Repair your Mac Hard Drive with FSCK or Disk Utility

Cyber Security

The blog highlights the procedure of repairing Mac hard drive with FSCK and Disk Utility.

When your Mac hard drive fails, there are utilities which can help you repair it with the primary concern of efficiently recovering all data stored on it. Mac hard drives and SSD are reliable storage devices but still, they are susceptible to get corrupt or damaged. Further, disk errors in catalog file, extents overflow file, volume bitmap, Journaled files, multi-linked files and volume information, corrupts the data stored on Mac hard drive turning it inaccessible. To counter it, Mac has Disk Utility and FSCK to repair the affected hard drive. On that note, let’s delve into the functionality of these disk repairing utilities.

Repair Mac Hard Drive with FSCK (Single User Mode)

You can repair Mac hard drive with File System Consistency Check (fsck) which is a powerful command-line disk repairing tool that analyzes and repairs the affected hard drive. To perform fsck on your Mac, you need to restart it and reboot into Single User Mode.

Prior to repairing the Mac with FSCK, you need to find the node and identifier of the disk that you want to repair. Here’s how you can find the right disk:

  • Go to Applications < Utilities and launch Terminal
  • Type “”diskutil list” and hit Enter
  • A list of all the connected disk both (mounted and unmounted) is displayed
  • Select the disk you want to repair with fsck utility and find its identifier and note it for further steps. It will look like /dev/disk 1
Figure 1: Illustrates the Terminal window with the information and disk identifier
Figure 1: Illustrates the Terminal window with the information and disk identifier

Now you have the disk identifier, follow these steps to repair Mac with fsck utility:

  • Restart your Mac and press and hold “Command + S” until white text appears on the screen. This will enable booting in Single User Mode.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen you’ll see a command-line “Localhost:/ root#”
Figure 2: Illustrates the command-line that says ‘root#’
Figure 2: Illustrates the command-line that says ‘root#’
  • In the command-line type”/sbin/fsck -fy”. The “-fy” checks Journaled file system like HFS+ and prompts fsck to say ‘yes’ to any issue that it might encounter
  • Further, you can perform fsck utility on non-booting disks but for that, you need to specify the file system. For instance, to run fsck on non-booting disk, type “/sbin/fsck_hfs/dev/disk1”. Moreover, you can include other file systems such as fsck_udf (UDF File Systems) fsck_exfat (exFAT File Systems), fsck_msdos (FAT File Systems) etc.
  • Once fsck finishes repairing the disk, type ‘reboot’ in the command prompt and press Enter and again run your Mac.

Repair Mac Hard Drive with Disk Utility

Fixing Mac with Disk Utility is the primary and preferred way to eliminate disk issues. Disk Utility scans the disk’s structure for errors and repairs it.

Figure 3: Illustrates the macOS Utilities feature
Figure 3: Illustrates the macOS Utilities feature
  • Restart your Mac and hold down ‘Command + R’ until Apple logo appears on the screen and from the macOS Utilities, select ‘Disk Utility’
  • Under Disk Utility, select the affected disk and click on ‘First Aid’ and click on Run
Figure 4: Illustrates to run ‘’First Aid’ on the affected disk
Figure 4: Illustrates to run ‘’First Aid’ on the affected disk
  • Disk Utility checks the selected disk for any errors and if it finds any error, it automatically fixes it. If Disk Utility is unable to fully repair the disk, run it again. If nothing works, then backup all your data and reformat the disk

Repairing Mac with FSCK utility is quite an intricate process as you need to have some prior technical knowledge or familiarity with the command-line. Further, if you have an SSD, then you may find some problem in repairing it with these utilities as it takes a whole new approach. Also, the risk of losing data is associated with the repairing process; therefore, the situation calls for a reliable solution. Stellar Volume Repair, an easy-to-use application is a recommended solution to repair the Mac hard drive. With simplistic GUI and robust features, the software should be your choice.

Originally published on Ubiquitense.

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