Access iMac HDD using external enclosure...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aleksdanger, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. aleksdanger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    #1
    Hi All,

    The other day my iMac decided to stop working. At first it just slowed down to excruciatingly slow speeds, and eventually stopped responding at all. Now when I try to boot it up, it just shows a flashing folder with a question mark on it.

    My top priority is to get important data off the drive before I attempt to re-install the OS or have Apple fix it for me, so I took the drive our of the mac and threw it into a harddrive dock. Flicked the switch, the drive powered up, but then nothing shows up in Finder. (yes, I have another mac that still works).

    I'm not sure if the hard drive itself is actually mechanically broken. It sounds like it powers up and works fine, but it just doesn't get recognised.

    Does anyone have any idea why this might be happening? The stuff I have on this drive is priceless and extremely important to me. I have to get it off this drive and somewhere safe. Please, please help! :( :( :( :(

    Cheers

    Aleks
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Try something like Data Rescue 3. Otherwise it's probably a goner.
     
  3. aleksdanger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    #3
    I just want to be sure the drive itself can actually be read from or written to before I pay for any recovery software. Spending $100 and then never getting any use of the software would just make me even more depressed :( lol

    Is there any way I can use in-built mac software to recognise that the drive even connects to the mac through the docking station?? It's a USB 3.0 (with 2.0 compatibility) dock, supporting both 3.5" and 2.5" SATA 2 HDDs.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    Haven't you already tried that?
     
  5. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #5
    Data Recovery

    Is a highly specialised and very expensive business...could easily cost you $1000 or more, so make sure you exhaust all other options before going down that road.
     
  6. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #6
    If it were intact, it should be recognized the way you tried it. Try starting the disk utility and see if it can actually see the drive. Also, are you sure that the dock itself is not defective?
     
  7. aleksdanger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    #7
    Sorry for the late reply, work had me travelling inter-state.

    The dock is certainly not defective, it works with other drives. Regardless, I put the hard drive into an old enclosure I had. The hard drive still isn't recognised in Finder, but I ran Disk Utility again and low and behold, it's there!

    I clicked Verify Disk and it told me quite quickly that the disk needed to be repaired, but I'm afraid to click repair disk incase it erases it and all my files.

    I plugged in a spare Seagate Barracude 1TB, exactly the same as the original, and I got told the disk wasn't initialized, but I knew that. I haven't initialized it because I want to 'carbon' copy the faulty drive, with errors and all, to the new drive.

    Then I want to try a disk repair ont he new drive, and leave the old one the way it is - for a professional to look at if needed. I can't stress enough how important the files are to me, so I'm taking every precaution.

    Carbon Copy Cloner won't recognise either drive, so I can't use that. What other options do I have?

    This album has screenshots.. http://imgur.com/a/UGIPD

    I'm willing to make a generous paypal donation to whoever can help me out.. honest!
     
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #8
    If you're that worried about it just take it to a professional data recovery service now. Spend the multiple hundreds of dollars required to get your data back and be done with it. Anything you do at this point decreases the likelihood that even a professional will be able to help you recover your data.
     
  9. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #9
    I would just like to point out that if the files are that important to you, why didn’t you have a backup drive? Time Machine will back everything up for you as often as you want and is entirely external so no worries about it dying with the computer. Regardless of if you get these files back or not, I’d suggest buying a 1 or 2TB external and using it as a backup drive.
     
  10. aleksdanger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    #10
    I don't mind being asked that question, AcesHigh, but that's not a solution to the problem at hand. It only bugs me to be asked because I know I should have had everything backed up :( I just didn't do it because it was a relatively new mac and I figured I'd have some time to back them up before it died on me. It wasn't even 2 years old!

    But you're right, there's no excuse. I should have had it backed up. I'll definitely be backing it up in future!
     

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