What can I do if only one partition is recognised after I dropped my external hard drive?
Question by Nimrat Dhillon /

I dropped my external hard disk and now my Mac will only recognise one partition and not the other. The data on the partition lost was very important.

What are my next steps, Disk Repair? I don’t want to do anything that jeopardises the data, so eagerly awaiting feedback.

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Answers (17)
  • Anish Parameshwaran

    If the disk repair in disk utility doesn’t work, you could also try your hand at taking the hard drive to the apple store with your mac. They have fixed many issues similar to this before for me.

  • Sashritha Peiris

    You should seriously try Recuva or PhotoRec there is an article about that on makeuseof

  • Vivek Kumar Yadav

    Disk Drill Media Recovery could help. It’s a rather expensive tool, but from my experience works really well. There are other alternatives, as well.
    From what you described, the data SHOULD be recoverable, so keep trying, just don’t format/repartition the drive until you get it back.

  • Vivek Kumar Yadav

    format the whole disk again…

  • Christopher Webb

    Check to make sure there wasn’t any physical damage that might have destroyed the data.

  • Daizy

    It means your partitions are unmounted so I would like to suggest you to use volume repair utility of Stellar Drive ToolBox to mount your partition.

  • Adam Campbell

    Diskdrill is a good piece of software however it’s pricy
    TestDisk is a good piece of opensource software, however it is only a command line program.
    Data Rescue gets dome pretty good reviews…

    First two are pretty good, haven’t tried the last one

  • Kannon Y

    Hello Nimrat, I’m sorry that your drive has been damaged. A professor of mine once dropped his hard drive and suffered total data loss. You’re fortunate that at least one partition is available. You may be able to recover the lost partition but it will cost around $500 USD.

    What you’re suffer from is a head crash.

    After experiencing a drop, you should never plug the drive back into your computer. In fact, you can substantially aggravate your data recovery efforts by attempting to read a physically damaged disc. To understand why, you have to know the physical components of the drive.

    The reason why is related to the mechanical composition of the HDD. It’s built out of an “eye” (called the head) or reader assembly, a rotating aluminum disc and a firmware controller. There are more parts, but this is the simplest description. Anyway, the eye reads data that’s been magnetically bonded to the aluminum disc (it’s coated in a material that can store this information). And the disc spins at tremendous speeds. Dropping the drive causes the eye to crash into the platter (the aluminum platter, which is shaped like a disc) with such force that it can cause a dent and data loss. If the eye ever travels over the dent, it can cause the eye to crash again. It’s like driving a car at 200 KPH over a speed bump.

    The best data company available internationally is Kroll OnTrak:


  • Douglas Mutay

    There is still hope especially if you can see one partition. I will suggest to check the Mini Tool Mac Data Recovery by download it at mac.powerdatarecovery.com. Sound useful. Good luck!!!

  • Jim Chambers

    Try Mini Tool Mac Data Recovery.

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