How to Recover Data from Dropped External Hard Drive on Mac

Have you dropped your Mac Hard drive and lost all your data? Certainly, you must be willing to recover all your valuable data. No worries, in this guide you will have all the finest methods to recover your lost data from dropped external hard drive through Mac.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

May 05, 2023 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

Q: "I accidentally dropped my Mac hard drive, as a result, I lost all my precious data on the hard drive. The data has very much significance in my life as all my family pictures and my trip photos are in it. I'm desperate to know if it can be recovered or not. If yes, then I want to know the quickest and simplest ways to do that. Recovering my data will surely be a blessing for me."

Certainly, you can recover all the lost data from the dropped hard drive.

However, please keep in mind that a hard drive is a sensitive device, it can be affected badly even by a slightly harsh physical interaction. If you are not familiar with the working principle or physical structure of a hard drive, do not try to fix it by yourself. Taking dropped hard disks to a local technician will be a wiser choice.

Well, if you are confirmed that your hard drive data disappeared owing to a logical problem, you can get down to fix it.

Firstly, be aware of what the scenarios are where you are prone to dropping your hard drive. Furthermore, know about the best methods to recover all the lost data after your external hard drive drops.

In this article

Common Symptoms for External Hard Disk

There are multiple scenarios where people have dropped their external hard drives, and the scenario varies from person to person. In the technical forums, Apple users describe how they dropped their external hard disk:

  1. The dropped hard disk gave a humming sound and white light.
  2. The hard drive doesn't work on the Mac, in other words, the drive is not detected by the Mac.
  3. After the hard drive dropped, it got powered on. However, the hard drive still works but it is not recognized by Mac. After a while, it stopped after giving a clicking sound.
  4. felling off from your pocket, the drive starts making a beeping sound when you connect it to a Mac book.

4 Ways | Recover Data from The Dropped Hard Drive on Mac

So now you know the common symptoms after people dropped their external hard drives.

Let's come to the most significant part, which will teach you to know simple and efficient methods to repair your dropped hard drive.

Method 1. Connect the external hard drive to another Mac

Okay, first, connect the external hard drive to your Mac computer. If the Mac computer recognizes it, you are suggested to make a backup of your data on Mac before blinking, in case the external hard disk runs into failure after some time.

Unfortunately, if your disk cannot be detected, try to read method 2 to find out the solution.

Method 2. Use a USB-SATA / IDE adaptor

Use a USB-SATA/ IDEA adaptor to confirm if your hard drive is working or not. Connect your hard drive and your Mac computer through the USB-SATA or IDEA adaptor. But before using this method, you must have some technical know-how of using for connecting the hard drive. As mentioned before, the hard drive is a sensitive part of the computer or Mac. Follow these short steps to proceed:

Step 1 Connect the hard drive to the Mac via using the SATA to USB converter. Using the SATA to USB converter will make your hard drive an external hard.

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Step 2 There can be a case where your hard drive might not support SATA or would be compatible with PATA/IDE 3.0. In this scenario, you need to buy a compatible disk cable to connect your hard drive to your Mac.

Step 3 If you succeed to connect your hard drive to the Mac using SATA to USB converter, then you need to go to the disk utility tool. If you have attached all the cables and USB port cables are attached properly, then the hard drive will surely be recognized.

Step 4 Now finally that your hard drive is connected to another Mac, without thinking twice copy your valuable data to the system immediately.

Method 3. Use a commercial data recovery software

Sadly, if you were unable to fix your hard drive through the above solutions, then commercial data recovery software-Wondershare Recoverit is needed.

Recoverit is a remarkable software, which can recover more than 1000+ data formats. It can recover data from almost any of the storage devices such as desktops, laptops, SD cards, hard drives and etc. It is worth mentioning, Recoverit for Mac is globally accepted.

Follow the following four steps to restore your data from the dropped hard drive.

Step 1 Launch recover it on Mac

First and foremost, the task is to download and install the recovery software on your Mac. Once it is installed, you can just double-click the icon to run the application.

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Step 2 Select the device

Once you've opened the application, the steps are easy and simple after that. You need to select the drive under the "Devices" option in front of you. Make sure you select the hard drive you dropped and tried to connect to another Mac. Once you have recognized your dropped hard drive. Click on the "Start" tab to move forward.

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Step 3 Scan the location

Recoverit is famous for its deep scanning process. Once you have pressed the tab "start", the software will start the deep scanning process for your dropped hard drive. You can even either pause or resume the scanning process.

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Step 4 Preview and recover files

The scanning process might take some time. After the process has been completed, you will be able to preview all the data you lost when the drive was dropped and found after the deep scanning process. You can preview multiple types of data, may it be videos, pictures, or audio. Before thinking twice, you need to select the button "recover" to enable the final and most important recovering process. The recovery time of the data will depend upon the size of the data on the hard drive you have connected. Lastly, save your recovered data at the desired location.

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Move the read/write head of the external hard drive to its original position.

This is the last method for you to try if all the above methods have failed to satisfy you. In this method, you can move the read/write head of the dropped external hard drive to its original position, which can make your hard drive detectable, and then you can copy your data files on the Mac. This method is only for data recovery professionals or anyone who has the technical know-how and not for home users. Follow these steps carefully to move the read/write head of your external hard drive to its original position.

Step 1 Firstly, you need to remove the screws on the back of the external hard drive using a T6 screwdriver.

Step 2 After removing the screws, take off the hard drive casing ad keep it aside.

Step 3 Now check if the read/write heads have hit the disk and stuck there.

Step 4 If yes, then move them back to their starting position where they are supposed to be when the hard drive starts, in other words, move them to their original position. Use the T6 screwdriver and the central spindle to do so.

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Step 5 While doing all this, be careful not to scratch the surface of the platters.

Step 6 Make sure that the platters can move freely.

Step 7 Put the cover back using the T6 screwdriver to tighten the screws of the case. Now it's ready to be tested again.

Step 8 If you have followed the above steps properly, then you should be able to detect your hard drive on Mac.


The hard drive not just affects the device life but also the file integrity, but need to mention, it is really sensitive. You need to take care of it.

Unfortunately, once you have dropped the drive, the above four methods will be effective for you. If none works, it means your hard drive is physically crashed. In this case, immediately reach out to a professional technical provider to get back your data from the crashed hard drive.

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