Corrupted WD Hard-Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Morgan Stack, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Morgan Stack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #1
    Alright guys, I'm in real trouble here. I accidentally erased my main hard-drive with all my stuff on it. Worse than that, I only partially erased it, as I shut off the computer when I realised what I was doing. Worse again, the hard-drive was encrypted, which makes potential data recovery even more tricky. But it is paramount for me to retrieve as much data from the hard-drive as possible. It is a 1 TB Western Digital 'My Passport' External hard-drive. It contains important files of great sentimental value collected over the past 13 years on it. I have some partial backups from before 2009, and a 6 GB backup from 2015 with just some low file-size essentials, but that's it. If I have to pay €1000, I will to restore access to the contents in the hard-drive.

    I intended on formatting a flash-drive, but got confused with about ten drives and partitions available to me in Disk Utility. I selected the 1 TB My Passport hard-drive and clicked 'Erase'. A few seconds passed, as it was mounting the drive for erasure, and I realised what was happening, I shut off the computer hoping no damage occurred. Turning on the computer, the hard-drive is now inaccessible. The partition is now greyed out in Disk Utility. I have tried several Data Recovery programs with no success. I don't know what to do. 13 years of files are on that hard-drive. I'm fairly sure they are still on there, I just can't gain access to them.

    Please help.
     
  2. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Mico, Texas
    #2
    I think you are going to need a professional solution if any of the data is recoverable they will have the tools to do so. Google or Bing Data Recovery Professionals.

    I know I've lost data before and it is a sickening feeling that usually only happens once. I have nearly everything backed up in two locations and all my images in the Cloud online somewhere. That doesn't help you but I've been where you are before and felt sick about it for a long time.
     
  3. Morgan Stack thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #3
    Did the professional solution work out for you? Did you recover the lost files?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP wrote:
    "I accidentally erased my main hard-drive with all my stuff on it. Worse than that, I only partially erased it, as I shut off the computer when I realised what I was doing. Worse again, the hard-drive was encrypted, which makes potential data recovery even more tricky."

    If the drive was not encryted, recovery of -some- of the files -might- be possible.
    But -- since you turned the computer off during the re-initialization, and because of the encryption, seems to me THE ONLY WAY to make whatever files left accessible again will have to come after you "de-crypt" what's left of the drive.

    But I really don't see how this is going to be accomplished. You have to get the drive into a state in which the OS can accept the password and unlock the drive, and I sense that the initialization -- even a "failed initialization" -- may have made this impossible.

    To make matters worse, your "storage strategy" is one of the worst I've ever seen -- drives that haven't been updated in years, with no backups.

    You wrote:
    "I don't know what to do. 13 years of files are on that hard-drive. I'm fairly sure they are still on there, I just can't gain access to them."

    Frankly, it may be "too late now".
    Backups that will work "in a moment of extreme need" take forethought and the time to maintain them. Even $1,000 may be of little use wth data that simply no longer "is there".

    This also illusrates why I never, NEVER, NEVER encrypt important data. By doing so, one is "building a barrier" to the data that THE OWNER HIMSELF may not be able to overcome (again) in a moment of extreme need.

    A proper backup for an external drive that contains important data requires A SECOND hard of equal size to backup the data on the first drive. And perhaps a third drive as well.

    IF the data had not been encrypted, you might be able to:
    a. reinitialize the drive completely, and then
    b. use a data recovery app to "look past" the replaced directory to access the data on the drive sectors.
    This has actually worked for me when nothing else would.
    But again, the drive in question wasn't encrypted.

    I'm not going to say recovery of the stuff you have lost is 100% impossible.
    But it doesn't look good.
    Let us know how it goes.

    Personal aside:
    I have files created as far back as 1986 (on an old Apple //c) that are immediately available to me TODAY on my 2012 Mac Mini -- because I have taken the time over the years to protect them.
    I, too, went through an incidence of "file loss" from improper backup procedures early on. I learned.

    Go forth from this day and learn, as well, a sadder but wiser man...
     

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