How to recover files on Mac?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by fcirr, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. fcirr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    2
    0
    Hi guys,

    I'm new to Mac os and urgently need to undelete some lost data on my external hard drive which I used with my laptop. The files were very important for me including images, movies, music, documents, and so on. Some of my business documents were also in that hard disk.

    So which software do I need to install to recover those data? Any suggestion would be appreciated.

    Mod note: moved to proper forum. Watching..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2016
  2. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
    2,338
    1,019
    Bummer. Maybe someone will jump in. Meanwhile, I will move this thread...
     
  3. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,135
    1,786
    SPAM ALERT: Waiting for the the 1 post answer of a commercial product to solve the problem.
     
  4. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,715
    4,788
    Based on very limited data, that second spam post may not happen since the original post was moved. I don't know how the spambot stores the thread information for the future spam response.
     
  5. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
    4,850
    767
    According to the recorded, the A-Spam could be post the answer about 2 or 3 months later, so this thread only watching.
     
  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,086
    3,024
    I know how to do what was asked. Been there, done it. Will answer if the TS comes back.
     
    JohnInTX likes this.
  7. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
    4,850
    767
    I just googled, but there is no any other post by the same ID, if we too focus on the spam, when someone really needs help then we could be missing, this should be depends on does the TS will come back soon or not, or just left the message and gone.
     
  8. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
    2,647
    631
    If the expected follow-up appears we'll know what to do. If it doesn't then this thread will drift into history.
     
  9. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,715
    4,788
    The fact that the TS hasn't come back, despite receiving e-mail notifications that there are responses to their thread, to get the responses to their "urgent" need, says quite a bit.
     
    JonnyS likes this.
  10. fcirr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    2
    0
    Thanks for your REALLY helpful answers...
     
  11. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
    2,338
    1,019
    @wayneh TS is back, give it a shot if you can. Thanks.
    @fcirr

    Edit: Tagged TS
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  12. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,715
    4,788
    If you are legitimately asking for assistance, we apologize and have tagged the member, @wayneh, that indicated that they could help.

    Let me explain the situation a bit for your benefit:

    We have had a rash of what we call one-two punch or Q/A spammers. One new member posts a question saying that they have some problem, usually with corrupt files of some kind. Then, a few days later, another new member posts a solution that involves a third-party non-free solution. So we have become very, very suspicious of any activity such as yours. However, note that precisely because of the possibility of such an initial post being legitimate we have NOT adopted the policy of declaring such initial posts as spam (which results in removal of the thread and the permanent banishment of the member). Instead, we wait for the follow-up spam post and, at the same time, wait for the original poster to give some indication that they are not just a spambot by posting a follow-up.
     
    Papabravo, ScottWang and JohnInTX like this.
  13. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,086
    3,024
    I suffered a hard drive crash on my Macbook a year or two ago. I though the drive might have gone bad but I've been using it without issues ever since. I speculate that I had a head crash into a vital system file area. Most files were probably not damaged, but the directory apparently got wiped.

    Anyway, I wasn't backing up at the time - despite knowing better - and was forced to try anything and everything to recover all my precious files. You can't imagine the sick feeling you get when you think you may have lost all your photos, videos, tax files, project drawings, and on and on.

    There are a number of file recovery software options. In the past I have had very good luck recovering photos from "erased" SD cards, so I had some hope these might work for me. I read reviews and after playing with several, I ended up using ProSoft's Data Recovery 3. (It's up to version 4 now.) It's widely regarded and probably the top-of-the-line product.

    The first step was to buy a fast (lightning) external drive to recover files onto. If only I had bought this first, and been using Time Machine to handle my backups, I wouldn't have had such a problem. So this wasn't too painful because I needed a good backup drive anyway.

    Next, you clone the damaged drive onto the new one. This gives you a pristine copy you can keep examining without fear of doing more damage to it. Then I reformatted my internal drive and put a system back on it. As I said, it's been working normally since that.

    Examining the clone, the bad news was that my directory couldn't be rebuilt and I had to resort to identifying files by their structure, and restoring everything without names or hierarchical location. The software already knows most common file formats but I had to give it examples of a few others. It's great feature of Data Rescue that it can learn new file types. I knew what I was looking for, but this would be very difficult if you didn't. It also relies on files being continuous on your hard drive and not fragmented. The Mac OS does a very good job of this but fragments do happen to a few percentage of files. I suppose I must have lost a few files due to fragmentation but I can't identify any.

    Restoring without name or location meant that instead of restoring a folder with, for instance, my photos in it, the software found every shingle file on my computer that looked like it was a photo. You may not be aware of it, but there are photos in your trash, inside applications, in your browser and e-mail caches and databases, and probably a dozen other places. If you've ever seen it on your computer, it's there. (Probably an exaggeration, but it felt that way.) And even a genuine "photo" from your library may be present in several resolutions, with and without EXIF data. Then there are sound files, and pdf files and on and on.

    It was a freaking nightmare, but I eventually got things sorted out. It took many sessions over days and weeks. You have to look at every single file. Most get thrown out. In a typical session I might have thrown out 10,000 files. The precious few - my personal files - got renamed and sorted back into a file structure.

    If you're lucky, your situation will not be as bad as mine. Good luck.
     
    JohnInTX likes this.
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