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A-Z Guide to Mac’s Hard Drive Problems (with Solutions)

Mac hard drive
Черный внутренний жесткий диск на черной поверхност

Your Mac’s hard disk drive (HDD) is its brain, heart, and soul. Without a properly functioning hard drive, your Mac will hardly be able to please you with robust performance and data security. Thus, if you see any hard drive alerts or witness problems with hard drive operations, it’s time to take action. Here is a brief guide to common hard disk problems and their DIY solutions. 

Mac’s Hard Drive Failure: Generic Troubleshooting 

Once your Mac exhibits a hard drive problem, it is easy to fall into despair as your system will typically not boot. However, such an alert is not a reason for rushing to repair service. Here is a couple of steps you can take to remedy the problem on your own: 

  • Reboot your device 
  • Reset its PRAM/NVRAM 
  • Start your computer in the safe mode 
  • Change the SMC settings 
  • Delete cache storage 
  • Update the operating system (reinstall it if nothing works)  
  • Work on the hard disk permissions 
  • Verify and repair the hard drive 
  • Try to enter the system from a new user account

As a rule, you might not need to do all of this; a couple of steps may solve the hard disk problem, depending on the type of error and the nature of the problem you’re experiencing. 

Hard Drive not Found 

One day when you start your Mac, it may surprise you with a message, “hard drive not found.” That’s a really troubling alert that may signal a hard disk failure. However, no need to rush to a computer repair company; you can check everything on your own. First, perform a hard reset of your Mac; this is done by unplugging it, removing all peripherals, removing the battery from the gadget, and pressing the Start button for 15 seconds. After you’re done, return the battery to its sport and turn the Mac on without adding peripherals. Another common cause of such an alert is the damage to the hard drive’s connection. If you see this problem, soldering can be done by a professional. 

Access Denied 

This alert is shown when your Mac’s system cannot locate the hard drive or some partition thereof. This issue can also be a result of a loose hard drive connection or storage failure. The steps mentioned above can also help resolve this trouble. 

SMART Errors 

Sometimes you can see an alert on your Mac that it has a SMART error. In simple words, this alert can mean anything – from the fact that your hard disk is about to collapse to a minor, insignificant issue your device is experiencing. SMART stands for the Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology in Mac devices, and once you see such an error, it means that your hard drive needs to be replaced. To check the magnitude of the problem and design some solutions, go to SMARTReporter and study the error in depth. Read more on SMART errors, and don’t ignore them as they may be an early sign of grave issues you’re about to encounter. 

Corrupted Hard Disk 

Once you get an alert that your hard drive is corrupted, the first thing you need to do is diagnose the problem. Probably, some files got corrupted, or your hard drive’s partition collapsed. In any way, you need to detect the issue first to take targeted action. Choose Diagnostics and pick Hard Drive from the menu. Once your Mac performs the check, it’s most likely to develop the solution and recommend steps to you as a user.  

Hard Disk Error 

Such an alert often shows up when you have accidentally deleted a critical system file or there has been a malware attack. It may also happen as a result of a sector of the hard drive gets corrupted. To remedy the situation and understand the cause of this problem, you may restart the system in a safe mode (this option is relevant for malware- or virus-associated problems) or reinstall and update the entire operating system. 

Corrupted Files 

At times, you may be unable to access the files that are corrupted. This mostly happens because of the incorrect system shutdown when you turn your Mac off before saving the changes. Unfortunately, the only solution to this problem is closing and saving everything before shutting the device down; otherwise, you risk losing essential data or files. 

Here you go with the most common hard drive problems and easy steps you can take to help your Mac recover. But keep in mind that these are the shortcuts that may or may not help. If they don’t, please don’t experiment with YouTube videos and a screwdriver; take your Mac to a specialized company that will conduct more in-depth checks and revive your Mac.

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