My mac recently gave up and I'm trying to salvage whatever data I can from the hard drive. I was able to boot using the OSX Installation CD and fire up Disk Utility that basically told me that the drive could not be repaired and I need to format it. My question - how can I manually mount it (from Terminal) and try to recover some of my data? I figured that if Disk Utility can see it, perhaps I could too. Thanks.

2 Answers 2


To mount disks:

diskutil list

see your drive and note id#, then:

diskutil mountDisk /dev/diskn

where n is the # you id'ed in diskutil list

  • sudo diskutil mount readOnly /dev/disk2s1 is what I had to use Commented Mar 6, 2016 at 19:53

You can try something like this:

mount /dev/disk1s10

And replace disk1s10 with the identifier of your drive.

  • There are plenty of disk* entries in /dev. How can I know which one is my actual drive? thanks again.
    – sa125
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 18:20
  • 1
    There are a few ways that I can think of. First get a list of all mounted drives before mounting the old drive. After you mount the old drive, view the list again - you can id it by process of elimination. There were a few other methods found in this SU post: superuser.com/questions/114515/… drutil and df looked like the most effective methods
    – JW8
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 18:53
  • 2
    you can know the identifier doing diskutil list disk2 (i.e for disk2)
    – konus
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 4:29

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