How to Recover Data from Unmounted Hard Drive on Mac/Windows

Posted to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on May 17, 2022 | Approved by Christian Cawley

Data recovery can be tricky for many people, especially when it has to do with devices that are causing issues. Depending on the device you have, the issue can be one of a thousand different things. However, the device we are talking about here is an unmounted hard drive. Understanding what it is can help you easily resume files from it as well. This guide will be all about, so if you want to know how to restore data from an unmounted drive on Mac/Windows PC, keep reading.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. What Does Unmounted Hard Drive Mean?
Part 2. Reasons for Disk Unmounted
Part 3. How to Mount Unmounted Hard Drive on Mac and Windows PC
Part 4. How to Recover Data from Unmountable Hard Drive
Part 5. Frequently Asked Questions for Hard Disk Mount

Part 1. What Does Unmounted Hard Drive Mean?

Mounting is the process of connecting any hard disk to the computer’s motherboard so you can read it. This is different depending on how you are mounting the drive. For internal drives, the process usually involves connecting it through a SATA cable or other mounting methods with similar parameters. The same process applies to Macs and PCs when it comes to non-soldered drives.

However, even for drives that are connected directly to the motherboard, you can take some steps to mount them for reading. Regardless of which hard drive you are using, if it is unmounted, then you will not be able to access any of your files. Let us first talk about the reasons that can cause a drive to become unmounted in the first place.

Part 2. Reasons for Disk Unmounted

Depending on your situation, the reason your drive is unmounted can be one of many. Understanding what they are can help you not only figure out how to undo the problem, but also find out how you can recover data from unmounted hard drive on Mac/Windows PC if needed. Here are some of the most common reasons behind hard drive unmounting.

  1. Connection Issues
  2. Sometimes the problem is not as complicated as one might imagine. It is quite possible that the problem is as simple as a wire being disconnected and all you need to do is reconnect it to the system. However, if it is a connection issue, it could be possible that the connector on your drive or your PC is not working properly. In case it is the drive connector issue, then that is not fixable, and you may need to contact the manufacturer for recovery. However, if it is something wrong with your system, then you can connect your drive to a different computer to recover files from unmounted hard drive.

  3. Corrupted Disk
  4. If you are seeing an error saying that your disk is unmounted, one of the reasons could be that the disk has been corrupted. In that case, your only option is to figure out how to restore data from unmounted drive before disposing of it and getting a new one to replace it. Typically, such a drive would continue to give the same error even after connecting it to a different computer.

  5. Formatting Issues
  6. Sometimes having the wrong format can also lead to the disk showing as unmounted on your computer. This is especially common for drives that were being used in specialty devices that use their own formatting standards. It is quite possible to format the drive to a recognizable standard but that could lead to files loss. In that case, you might want to learn how to restore data from unmounted drive before you go ahead and wipe it for future use.

  7. Software Conflicts
  8. Just like hardware issues can render a drive useless, software conflicts can also cause drives to show as unmounted. Having a software that can cause such an issue on your drive is usually the biggest reason for this. However, sometimes the problem can also occur from software that is not even installed on your drive. Regardless of the scenario, you will need to know how to retrieve data from unmountable hard drive to fix the problem.

  9. OS Problems
  10. In some cases, it is possible that the operating system on your computer has started facing issues which can lead to all sorts of problems. Hard drives getting unmounted because of that is not that uncommon and you can easily verify that by connecting your drive to another computer. Once you are sure that your drive is working properly, you can wipe your computer for a fresh OS installation before reconnecting your drive. However, if the drive causing problems has OS components present on it or it is the drive on which your OS is installed, then you will need to figure out how to retrieve files from unmountable hard drive before you can wipe the drive itself for OS reinstallation.

Part 3. How to Mount Unmounted Hard Drive on Mac and Windows PC

It is possible to solve your problem by simply mounting the drive back into your computer. Apart from the hardware solutions, the steps you need to take to ensure that the drive is properly mounted are different for both Mac and Windows. Let us go through the steps for each of the OS in detail.

