mode. In order to perform Mac file recovery with this method, you must have an external hard drive enclosure at hand.

Then, follow this tutorial:

  1. Take out the failed hard drive out of your Mac computer safely.
  2. Open the cover of your external hard drive enclosure.
  3. Place/slide the failed hard drive taken out from your Mac carefully.
  4. Tighten the screws came up with the enclosure (with the help of a screwdriver or other tools).
  5. Close the cover properly.
  6. Connect the enclosure to another Mac computer through USB cable (if your original Mac computer can still run because more than one operating system is installed on more than on internal disk).
  7. Access and recover files from this external but failed hard drive.

When you suffer from a sudden crash, low speed, and strange errors, you should consider that your hard drive may be failing. At this time, you are suggested to copy files from the failing hard drive immediately.

If you have not noticed the signals the Mac hard drive gives or it hasn’t given you any signs before it is really failed, you should choose the reliable and professional tool to get files off failing hard drive on Mac as soon as possible. Remember, no matter what happens, the first thing you should think of is always your important data.

After Mac hard drive data recovery has been finished, you can use other methods to try to fix your hard drive.

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Category: Data Recovery ServicesCompany about: MiniTool Solution Ltd. is a software development company based in Canada. As a dedicated software development company, MiniTool Solution Ltd. provides customers with complete business software solutions in the data recovery and partition management industry.
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