Erased Time Machine Backup - Need Urgent Help

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Nim, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Nim macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I just tried to add a partition to my external HDD (which I use for Time Machine). I used Disk Utility to add a partition of 100GB (leaving an extra 200GB for the Time Machine partition).

    This process took about 30 seconds and when both partitions re-mounted they were both empty. I went back into Disk Utility and deleted the second partition I just added and resized the Time Machine partition back to using 100% of the HDD.

    Both times Disk Utility informed me that nothing is being erased and a partition is just being added and then removed the second time.

    This happened way too quickly to actual format the Time Machine partition.

    How can I restore my Time Machine? I will freak out if I just lost my backup. :eek:

    Time Machine app still shows my "oldest backup" being correct:

    Any help/advice is welcome.
  2. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Was there anything on that TM backup that you don't already have currently?

    I am betting that there isn't.

    Just start over with the external drive. Format 200g for TM and your 100g for other stuff.

    Then just start TM over again.

    I usually start TM over again once a month.
  3. Nim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    Yes, aside from the TM backups, I had all of my files since my MacBook has a small HDD

    Disregard the pic of my TM status. It no longer shows I have any backups.

    Disk Utility specifically stated that "This volume will not be erased". After adding the partition both volumes are empty (and it only took about 30 seconds, even though I had almost 500GB of Data)

    There must be a way to restore.
  4. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Cool. Then just start the whole process over again and you should be good to go.
  5. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    Good to go...aside from everything that you just deleted is gone forever. Sorry, but with out hardcore disc forensics anything that you don't currently have a copy of is gone. Wish I had better news.
  6. tiscaliali macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    So what the hell is the point in Time Machine for you? You may as well just drag and drop your Home folder once a month. Completely restarting it just defeats the object.
  7. Nim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    I keep all my photos and music on the external HDD. I also use the HDD for TM backups in case I need to restore to an earlier date or if I accidently delete a file kept on the MacBook itself.
  8. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Maybe it's more than once a month (that was just a guess).

    When my external HD gets low, I start over.

    I use Time Machine, just in case, like everyone else.
  9. Nim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    I don't get it, when I added the partition, Disk Utility specifically showed this:


    It created a new volume on top of that one, but both are empty. I've erased a full HDD before and it took a few hours. How can everything erase in just 30 seconds this time?
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The data is still there. It's just that all the pointers to it are gone. What you might ry is some data recovery software. If you have not messed around to much it might work.

    Unplug the drive and put it some place safe untill you are ready to try to recover the data. Any writes to the drive will likely reduce the amount of data you can recover.

    There are comercial ouotfit who can do the data recovery for you, for a fee.

    This goes to show that what I keep teling people is true. That disk failure is not the leading cause of data loss. You realy do need a good backup plan. All good plans follow the following two rulres:

    1) The data should be kept on at least three different physical media and
    2) The data should be kept at a minimum of two different geographical locations.

    Time machine can count as one physical media at one geographical location.

    What to do: Unplug the drive NOW. Buy another external disk for use as a TM drive. Get it up and running. Install the data recovery software. try and recover your data. Make two backs of the data (so that with the TM drive you have three copies) Put as least one of the backups in a good off-site location. Finally re-used you old TM disk for your data that will not fit on the system drive. do NOT ever again place other data on the same drive as TM is using for backup.
  11. Nim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    Thanks for the tips.

    I have downloaded StellarPhoenix and scanning the HDD now. I think there is a good chance I can recover most of it since 1. It just happened and 2. It only took 30 seconds to erase ~500gb worth of data.

    The scan is taking a while, looks like it might need to go overnight. If it shows the majority of my data as recoverable I will pay the fee. Will post back with results.

    I called AppleCare and they instructed me to click on "repair disk" in Disk Utility. After that quickly proved useless all I got was "sorry for your data loss".

    I blame myself for tampering with such a sensitive hdd.
  12. Nim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    I have managed to recover all my data.
    I used a program called R-STUDIO. I recommend it for anyone who experiences data loss. It took 7 hours to scan a 750GB HDD.

    Needed to use the Fiance's PC for this one (Windows application)

    Gonna invest in a Time Capsule and a bunch of DL DVDs now.
    Thanks again for the tips ChrisA.
  13. durija macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    Now that you have everything back, you might want to follow ChrisA's advice. Get another external drive (yes, I know...$, but they get cheaper all the time). Backup periodically (weekly) and keep off site when you're not actually backing up.
  14. Nim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    I picked up a WD My Book 1TB. It's recovering all the files onto that HDD right now (it'll take a while).

    It would have been done sooner, but I encountered a problem the first time I tried recovering. It stopped at an image file I had which was 7.xxGB. It said there wasn't enough space on the disc left for it (It only recovered approximately 40GB worth, this file is only 7GB and the HDD capactiy is 1TB.)

    I then realized the HDD was using FAT32. I assumed I was limited to much smaller files using an older FS so I changed it to NTFS. I haven't seen an error yet for file size so I think that was the problem.

    Now my concern is using the NTFS HDD on my Mac. I know I can read NTFS drives, but will I be able to copy the files over to my 2nd HDD which uses Mac Journal? Is it possible, using Mac OS X, to transfer from NTFS to Mac Journal?

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