Mac OS X Volume Missing: Causes and Resolution

Apple Mac is the most robust machine to work on. Still it is not untouched with problems. There are times when our volume go invisible, it is on the drive and just not visible. What are the reasons behind missing volume? The article explain the problems along with the resolution.

Mac OS X allows the partitioning of a hard drive into several volumes for data storage during OS X installation and via Disk Utility. You store your precious personal as well as professional data, such as images, audio and video files, documents, presentations and several other important things in these volumes without any backup. Although you know it is not permanently secure against any unforeseen event of loss, still you save it on these Mac volumes.

Apart from various scenarios, such as accidental volume deletion, volume header corruption, volume inaccessible, you might have experienced or heard that a particular volume of the hard drive is missing or lost.

Causes of a Mac Volume Missing

In case, when a Mac volume gets disappeared or OS is not able to read it, there is only you who is going to suffer with your critical data stored in the concerned volume; as you are no longer able to access it. If we think about the causes of a volume missing, they could be several reasons, such as File system corruption, damaged Apple Partition Map (APM) etc.; a few major ones are discussed below:

File System Corruption:

In Mac, hard drive is partitioned with HFS, HFSX, HFS+ (Extended Journaled) file system, which is susceptible to corruption. A file system corrupts due to the reasons, such as power failure, abrupt system shutdowns etc. In this situation, the concerned volume gets missing or lost.

Corrupt Boot Sectors:

Similarly, when the file system of a particular Mac volume corrupts, it causes Apple Partition Map corruption. Therefore, Mac is not able to track the sector location of the concerned volume, which makes it invisible on your Mac.

Poor Hard Drive Sectors:

A hard drive is constructed based on electro-mechanical principles, which makes a read-write head to move across a rotating platter. While moving across this platter, it puts scratches on this platter. These scratches affect hard drive sectors together with several other internal and external causes of its corruption.

In spite of these above discussed volume corruption causes, which lead to volume missing or lost, there could be several other unknown ones causing data loss.


The causes of a Mac volume corruption leading to its loss or missing volume could be several in numbers and you cannot fix all of them. However, what you can do is to protect your data from losing i.e. keeping an updated backup of it at a secure place. A secure place can be anywhere out of your Mac, such as a network drive, a data storage media, and an email account etc. that can keep a backup copy of your data and can be accessed whenever required. Keeping a backup copy prevents data loss in extreme conditions.

Moreover, in case you meet a situation of missing Mac volume and you did not backup the data stored in it, you can recover it using advance Mac data recovery software. These tools thoroughly scan the internal hard drive sectors to find these lost volumes and enable data recovery from them.

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