Question Seagate Harddrives wiped themselves

Nov 20, 2019
Hey all,

New user here.

During a time machine backup from an 8TB Seagate HD to my 2017 imac it stalled. The Mac is now at the shop getting worked on and although that is an issue it isn’t the point of this post.

I also had 2 external 8TB Seagate drives plugged into the computer as well. One was for RAW images and the other was for personal photos and videos. Each had 688gb and 750gb of data on them. Today when I plugged those both into my MacBook to retrieve some raw photos I was shocked to see they were totally wiped. One of the drives show 8TB available and the other showed 8TB available but 4.68gb used. The drives are the same name as I left them. I have not formatted them or erased them. They still mount easily.

are these recoverable? How could this have happened? I’m just confused and need to know if anyone has had this happen before. Thank you.


Why was the Mac sent to the shop?

What problems was the Mac having or, otherwise, what happened to the Mac?

First remember that anything you do could cause further loss of data.

Which model Seagate drives?

And they have never been connected to a Windows system - correct? Or placed on a network?

Were the drives being powered via the Mac or do the drives have their own power supply?

Does anything change if you plug in/mount only one drive at a time?

If the drive has not been deliberately formatted or erased the data may still be there. I say "may" because there is no way to know what might have happened. Especially with a broken Mac and/or some corruption with respect to the time machine backup software.

Seagate has diagnostic software for Mac's.

The diagnostic software may help identify some problem and thus lead to a recovery. However, the test itself could lead to more data loss.

Depending on the importance of the data you can DIY to some extent or start looking for a data recovery service. Expensive.


And, if you are not in a hurry, there may be other suggestions and comments....
Nov 20, 2019
Wow. Thank you for the detailed response.
They had their own power source and were plugged into a hub then into the Mac.

The Mac was hanging upon boot up after a Catalina install. This is why it was at the shop. My hardrives are with a shop right now but it’s too soon to know anything. I haven’t touched them.