Accidently reformatted my external hard drive!! HELP!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jzdesigns, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. jzdesigns macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #1
    Accidently reformatted an external 500 gig hard drive, half was time machine, half was files. I'd prefer it all back but what I REALLY only need is one folder from it of my archived work. I contacted a few data recovery companies, they all charge quite a bit. Gillware seems reputable and the mostreasonable. I tried a demo of a recovery software named Phoenix, it found absolutely nothing.

    Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?!:eek:
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
  3. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #3
    did you zero out the disk (overwrite all data with zeros) or do a standard format?

    If you zero'd it out, I think you're boned. If not, you might find luck with a reputable data recovery site but they're quite expensive... do you have to live in the southern California area? I know a few computer guys who could recover it, if it can still be recovered.
     
  4. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #4
    On another note... I can never understand how something like this can happen. I can see how someone might accidentally delete a folder or file, but to accidentally erase a whole hard drive?
     
  5. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

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    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    First thing -- turn off the external drive and disconnect it, RIGHT NOW.

    I would recommend either Data Rescue or Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery. I've only used Data Rescue, and can attest that it works well, but I have heard good reports about Stellar Phoenix as well.

    Next thing -- you need to buy ANOTHER hard drive, because ALL data recovery software applications require a second "empty" drive to which they recover the data.

    I would recommend that you buy a "bare" hard drive (I like Seagates, and I also like newegg.com). Then, get yourself one of these from amazon.com:
    http://www.amazon.com/Syba-Connecla...?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253062702&sr=1-22

    Only $30 and it will become a very handy "tool" to have around.

    What to do when you have this stuff:
    - Connect the SATA dock to the Mac via the USB port
    - Put the bare drive into the dock, turn the dock on
    - The drive probably WILL NOT "mount up" yet, because it hasn't been initialized, so...
    - Open Disk Utility and initialize the new drive. Set it up for ONE partition, in the GUID partition format (assuming you have an intel-based Mac).
    - Now re-connect the problem drive. Let it mount on the desktop but DO NOT try to copy anything to it. The idea is to leave it "untouched"
    - Launch Data Rescue (or whatever recovery software you have) and choose the problem drive as the source, and the new "dock drive" as the target.
    - Be aware that it can take a L-O-N-G time for data recovery apps to do their thing. This is because they don't try to "repair" a bad drive. Instead, they "scavenge" it, block-by-block, and then try to re-assemble the chunks of data they find into meaningful files.
    - Also be aware that it might take more than one try to "get the hang of it". In my case, it was the third attempt that finally worked for me.
    - Be aware that you'll probably lose any "folder hierarchies" you previously had. This is because folder hierarchies are stored in a drive's directory, and you "wiped that out" when you re-initialized the drive by mistake.

    DO NOT expect this to "go like a snap". It will take some time and some learning effort on your part. Why do you think the data recovery companies can command such high prices?

    And again - if you are serious about getting those files back, you _MUST_ buy another drive to use as your recovery drive. And again I would recommend buying a SATA dock along with a bare drive - you will actually find the dock a useful piece of equipment for the future.
     

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