Frozen external drive during LR import

During a large Lightroom import, my external Seagate drive filled up and the import process froze. I had to force quit and start the import over with a different external drive. The first drive is now non-responsive: it won’t mount, and Disk Utility can’t see it even though it powers on and hums when connected to any laptop. Did I corrupt the whole thing? Any recommendations any recovery processes or apps? Thanks for the help!

Hi Alison,

Hmm. That’s not a good sign. The first thing I would try is using a different cable. I don’t think that will fix it, but it’s worth a try.

If that doesn’t work, there aren’t many recovery programs that will work if the drive fails to mount/show up in disk utility. You could try some of these tips: https://iboysoft.com/mac-data-recovery/external-drive-not-mounting-mac.html

If none of that works, I would go to a company like Drive Savers and see what they can do! https://drivesaversdatarecovery.com/

Dear Alison Behr,

I am sorry to hear about the drive trouble. The first question that I would ask is do you have an up to date backup?

If so then restoring from the backup to a fresh external hard drive might be faster and easier than messing with the damaged one. If so then this might also be a good time to consider moving to a higher-speed higher-quality disk than your old Seagate.

If you do not have an up to date backup that you trust then you might try using a data recovery utility like Data Rescue from ProSoft. https://www.prosofteng.com/

I have had good luck with Data Rescue in my tech support business but I will warn you that it is very slow and there are no guarantees.

Forest’s advice about turning to a professional service like drivesavers is good too but expect the bill for their efforts to be expensive.

I hope this helps and that you get your photos back soon!


David Marx

1 Like

Future student, long time Mac user. Reboot your Mac and plug in the drive. Use different cable and USB port. Launch disk utility and in upper left be sure you have chosen show ALL VOLUMES. If it still won’t mount use the terminal per Mac sales.com article. https://blog.macsales.com/45330-disk-utility-view-options-solving-the-mystery-of-those-empty-unformatted-drives/. Since you are importing hopefully you have another back up copy.

1 Like