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toshiba external hard drive not working mac

How To Fix a Toshiba External Hard Drive Not Working on Mac

Sue Wayne
Sue Wayne Originally published Oct 19, 23, updated May 14, 24

Have you connected your Toshiba external HDD to your Mac, and it's not working? That can happen due to various reasons. We've prepared a list of reasons your Toshiba external hard drive isn't showing up on Mac.

Moreover, we've prepared detailed steps to fix the Toshiba hard drive not working on Mac. Lastly, we'll help you recover lost data from your external HDD. With our guide, you'll successfully fix the "Toshiba hard drive not showing up on Mac" problem.

Table of Content
    1. Reformat Your Toshiba External Hard Drive
    2. Reinstall USB Drivers
    3. Try a Different USB Port
    4. Check the USB Cable & Replace
    5. Connect the Toshiba External Drive to Another Mac
    6. Check Your Connection
    7. Check the Toshiba Official Website for Driver Updates
    8. Update macOS
    9. Show External Disks in Finder Preferences
    10. Use First Aid to Repair the Errors
    11. Use Terminal to Fix Disk Corruption
    12. Format the Corrupted Toshiba Hard Drive to a New Sate
    13. Contact the Toshiba Support or Professional Disk Repair Service

Toshiba Hard Drive Not Working on Mac: Common Problems and Fixes

If your Toshiba external hard drive isn't working on your Mac device, it could be for many reasons. These problems include poor connection, faulty USB ports, outdated drivers, hidden external disks, or corruption.

Check out the table below for a quick summary of the possible problems and solutions, and solve the issue of a Toshiba hard drive not showing up on your Mac.

Problem Solution
Incompatible file system Mac uses a different file system (HFS+ or APFS) compared to Windows (NTFS). If the Toshiba external hard drive is formatted with NTFS, your Mac may not be able to write to it.
Fix: Reformat the external hard drive to a Mac-compatible file system such as HFS+ or APFS.
Faulty USB port or cable A damaged USB port on your Mac or a faulty USB cable may cause the external hard drive to not be recognized.
Fix 1: Reinstall USB Drivers
Fix 2: Try a Different USB port
Fix 3: Replace the USB cord
Poor connection/not enough power One reason your Toshiba external hard drive isn't showing up on your Mac could be that the connection between the HDD and Mac is poor or doesn't have enough power.
Fix 1: Connect the Drive to Another Mac
Fix 2: Check Your Connection
Outdated or incompatible drivers The drivers required for the Toshiba external hard drive to function properly may be outdated or incompatible with your Mac.
Fix 1: Check Toshiba Website for Driver Updates
Fix 2: Update macOS
External disk hidden in Finder preferences Your Mac's settings or permissions may be preventing it from displaying or accessing the Toshiba external hard drive.
Fix: Show External Disks in Finder Preferences
Corrupted or damaged hard drive The Toshiba external hard drive itself might be damaged or have corrupted data, causing it to not work properly with your Mac.
Fix 1: Use First Aid to Repair the Errors
Fix 2: Use Terminal to Repair the Errors
Fix 3: Format the Corrupted Disk to a New State
Fix 4: Contact a Professional Disk Repair Service

13 Ways to Fix Toshiba External Drive Not Working/Showing Up on Mac

Way 1: Reformat the Toshiba External Hard Drive to a Mac-Compatible Format

Toshiba external drives can sometimes become unreadable or unresponsive on Mac due to an incompatible file format. Most external hard drives come pre-formatted with the NTFS file system, which may not be natively writable on a Mac. To fix this issue, you'll need to reformat the drive to a Mac-compatible file system, such as HFS+ or APFS.

Please note that reformatting the drive will erase all data on it. Therefore, it's essential to recover and back up your files using a data recovery tool before proceeding. In this tutorial, we recommend using Wondershare Recoverit - Hard Drive Data Recovery, as it has been recognized as a leader in data recovery by G2 users for its clean UI and advanced data recovery algorithm.

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To recover files from your Toshiba external hard drive using Wondershare Recoverit, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Toshiba external hard drive to your Mac.
  2. Install and open Wondershare Recoverit.
  3. Go to Hard Drives and Locations, select your Toshiba hard drive, and click Start.
    choose the toshiba external hard drive
  4. That will start a scan of your Toshiba external HDD. You can monitor, pause, and stop the scanning process at the bottom of the screen.
    monitor the scanning process
  5. Once the scanning completes, preview the found files. Click Recover to restore them if you're satisfied with the results. However, save the recovered data to a different location.
    recover files from toshiba external drive on mac
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After backing up your data, here's how to format your external hard drive on Mac using Disk Utility:

  1. Connect your Toshiba external hard drive to your Mac using a USB cable.
  2. Navigate to Finder > Go > Utilities > Disk Utility. Open Disk Utility by locating and double-clicking it.
  3. Find and select your Toshiba external hard drive in the connected storage devices list within Disk Utility.
  4. Click the Erase button at the top of the window to open the Erase dialog box.
  5. Choose a new name for your external hard drive to identify it after formatting.
  6. Select a Mac-compatible file system, such as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" for HFS+ or "APFS," from the Format dropdown menu.
  7. Click the Erase button to start formatting the drive, which may take a few minutes.
  8. After formatting is complete, click Done to close the dialog box.

