The dreaded “macOS Disk Utility Can’t Repair This Disk” notification is alarming. Here is how to fix this issue.

Is there anything more panic-inducing for a student than having a final essay document suddenly go missing? Well, probably having that document go missing, try to run Disk Utility to recover the essay, and receiving the “macOS Disk Utility Can’t Repair This Disk.” A major project gets lost, and, yeah, that will create anxiety.

Disk Utility is one of the more helpful internal tools on a MacBook. It can help a user recover misplaced documents when their disk storage keeps on crashing. Everything and anything related to saving and storing data on a disk, the First Aid feature on Disk Utility is your go-to tool for that.

But, the message “Disk Utility Can’t Repair This Disk” is a bit of an alarming one. If Disk Utility cannot mitigate any problems with it, what can a student do if their paper is due in just a few hours!?

That being said, this is a fixable issue. One that may require a bit more work than resetting the PRAM or SMC. But, it is more than doable for even the most novice of MacBook users.

Did you get that message about Disk Utility unable to fix your storage? Here’s how to really fix that:

Method 1: Use the FSCK Command to repair it manually.

Please take note of which MacBook you have, as starting this command is different for the Macs with Intel processors and the silicon-based ones.

1a. For Silicon Models:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top toolbar and select the Shut Down option.
  2. Hold down the power button until the phrase “Loading startup options” appears on the screen.
  3. Click on Options and type in your password (if requested).

1b. For MacBooks with Intel processors:

  1. Restart the device.
  2. When you hear the system boot-up sound, hold down the Command and S keys to put the system into single-user mode.

2. A terminal opens up with several different lines of code, instructions, and system information. At the bottom, type /sbin/fsk -fynext to the line localhost:/ root#. 

3. The system will start to locate any errors. If there is nothing wrong with it, it will say, “The volume appears to be OK.” If not, it will say, “File system was modified.” Continue to type in the /sbin/fsk -fy line until it is fixed.

4. In a worst-case scenario, there will be a line of dialogue that says, “The volume could not be verified completely.” This means the FSCK tool cannot fix your disk.

Method 2: Reformat the disk and reinstall data from a previous backup.

1. Open Disk Utility once again and select the disk that is currently malfunctioning.

2. Click on the Erase tab located at the top of the Disk Utility window.

3. The Erase window will appear. It will give the user an option to name the disk and change the file format. Changing the name is not super important so that it can stay the default name. However, knowing what the format is, is vital for a few reasons:

  • If the disk is the internal hard drive or an external hard drive or thumb drive is only compatible with macOS devices, do not change the format.
  • However, change the file format to ExFAT if the external storage is compatible with macOS and Windows.

4. Once that is finished, click Erase.

5. This is where having a Time Machine backup is essential—plug in the storage disk that contains your Time Machine backup.

6. Find the folder containing the data that needs to be recovered. Click on it, and in the bottom right-hand corner, click on Restore.

Method 3: Try using the First Aid feature again.

This might sound like it is too good to be true but re-running the First Aid tool on the disk needing repair is the recommended option from Apple.

  1. Find the Applications option and click on it.
  2. At the Applications menu, click on Disk Utility.
  3. Once the Disk Utility window opens, choose which storage disk to repair.
  4. Next, click on the First Aid tab, and at the window prompt, click on Run.
  5. If the message keeps on coming up, don’t hesitate to run again.

“Now you know how to fix this issue…and knowing is half the battle!”

Nothing is more stressful for a student when an essay does not save or is deleted for no reason. The stress level is guaranteed to double when the student’s MacBook cannot recover it due to Disk Utility not working properly. If that same student from the first paragraph reencounters this problem, they will know exactly what to do. And when your system says “Disk Utility can’t repair…” know that there are multiple, good-to-know solutions to that issue.

At MicroReplay, we know a thing or two about MacBooks and how to repair these devices. With over twenty-plus years of experience, our company specializes in repairing liquid-damaged MacBooks and other high-end laptops.

In need of a liquid spill or cracked screen repair? Book a repair with us today!

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