In this article, MiniTool will show you three available solutions to fix the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer issue on Mac. No matter you are using USB flash drives, memory cards, SD cards, WD/Seagate external hard drives, or new hard drives on Mac Mojave/High Sierra, it is possible to get rid of that error.

Why the Disk You Inserted Was Not Readable by This Computer?

Today, we will talk about an issue which happens on Mac OS: the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer.

Due to some reasons, when you connect an external drive like an SD card, USB flash drive, external hard drive, and more to the computer which is running Mac OS, this error message pops up automatically.

the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer

Usually, this error message means that the directory of the drive has been corrupted. The main reasons include:

  • Virus attacks
  • Catalog file corruption
  • Damaged file system
  • Power outage or surge
  • Encryption of the drive
  • Forced shutdown of the computer
  • Improper ejection of the external drive

Want to get rid of the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer issue? The following solutions are worth trying.

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Fix 1: Check If the External Drive Has a Problem

Step 1: Try another External Drive on PC

Plug another drive to the computer. If there is no such an error and it appears in Finder, it means that the computer is OK, but there is something wrong with the first external drive.

Then, go to the next step to have a try.

Step 2: Check if the Drive Is Encrypted

If the external drive is encrypted, you will also encounter the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer SD card/USB flash drive/WD/Seagate error. In this situation, you can press the Ignore option and then search for a corresponding software to remove the encryption.

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Step 3: Connect the Drive to another PC

Remove the drive from the computer, and then connect it to another PC. If it is still unreadable, you need to move to fix 2 to repair corrupted external drive on Mac.

Step 4: Change another USB Cable and USB Port

A faulty USB cable and USB port can also lead to the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer USB flash drive/SD card/Seagate/WD. Thus, you can use another USB cable and USB port to check whether this issue disappears. If not, go to the next fix.

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Fix 2: Run First Aid to Check the Volume for Errors

First Aid is a built-in utility on Mac OS and it can be used to check and repair file system errors on various kinds of external drives. Thus, you can run it to solve the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer WD/Seagate/SD card/USB flash drive issue.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Right-click on the corrupted external drive and choose the Run First Aid option from the popup menu.
  3. A small window will pop out reminding you of Would you like to run First Aid on the drive. Then, you need to press Run to start the checking and repairing process.
  4. When this process ends, you can check whether you can use the drive normally.

However, in some cases, the First Aid process fails finally. And you will receive a message like this: First Aid has failed. If possible back up the data on this volume.

Don’t worry. When you see this error, you can erase the drive and then use it as a new one again. But, you need to know that erasing a drive will delete all data on it. Thus, you’d better rescue its files before erasing it.

However, if it is such an issue: the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer new hard drive, there is no need to retrieve files on the drive. You can directly erase the drive.

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Fix 3: Recover Data and Erase the Drive to its Normal State

If the above two methods don’t work for you, you may need to erase the drive to its normal state. However, erasing the drive will delete all data on the drive. If there are important files on it, you’d better rescue them first and then erase the drive.

Step 1: Rescue Files from an Unreadable Drive with Mac Data Recovery Software

As to recovering data from an inaccessible drive, you need to use a professional data recovery software for Mac. Perhaps, you are looking for a free Mac data recovery tool. Stellar Data Recovery for Mac is worth trying.

This software is specially designed to retrieve your lost and deleted files, photos, videos, audio, email, etc. from MacBook Pro/Air, iMac, Mac mini, and more. The supported devices are also various including SSD, HDD, SD card, USB, etc.

As long as the drive is not physically damaged, you can use Stellar Data Recovery for Mac to rescue data from an inaccessible drive.

This software has a trial edition and you can use it to first scan the drive you want to retrieve data from to check whether it can find your needed files. Now, you can go to the MiniTool download center to get this software.

Next, you need to install it on your Mac and then follow these steps to find your data from the drive that is bothered by the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer.

