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External hard drive not showing up on my MacBook Pro

By ml1962 ยท 45 replies
Oct 13, 2011
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  1. Hi all,

    My external hard drive does not show up on my MacBook Pro laptop. I've tried connecting it to another Mac desktop as well as a PC and it doesn't show there either. I use a single click mouse - so right clicking is not possible. Any troubleshooting help would be extremely appreciated!


  2. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

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  3. MMDominator88

    MMDominator88 TS Rookie Posts: 119

    Mitch, what is this external HDD formatted as - NTFS/FAT/FAT32/etc?
  4. ml1962

    ml1962 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Not sure the format - it's a company piece of hardware - there's a bar code on the bottom but the numbers/letters are so dang small - first couple look like FN...

  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Holding down the Option key and clicking is the same as right clicking in OS X.

    Open up Disk Utility (Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility) and see if the drive is showing in there.
  6. ml1962

    ml1962 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Hi SNG,

    Yes, the drive is showing up in there (Utilities) - next step?

  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Ok, well at least that part is a good sign.

    When you see the drive in Disk Utility. In the left column the very left most (non indented) part is the drive itself. Do you have a slightly indented portion of the same drive right below it? If so... it will have a mount point and a format, what do those say? If it does not, then I'd guess the drive is not formatted. Do you know for sure that data is on that drive?

    For instance, if you were just given this drive to use, maybe its not formatted. But if you were given this drive to pull and use some data off of it, then something is likely wrong with the drive, I say this because you couldn't read it in Windows or Mac.

    I want us to establish whether or not data is on the drive before we proceed any further.

    Just incase you need an answer immediately and i don't answer. I would not do anything if the drive is supposed ot have data on it. If it is not and you are just supposed to use it, then you can format it through disk utility in OS X, if it connects through USB, choose exFAT.
  8. ml1962

    ml1962 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Hi SNG,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, there is definitely data on the external hard drive. It is my external drive that I have not used for a few months. What next? the step you suggested in your most recent email?

  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Ok. Well there is a "something" I don't know what you call it, but its definately right below and indented to the right of the drive. You can click on it and see what Format it is in the bottom part of the window. What format does it say the drive is?

    Edit: ok adding pic, what does yours say for format when you select the drive ?

    Attached Files:

  10. ml1962

    ml1962 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    For the format it says: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

    What next?

  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Also in the bottom there is a Mount Point and then something in blue. Click that.
  12. Paige Lee

    Paige Lee TS Rookie

    hi I am having a similar problem but I can't find the rest of this post. can you help me out please?
  13. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +423

    Paige, look three posts above yours. In SNGX1275's post near the bottom see the screen shot link 2011-10-13 a. When you click on that you will see to what SNGX1275 is referring.
  14. RossanaR

    RossanaR TS Rookie

    I have the same problem, and I know there's data on it. I used it a month ago. But it's not showing up when I use Disk Utility. Can you tell me what this means, or how I can correct the problem?
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    If it isn't showing up in Disk Utility then that is not good. Hard drives just die sometimes, nothing you can do about it. Which is why you should never have only 1 copy of important data.
  16. Emily17

    Emily17 TS Rookie

    I have the same problem as ml1962 and I can see the external drive in Disk Utility but I do not have a blue icon to click on nor can I verify the drive. Please help!
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    It isn't a blue icon, it is a mount point link. Check out that screenshot I have in post #7 here. Highlight your external in Disk Utility then look at the bottom where it says Mount Point. Click on that blue link.
  18. system_engineer

    system_engineer TS Rookie

    I just had the same issue. Tried on several macbook / macbook airs, with both Lion and Mountain Lion. Disk does not appear in finder, it's not listed in /Volumes, it's not shown by Disk Utility. When I connected it to my linux media player, I just mounted it as hfsplus - no warnings, no erros, I could access all my data. Don't know why, but seems that partition table and filesystem ARE CLEAN, without any errors. This is the time when OSX sucks... I just copied all the data, reformatted the disk and everything works perfect now.
    Hope it can save some terabytes of your data from greedy lion bugs ;) (the only suggestions I have found on mac forums were "your disk has died")

    One more "suggestion" I got from Apple Genius: I should go to Apple Store and should buy official apple product, which should work better. suckers.
  19. jabobster

    jabobster TS Rookie

    There is no blue link. just this: "Mount Point: Not Mounted"
  20. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Ok. If it sees that, that is a good response. Have you tried booting from a live linux disk?
  21. Norchik

    Norchik TS Rookie

    Hello SNGX1275,

    I am having the same issue with my external hardrive. I've been using it every day for months and then all of the sudden it stopped showing up on the desktop yesterday. I opened up the disk utility and the hard drive shows up in there but there is no Mount Point or the blue symbol next to it. What shall I do next? Also, I do not know what a live linux disk is. Please help.
  22. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    If it shows up I would have thought there would be a mount point to click.. So unfortunately I don't have an answer. Have you tried the drive on another computer? Windows computers likely won't be able to read it though, so best to try on a different Mac.
  23. jabobster

    jabobster TS Rookie

    I'm using a mac. I dont know what a live linux disk is, but after an hour of fidgeting with buttons and ejecting it and putting it in again many times, it showed up, and now it worked, thanks anyway!
  24. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    I would quickly retrieve my important data from that drive and place it elsewhere.
  25. ByohanT

    ByohanT TS Rookie

    I've have the same exact problem as jabobster... "Mount Point: Not Mounted"...but I have no idea what a live linux disk is. I have a macbook pro os x, version 10.4.11.
    Please Help!


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