Catalina - Can't Access External Hard Drive Data!!!!

Dec 22, 2019
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Hello - I am super desperate for help. I (stupidly) keep everything on my external hard drive and don't have it backed up anywhere else. I noticed after the Catalina update that it shows as unmounted and can't be mounted. Is everything lost? I will be crushed! I am hoping for someone here can help me. I tried hooking up the external hard drive to my old Mac and I couldn't mount it there either. Thank you so much in advance.

When I try to mount it says:
Could not mount “External HD - docs, music, files”. ( error 49244.)

When I run first aid it says:

Running First Aid on “External HD - docs, music, files” (disk4s2)

Repairing file system.
Volume is already unmounted.
Performing fsck_hfs -fy -x /dev/rdisk4s2
Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
Invalid catalog PEOF
The volume could not be verified completely.
File system check exit code is 8.
Restoring the original state found as unmounted.
File system verify or repair failed. : (-69845)

Operation failed…

Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

It sounds like the drive is corrupted/failing in some way. It could jut be the directory is corrupted, which can happen if a drive isn't fully unmounted before detaching the cable or during a power loss scenario.

The best solution since it won't mount on either Mac is to try a utility like DiskWarrior. It is the gold standard for directory issues. That error is listed on their site here:

When should I use DiskWarrior? - ALSOFT
Invalid catalog PEOF is listed in the These messages are less common: section.

I cannot guarantee it will work or save your data, but it is an amazing tool that has saved hundreds of drives in my experience. If you do purchase it and give it a try, and it does get the drive to mount, be prepared to immediately copy the data to another drive. You could also expore data recovery services, but they can be VERY expensive and there isn't a guarantee with them either.

Hope that helps,


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