5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2014 4:29 PM by Joe Cosentino
Joe Cosentino Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

I have a 2 TB western digital passport drive with my Lightroom catalog and my photos on it.  The drive does not show up on the desktop and I get the message he drive needs to e initialized with the options to initialize cancel or ignore.


Will initialize erase the data?  I am trying to get he drive back on line. I have the data backed up with crash plan but it will be a large download.


So the question is will initizaling the hard drive erase the information?


Also what about using first aid in disk utility?

Thank you


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (285,570 points)

    1. Yes, it will.

    2. You may be able to repair the disk or recover the data from it. If you choose to do either, don't erase the drive.



  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,730 points)

    Initialize means to erase the drive completely. You can try repairing the drive with Disk Utility, but usually when you get this message you will find that the volume is no longer shown in the Disk Utility sidebar. Not a good sign.


    See the following:


    General File Recovery



    If you stop using the drive it's possible to recover deleted files that have not been overwritten by using recovery software such as MAC Data Recovery, Data Rescue II, File Salvage or TechTool Pro.  Each of the preceding come on bootable CDs to enable usage without risk of writing more data to the hard drive.  Two free alternatives are Disk Drill and TestDisk.  Look for them and demos at MacUpdate or CNET Downloads. Recovery software usually provide trial versions that enable you to determine if the software would help before actually paying for it. Beyond this or if the drive has completely failed, then you would need to send the drive to a recovery service which is very expensive.


    The longer the hard drive remains in use and data are written to it, the greater the risk your deleted files will be overwritten.


    Also visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on Data Recovery.

  • Joe Cosentino Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    Thank you, I used WD 'S disk utility and the smart San says its good, currently it's checking for bad sectors.


    I will look at some of the programs you recommended, I have used tech tool pro in the past


    Like I said there is a back up of the information so not all is lost. Thank you


  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,730 points)

    Therein may be the problem. Why are you using the WD software? Before using the drive you should have repartitioned it to get rid of the WD software and only use Disk Utility to deal with formatting and repair.

  • Joe Cosentino Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    The Wd software was a utility download from thier web site.  it was not software on the drive.   Maybe my mistake but I thought software from the manufracture may be the best choice, the drive passed the SMART status check so right now running a drive test lookinf for bad sectors, if I remember that was how tech tool pro worked.


    The folders from this drive also show up in my time machine backup, I have new drives coming tomorrow so I can try to restore from time machine or from my cloud backup at crashplan.


    it would just be esier to get this drive back copy all the photos off and start again with a new drive.