Your Toshiba external hard drive is now in a new state and should be compatible with your Mac, allowing you to transfer files without any issues. If the Toshiba external hard drive still isn't working on your Mac after formatting, you may need further troubleshooting or assistance from Toshiba or professional service.

Way 2: Reinstall USB Drivers

A faulty USB port is another reason your Toshiba hard drive isn't working on your Mac. Since the USB port is the only connection between an external HDD and a Mac device, it can cause connection problems if it's not working correctly. Reinstalling USB drivers will reset your USB ports and clear any potential issues they have. Follow these steps to reinstall USB drivers on your Mac:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Disconnect all USB devices. You can keep the keyboard and mouse connected.
  3. Press and hold the Power button for ten seconds.
  4. Then, wait a few seconds and press the Power button again to turn on your Mac.
  5. Connect your Toshiba hard drive to check the USB port.

Way 3: Try a Different USB Port

Another simple way to test if your USB port isn't correctly working is to try a different USB port. Disconnect your Toshiba external hard drive and insert it into another USB port. If it shows up on your Mac, the first USB port you used is faulty.

toshiba hard drive usb

Way 4: Check the USB Cable & Replace

Besides the USB port, your USB cable could be broken or not work correctly. In that case, replacing the USB cable will fix the problem.

Find a different USB cable and connect your Toshiba external hard drive to your Mac computer. If it still won't connect, the cable isn't the issue.

Way 5: Connect the Drive to Another Mac

One reason your Toshiba external hard drive isn't showing up on your Mac could be that the connection between the HDD and Mac is poor or doesn't have enough power. If your Toshiba external hard drive isn't working on your Mac because of a poor connection, you can test it on another Mac device. Find a different Mac device and connect your Toshiba external hard disk. If it still doesn't show up, the problem isn't the poor connection.

Way 6: Check Your Connection

Sometimes, the connection between an external hard drive and a Mac's USB port isn't possible because the two devices are incompatible. That connects to the amount of power your Toshiba external HDD uses.

For example, USB 2.0 ports provide around 500 mA, while USB 3.0 ports provide up to 900 mA. Thus, check your Toshiba external hard drive's specifications to see how much power it requires.

Way 7: Check the Toshiba Official Website for Driver Updates

Your Toshiba external hard drive won't work correctly if your drivers are outdated. Thus, updating your HDD drivers or macOS can help your computer and Toshiba HDD work and connect properly. To ensure your Toshiba external hard drive works optimally with your Mac, it's essential to have the latest driver updates and necessary software installed. The Toshiba website offers these updates for various hard drive models.

Here's how to check for and install the required updates or software for your specific Toshiba external hard drive model on your Mac.

  1. Identify your Toshiba external hard drive model by checking the label on the drive. The model number usually starts with "HD" followed by letters and numbers, such as HDTC920XW3AA.
  2. Open your web browser and visit the Toshiba Downloads Center at https://www.toshiba-storage.com/downloads/.
  3. From the Product category dropdown menu, select Portable.
  4. In the Model dropdown menu, select your specific Toshiba external hard drive model, such as "Canvio Advance HDTC920XW3AA" for an HDTC920XW3AA model.
  5. Click the Go button to search for available driver updates or software for your external hard drive model.
  6. If any software or driver is available for your model, it will be listed on the search results page. Click the Download button next to the necessary software or driver.
    download toshiba driver or software
  7. Once downloaded, locate the file on your Mac and double-click it to initiate the installation process. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  8. Restart your Mac to ensure the changes take effect.
  9. Reconnect your Toshiba external hard drive to your Mac and verify if it's functioning correctly. If not, you may need additional troubleshooting.

Way 8: Update macOS

Since OS updates come with improvements, bug fixes, and driver updates, you can fix your problem of the hard disk not showing up by updating macOS. A macOS update can resolve the issue, whether the outdated macOS or out-of-date HDD drivers caused it. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Click the Apple menu icon in the top left corner.
  2. Click System Preferences.
    open system preferences on mac
  3. Then, click Software Update.
    open software update in system preferences
  4. Wait a few seconds for Mac to check for available updates. If there's an available update, click Update Now next to it. Check the Automatically keep my Mac up to date checkbox to enable automatic updates.
    update macos
  5. Wait for the update to finish, and try connecting your Toshiba external hard drive again.

