Disk Utility: how to initialize a failed external 1TB USB 3.0 HDD?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by RichardF, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. RichardF macrumors 6502a

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    My Iomega 1TB USB 3.0 decided to die on me. Plugging it into 2 Mac OS computers and 1 Windows 7 laptop using different cables and the different USB ports avail did nothing: the platters spin but the HDD won't mount. It could be the controller... who knows. I didn't have the patience and cracked the enclosure opened to find a Toshiba HDD.

    I have a dock and using that, Disk Utility sees the drive and actually prompt me to initialize it when plugging it in. But I have no option to do so in Disk Utility.

    Iomega tech support says that the left expectancy of these drives are 3-5 years (learn something new everyday) and that it is recommended to have 3 copies of data at all times, one to work with, another on site and a third offsite.

    Any guidance would be helpful. Apparently the data is still on there. How do I recover it?

    Pictures attached.



    IMG_2532.JPG Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 18.45.20.png Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 18.45.46.png Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 18.46.38.png
     
  2. RichardF thread starter macrumors 6502a

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #2
    Just changed the title so that this thread can come up in more searches and help others.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    What happens if you take the bare drive (and dock) to other computers?

    Are you offered the option to re-initialize then?

    I'm sure you understand that once you re-initialize, the only way to "get access" to previously-stored files will be through data recovery software (such as ProSoft's DataRescue4).

    Having said that, I have used the following technique to recover data on a drive partition that wouldn't mount and couldn't be accessed via the finder (even with DataRescue):
    1. Reinitialize drive to 1 partition -- BUT -- DO NOT use the secure erase feature, just do quick initialization (this leaves data on the platters "untouched"
    2. Mount re-initialized drive in the finder (of course, it shows up as being "empty" -- but remember, the old data still exists "out on the sectors" of the platters)
    3. Now, DR can access the drive. DR will "go around" the directory, "go right to the platters", and scavenge and re-assemble the old data
    4. You -DO- need a SECOND drive which serves as the "scratch drive" to receive the recovered data.
    5. You will probably lose all previous folder hierarchies and many if not most file names. This can be "par for the course" with data recovery, but the consolation is that you get the data itself back.
     
  4. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #4
    I agree with Fishrrman instructions but I recommend first using cloning feature in Data Rescue or other such software because working directly with a hard drive that has mechanical problems is risky.

    Once you have made a clone to external drive you can scan it to recover data to another drive. You likely need to use Deep Scan feature because Quick Scan is unlikely to find any data when drive has serious problems.
     
  5. RichardF thread starter macrumors 6502a

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #5
    Thank you both very much.

    We need a sticky thread about what to do in case of a HDD failure based on your instructions/ guidance.

    I haven't tried taking the bay to the other Mac OS X computer or the Windows Laptop.
    The HDD was formatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

    And I just found out what Journaling is through this ordeal: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204435
     

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