How to Fix “Erase Process Has Failed” on Mac?

The Disk Utility is one of the apps every Mac can run, even when the system is not booting properly. It is a part of maintenance utilities you can access in Recovery. The Disk Utility usually works without issues, bugs, or crashes. However, some users report the “Erase Process Has Failed” error on Mac. Most often, it occurs when the user tries to format an entire disk or a specific partition. The error can also occur when you create new partitions on a fresh SSD or HDD. In this article, we will show you several methods to fix the erase process has failed error on Mac.

macOS shows the “Erase process has failed” error when the computer’s file system encounters a problem or bug within itself. It can also happen after you upgrade macOS to a newer version. Finally, hardware issues are also one of the reasons you may see the “Erase process has failed” on macOS.

Here are a few more things you need to consider when troubleshooting the issue:

  • You were tinkering with the operating system and deleted some of its important files.
  • Improper shutdown of some of the system processes. This can happen after sudden power loss (dead battery or a power blackout).
  • Aging or malfunctioning hardware. If you have an old Mac with an old SSD/HDD, replacing the drive might help you fix the problem. Keep in mind that newer Macs do not have user-replaceable drives.
  • Damage to one of the files being handled during an erase or format.
  • One of the system processes is using the drive you want to erase.
  • Firmware issues.
  • Interrupted read or write operations before the formatting process.
  • Malware.

As you can see, there are many possible reasons why the Disk Utility can show the “Erase Process Has Failed” error. As it usually goes with troubleshooting problems and bugs in any computer, try simple things before proceeding to more complicated solutions.

First, try to reboot your Mac. It’s possible that some system processes have bugged out. A reboot will restore macOS and all its processes. It will also help to refresh your BIOS, as often the disk erase error is caused by BIOS malfunctions.

Although less likely, you can still try to install a third-party antivirus for Mac. There are plenty of good options to choose from, including free solutions. Scan your computer to see whether a malware or potentially unwanted app prevents the Disk Utility from erasing your drive.

It is recommended to additionally clean your Mac with the built-in tool. This will delete unnecessary files and restore the macOS registry if it has been corrupted.

After that, go to Disk Utility and select the drive you need to erase. Make sure the SSD or HDD drive is detected by the system. All parameters should be listed. This means the drive is good and macOS identifies it. Try to format or erase the data on the drive again. The error should not happen again.

If the problem remains, proceed to the next method.

Fix Erase Process Has Failed on Mac – Method 1

If you get the “Erase Process Has Failed” error on a drive other than the system drive, you can try formatting it in Recovery.

Turn off your Mac and turn it on again. When you turn it on, press the ⌘ + Cmd + R keys before you hear the startup chime and see the Apple logo. When in Recovery, go to Disk Utility and try erasing the drive again. In safe mode, all functions are usually available if the boot disk is not damaged.

erase process has failed mac

How to Solve Erase Process Has Failed – Method 2

If the methods above did not help to solve the problem, try using Terminal. Go to the Finder, open the “Application” – “Utilities” menu. Find the Terminal and open it. Enter the following command:

diskutil list

Now enter the name of the disk or volume you want to format. For example, “disk1.” After that, enter this command:

diskutil eraseDisk HFS+ DISK disk1

erase process has failed

This command specifies the HFS+ (format). Remember to replace “disk1” in the command with the proper name of the drive you want to erase.

Method #3

Are you still unable to format the drive in macOS? Try First Aid to update directories of your SSD or HDD drive. Disk Utility has a built-in tool called First Aid. It is available for download with Mac OS 9.x or earlier.

First Aid can analyze and fix basic hard drive problems. All macOS processes will be suspended while it analyzes and fixes possible failures. First Air will recover corrupted registry entries, directories, and other minor breakdowns. In many cases, it will help you find the exact cause of the “Erase Process Has Failed” error or fix it completely.

mac erase process has failed

If none of the methods described above work, try updating or reinstalling macOS. If it is a software failure, then updating the operating system will help you. Otherwise, the problem is caused by a damaged disk, and you should consider replacing it with a new one.

Cyril Kardashevsky

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