Way 9: Turn On External Disks in Finder Preferences

Your Toshiba external hard disk might not show up on your Mac if the Show external disk option is off. This easy fix requires just a few clicks because it isn't a problem but an oversight in preferences. You only need to set your Toshiba external hard disk as visible in Finder Preferences, and that's it. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Open Finder from the Dock and select Preferences.
    finder preferences on mac
  2. Click the Sidebar in Finder Preferences.
    sidebar in finder preferences
  3. Tick the External Disks checkbox in the Locations section to make them visible.
    check external disks in preferences

Way 10: Use First Aid to Repair the Errors

Another reason your Toshiba external hard drive isn't working on your Mac could be due to disk corruption. Fortunately, you can address this issue using First Aid in Disk Utility or Terminal, both of which are system utilities designed to help manage your HDD and resolve errors. If these two utilities don't fix the problem, you may need to format the drive or seek help from a professional data recovery service.

Besides managing your hard drives, Disk Utility has a built-in First Aid option that helps fix HDD errors. Follow these steps to repair a corrupted external hard drive on Mac using Disk Utility:

  1. Navigate to Applications > Utilities. Open Disk Utility.
    applications utilities on mac
  2. Find your Toshiba external hard drive under External and click it.
    toshiba external hard drive disk utility
  3. Click First Aid in the action pane.
    first aid option in disk utility
  4. Click Run and let First Aid check for problems and fix them.
    run first aid on a toshiba drive

Way 11: Use Terminal to Repair Disk Corruption

Terminal is another app to help you repair your Toshiba external drive if it's corrupted. Follow these steps to fix the Toshiba external hard disk not working on your Mac in Terminal:

  1. Click Finder and select Utilities under Applications.
  2. Locate and click Terminal.
    open terminal on mac
  3. Type the diskutil list command and press Enter. This command will display a list of attached hard drives.
  4. Find the dev/diskX (external, physical) in the command line. The X will be the number assigned to your Toshiba hard drive, so remember it.
    command diskutil list
  5. Type the diskutil info disk X command and press Enter. Replace X with the number assigned to your hard drive. That will show you the complete information about that HDD.
  6. Type the diskutil eject disk X command and press Enter. Again, replace X with a corresponding number. This command will allow you to eject your Toshiba external hard drive safely.
    command diskutil eject diskx
  7. Rerun the diskutil list command to check the available hard drives. Your Toshiba HDD won't be on the list this time.
  8. Remove your Toshiba external HDD from your Mac computer and reinsert it. That will solve the problem of your hard drive not showing up.

Way 12: Format the Corrupted Toshiba Hard Drive to a New Sate

Except setting up a fresh, Mac-compatible file system, formatting your Toshiba hard drive for Mac can also removes any potential file system errors, bad sectors, or corruption on the drive. You can refer to the Case 1 to learn about the formatting process in Disk Utility. Please note that formatting will erase all data on the hard drive, so make sure to back up your files or perform Toshiba hard drive recovery before proceeding.

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Way 13: Contact the Toshiba Support or Professional Disk Repair Service

If you have tried all troubleshooting steps and your Toshiba external hard drive is still not working on your Mac, it may be best to contact Toshiba Support or seek help from a professional disk repair service. They can provide further guidance and assistance in diagnosing and fixing the issue.

Remember that professional disk repair services may charge a fee for their work, so it's essential to weigh the costs and benefits before proceeding.

Summing Up

If your Toshiba external hard drive isn't working or showing up on your Mac device, it can be due to several reasons. They can include poor connection, faulty USB ports, outdated drivers, hidden external disk preferences, corruption, etc.

Fortunately, our step-by-step guides can help with each possible problem, successfully fixing your Toshiba external hard drive not showing up on your Mac. However, since the methods might cause data loss, recover data from your Toshiba HDD using Wondershare Recoverit.

FAQs

  • My Toshiba external hard drive light is on but not working on Mac. Is it broken?
    No, it's not broken. If the light is on, your Toshiba external hard drive is working. However, it isn't showing up on your Mac for numerous reasons, such as problems with USB ports or poor connection.
  • My Toshiba hard drive won't show up on my Mac. What can I do?
    First, check if the USB ports work and are compatible with your Toshiba hard drive. Then, check if your macOS needs an update. You can also check if your Finder Preferences are set to hide external disks. Lastly, use Disk Utility or Terminal to fix a corrupted Toshiba HDD.
  • Why is my Toshiba external hard drive not working on Mac?
    Your Toshiba external hard drive isn't showing up on your Mac for many reasons. Your connection could be poor, and it might not have enough power. Moreover, your USB port or cable could be faulty. If your macOS isn't up to date, that could be a reason you can't open your hard disk. Furthermore, your Toshiba HDD could be corrupted and need fixing.
Sue Wayne
Sue Wayne May 14, 24
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