In macOS

Before you can start talking about how to recover data from an unmountable drive Mac, try following these steps:

  1. In the Finder app, click on the APP option and then open the utility menu.
  2. On the screen that appears, find and select the "Disk Utility" app.
  3. Once the app is launched, you will see a list of drives showing on the left side panel.
  4. In the list of drives, typically under the External list, you will find your unmounted drive showing as "Untitled".
  5. Click on the greyed-out Untitled option and then from the Disk Utility bar on top, click on the "Mount" option.

Once done, you can restart your Mac and if these steps solve the problem, you should be able to see your drive normally showing on your computer.

In Windows

If you are using a Windows PC, you can also try the following steps before deciding to recover data from unmountable drive windows. It may just solve the problem automatically and bring your drive back to life.

  1. Right-Click the Windows button on the Taskbar and in the list that appears, click on the "Disk Management" option. Wait for the window that appears to load the contents.
  2. If everything else is OK, you should see the drive you want to mount showing up in the list and in the bottom tiles as well.
  3. Right-click on the drive that you see showing with a drive letter and in the menu that appears, select the "Change Drive Letter and Paths…" option.
  4. In the window that opens, click on the "Add" button.
  5. In the next window, select the drive letter you want to assign to the drive and then click on the "OK" button.

Once the process is complete, you should be able to see your drive showing normally in Windows Explorer after a few seconds. Restart is not required in most cases for this process.

Part 4. How to Recover Data from Unmountable Hard Drive

While there are several methods to restore files from unmountable drive in Windows 11/10/8/7, the options can get limited when it comes to Mac. Beyond the few limited options available, you will eventually need to recover data from an unmountable drive Mac if you do not want to lose it permanently. Thankfully, given the prevalence of this problem, there are tools that can help you get data back from your Mac drive easily in just a few steps.

Our software of choice for this situation is iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. This is an easy-to-use and effective tool that can help you find all your files in just a few clicks. The software supports a wide range of formats, and you can also preview files that you want to recover if you do not want all your data back. The tool also comes with the option to get files back for free to some extent before you need to buy the full version which is useful for small data extractions. To find out how to retrieve data from unmountable hard drive on Mac.

using the iBeesoft Data Recovery tool, see the following steps:

  1. Install and launch iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac on your computer.
  2. In the main menu, select all the types of files that you want to recover from your drive. If you want to get back everything, please keep the "All File Types" option art selected at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Click on the Start button to begin the drive search.
  4. In the next window, you will see a list of drives that you can choose from for data recovery. Your unmounted drive should also be shown in the list. Select the disk you want to recover from and then click on the "Scan" button on the top left of the window.
  5. The app will now start scanning for files on your system. You will see a list of file types and the number of files available for recovery. You can select each option and use the preview window on the right to select individual files to recover. If you are not able to see files that you want to recover, you can also click on the "Deep Scan" button on the top left of the window. This will take more time, but it will find all the files on the drive including hidden ones.
  6. Once all the files are scanned and you have selected the files you want to recover, simply click on the "Recover" button on the top center of the screen to download the files to your computer.

Now that we have taught you how to retrieve data from unmountable hard drive on Mac, you should be able to find your data easily. you can also uuse this step to recover files from an uninitialized disk on Mac or Windows PC.

Part 5. Frequently Asked Questions for Hard Disk Mount

  1. How do I restore my external hard drive that won’t mount?
  2. In case your drive is not mounting on your computer, you might want to try formatting it. However, if you want to recover data from unmountable drive Mac, you can use iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac to speed up the process and get your files.

  3. Does mounting a drive erase data?
  4. This is typically not the case unless your drive requires a format. Formatting drives wipe all data on them, and you will either need to copy the data somewhere or use the best free hard disk recovery software like iBeesoft data recovery to download it to your computer.

  5. How do I mount an unmounted hard drive on Mac?
  6. To mount an unmounted drive on Mac, go to the Disk Utility app and then select the unmounted drive from the list on the left sidebar. After clicking on the drive (typically shown as "Untitled"), you will need to click on the "Mount" button on the top bar. Once you are done, restart your Mac and you should be able to see your drive connected to your Mac normally.