EXT4 repair on Mac OSX

My NAS WD drive recently became corrupt. It had trouble saving large files and running them. My router constantly complained about not being able to properly run Samba/swap on it.

Not having a Linux OS handy, I had a tall task to repair an EXT4 filesystem on Mac OSX 10.10.

I first tried the open source solutions: fuse-ext2, osxfuse, and ext2fuse (read-only). While these tools work great in allowing access to ext4. They do not include any disk repair tools. e2fsprogs from Homebrew also does not include the fsck utilities.

I also tried using the commercial ExtFS by Paragon. It integrates directly with Disk Utility and is able to verify/check the disk for errors. While it reported the errors properly, it had trouble repairing the filesystem and reported my ext4 partition as ext3. It failed to repair reporting: “Error: Disk Utility can’t repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files.” Also, ExtFS was very buggy as in it consistently froze the System Preferences and Finder (while ejecting and mounting).

Finally, I installed VirtualBox with an Ubuntu VM and added the USB drive from settings. I had to umount the drive from inside Ubuntu and running fsck -y was a breeze. Now ExtFS by Paragon also reports that the Disk is good.