Can I recover photos?? Hard drive was formatted :(

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mmandagaran, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. mmandagaran macrumors newbie


    Mar 4, 2017
    Hi everyone!
    I had some problems my macbook pro didn't load, the colored wheel was loading and nothing, so the service made a Hard disk scan and formatted it.

    I had some info backed up, and some not, all my photos are lost, and I am really desperate to have them back!

    Is it possible? I read some programs and apps, but I don't know which of them is genuine and will work...

  2. SDColorado Contributor


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
  3. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    sure is a lot cheaper to have a backup and easier. Time machine works great for this
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I would NEVER take that MacBook to whoever did your "Service" again. They didn't even attempt to backup your data?

    First off, STOP USING the MacBook IMMEDIATELY. That means, if you're using it now, SHUT IT DOWN and use another computer.

    Further use may result in old data is being over-written.

    You could TRY using something like DataRescue on the internal drive.

    But you're going to need ANOTHER Mac, and try to run the problem Mac in "target disk mode", if possible.

    Then you can "aim" the data recovery software at it, and let it "do its thing".

    SOME of the photos may be "recoverable", some may not.

    Here's how a data recovery app works:
    1. You download the app for free
    2. You launch it and "aim it" at the problem drive
    3. The software "scans" the entire drive, and will give you a report of what it finds that it believes to be "recoverable".
    4. The software will let you recover ONE FILE ONLY as proof that it will work.
    5. If things look good, you now pay the registration fee, get a code, enter the code, and the software goes to work on the drive.
    6. Be aware that you'll probably lose all previous folder hierarchies and file names. This is "par for the course" with data recovery.

    Again, things aren't going to go well if you run this from the "damaged" Mac. You need to boot and run it from another Mac.

    You also need to learn something about the concept of "backup".
    I realize it's a tough lesson to learn. Most of us have been there before (and that includes me).
    I would suggest:
    1. CarbonCopyCloner - the best backup utility of them all
    2. An extra hard drive to serve as your bootable cloned backup.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Is this a SSD or HDD?

    Also, how important are these pictures? (how much are you willing to spend) - if they are of extremely high importance and you wish to recover them even if expensive, I recommend first considering professional data recovery services over DIY (in that it may be worth calling a reputable recovery center, explaining your situation, discussing options, pricing, and odds of success.)

    And I agree with Fishrrman 100% - stop using the computer now, because the act of using it at all means that more potentially recoverable data is being OVERWRITTEN, don't go back to this place if you did not give them authorization to do this, and make this a learning experience or it will happen again. I hope you have success
  6. trifid macrumors 68000


    May 10, 2011
  7. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    If it's an SSD, the data has a much larger chance of being gone (trim + garbage collection, if applicable). Not using the system may help, but there's less of a chance of helping than if you have an HDD.

    For HDD, stop using it asap, as others have previously said.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Just a little comment, because its an important topic: I don't know any service centers that backup your data, unless you explicitly ask for it (and of course it costs extra). Furthermore, all service centers I have ever worked with explicitly inform you that they take no guarantees that your data will be preserved. Doing a backup in itself is a time-consuming process which means logistical issues for the center.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Backing up the data is the owner's responsibility not the technician's (unless they stated they will). I used to work in a computer store that did repairs and we always stated that the customer needed to backup their data.

    Heck, I believe even Apple doesn't promise they'll retain your data
  10. ChrisKra macrumors newbie


    Mar 1, 2017
    no even apple urges you to backup by yourself. Usually the first thing they do is to wipe it and make a reset.

    I did file recovery once, a couple of years back. I wasn't able to regain all data und I lost all filenames and folder structures which rendered my data useless at that moment. I had so view, rename and sort all files again. So if you are really depending on the data, then do it, otherwise book it under lessons learned. Depending on the amount of data it can be never ending.
    I stopped after a couple of files, it wasn't worth the struggle.
  11. kahraman macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2017
    Do you guys know if all software charges for recovering data? Does anyone know of a good free one?
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    a number of them offer a trial version that will either recover your images with a water mark, or recover small number to show you that it works.

    Given that a developer (or team of developers) need to work out the difficult task of recovery deleted photos, its unfair for them to do that for free, imo.
  13. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    It's completely understandable that they do not backup data, and also understandable if the data is lost during a repair. But, as you noted, the repair center should inform the customer. The ones I have been to all have papers that one signs that says this, and the technicians will usually also say this because a ton of people don't read the terms on the authorization forms they sign.

    If the OP signed something that says this, then they gave authorization. If the OP did not sign anything and was not informed verbally, IMO that's different and they should have been informed. But either way, the data should always be backed up routinely and especially before any service.

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12 March 4, 2017