1. Open Stellar Data Recovery for Mac.

2. On this Select What To Recover interface, you can choose to recover everything or customize the scan according to your requirement. Here, we take Recover Everything as an example. After turning the switch of Recover Everything to On, click Next to continue.

select what to recover

3. On this interface, you need to select the drive that you want to recover. Then, click Scan to continue.

select the target drive to scan

4. The software will begin to scan the selected drive. The whole process will last for some minutes and the actual time depends on the size and condition of the selected drive. You need to wait until the whole process ends.

5. When the scanning process ends, you will see the scan results. There are three list categories. You can select one that is suitable for your situation and then click every path from the left list and then find your needed files.

scan results

Finally, if you discover that this software can find your needed files, you can update it to a full edition and recover your files without limit. If you are a personal user, the Premium Edition can fully meet your requirements.

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Step 2: Erase the Drive to Its Normal State

If you are facing the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer new hard drive issue or you have rescued the data on the drive, you can feel free to erase it to its original state and then use it as a new one.

Now, in the following guide, we will walk you through the detailed steps to erase an unreadable external drive on Mac.

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Select the unreadable drive and choose Erase from the menu on the top side.
  3. Arrange a name for the drive and choose a suitable format for the drive. Then, click on the Erase button to continue.
  4. When the erasing process completes, press Done.

After erasing the drive, you can go to see whether the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer error disappears.

If this issue persists, the drive should be physically damaged, and you need to replace it with a new one.

How to Avoid This Disk Unreadable Error and Protect Your Data

You see that it is possible to get rid of the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer. However, in your daily life and work, you’d better use the data storage drives and your computer in good manners to keep your data safe. After all, some serious situations can prevent you from recovering data.

Here are three things you can do:

1. Eject the External Drive Properly

The external drives like USB flash drives, SD cards, memory cards, external hard drives, and more are easy to be corrupted if you always eject them from the computer improperly.

For example, if the USB flash drive is still in use, removing it rudely and frequently could corrupt it one day.

Thus, every time, when you need to remove the external drive from Mac, please choose to eject it safely in Disk Utilities.

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2. Back up Your Important Data on the Drive Regularly

The usually used method to keep your data safe is to back it up. The well-known backup tool on Mac OS is the snap-in Time Machine. You can use it to automatically back up all of your files, including apps, music, photos, email, documents, and system files.

If you don’t know how to use Time Machine, you can refer to this Apple’s previous guide: Back up your Mac with Time Machine.

3. Use the Advanced File System

To make sure you can use the external drive on Mac normally, you’d better use the advanced file system such as NTFS, APFS, HFS+ file system.

Bottom Line

When you are facing the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer problem, why not try these three solutions mentioned in this post. They have been proved to be effective. Hope they can help you out.

Should you have any questions when dealing with this issue, you can contact us via [email protected], or leave a message in the comment. You can also share your ideas and suggestions here. Thanks a lot!

The Disk You Inserted Was Not Readable by This Computer FAQ

How do I fix an unreadable USB on Mac?
If the USB drive becomes unreadable on your Mac, you can first check whether the USB drive can work normally on other computers. Then, you can see whether there is something wrong with the USB port. If everything is OK, you can try running First Aid on Mac or erasing the drive to see whether it can work normally again.
What does restore disk utility do?
The Restore feature of Disk Utility on Mac allows you to make an exact copy of the original volume to the destination volume. During this process, all files on the destination volume will be erased. So, you need to back up all the files on the destination volume if you don’t want to lose them.
How do I wipe my G Drive slim?
To wipe a G Drive slim, you need to go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Then, you need to select G Drive slim and click Erase and then follow the wizard to finish the whole process.
How can I recover data from a not detected hard drive?

You can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recuse data from a not detected hard drive:

  1. Download and install this software on your computer.
  2. If the hard drive is displayed on the software, you can select it and press Scan to start the scanning process.
  3. Select your needed files from the scan results and press Save to store them on your specified location.
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