External Drive appears in Finder with new name shows drive as empty

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Michealj, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Michealj macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2014
    I have an External Seagate 4TB drive that I use as a storage drive. I keep Video and data files on the drive as a permanent back up. i only connect the drive when I need to add or retrieve a file. I also have two External 800 Firewire drives that I use for video editing.
    The drive is named Seagate backup drive. Yesterday I connected the USB and powered up the drive, the Icon flashed on the desktop then disappeared. I checked the drive and it seemed to have powered off I removed and reinserted the power connector. The Drive powered up the the icon appeared on the desktop but the name of the drive had changed to the same name as one of the firewire drives. When I opened finder the drive is there but shows empty. I am guessing that the power interruption has caused damage to the directory structure. There is at least 3 TB of video and Picture files on the drive.
    As first step i am running Disk drill to recover the data files, currently 29 hours in to an estimated 35 hour session, the status log indicates that approx 2.9TB of files have been found so far. So I have a good chance of getting the files back but no file names or Directory structure. My plan is to mount the recovered files as a disk image on my raid drive then attempt to recover the directory structure. Thats where you guys come in I haven't done it before and don't know that it is possible other than finding a site recommending the use of an open source program called test Disk. Any ideas if it is possible to repair the directory structure or am I doomed to manually re naming 250 thousand picture files, 1400 video files and a gazillian audio , pdf and doc files.

    Help :)
  2. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Try Disk Warrior. It will create a brand new directory.

    It's not free or open source, but it's saved many thousand of asses over the years. Good luck!
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ Any ideas if it is possible to repair the directory structure or am I doomed to manually re naming 250 thousand picture files, 1400 video files and a gazillian audio , pdf and doc files. ]]

    You can try, but I'll reckon that the chances aren't all that good. It is pretty much "standard operating procedure" when using data recovery apps that "directory-related" information such as file names and folder hierarchies will be lost.

    Here are some suggestions:

    Some files have metadata that may contain file names, etc. An example is mp3 files.

    I had a storage partition with many megabytes of mp3 files that "went bad" on me. After file recovery, all the previous file organization and many file names were gone.

    I created a "recovery drive" (physical drive) and installed a fresh copy of the OS onto it (that is, a copy never-before-used).
    I then used iTunes to import the entire mass of recovered mp3 files into a brand-new iTunes libarary.
    iTunes was able to read the metadata (even though file names and folders were missing), and RECONSTRUCT the files into artists/albums, etc., by using the metadata.

    Be aware that the files STILL did not "have their names" when viewed in the finder. Over time, I have worked on the files, re-entering names in the finder, re-organizing, etc.

    There's no way around the reality that this is going to be A LOT OF WORK for you.

    The same trick that worked with iTunes above, might also work with iPhoto for pics, and perhaps with a movie player or editor for videos.

    Insofar as ordinary "data files" (such as word processor files, spreadsheets, pdf's, etc.) go, I'm going to -guess- that you will have to open each file individually, examine it, and then rename it.

    Final thought:
    ONE COPY of stuff that is valuable to you is NOT ENOUGH.
    You're finding out why, right now....
  4. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Columbia, SC
    I just wanted to emphasize this terrific point.

    The following isn't for you, Fishrrman, but others who might not have backup paranoia yet:

    If the digital information that you have is important enough that you would try to recover it, you should have multiple copies of it, preferably on different media types and not at the same physical location. But at the very minimum you need to have several copies. This could be as simple as doing backups to 2 or 3 external hard drives, or to NAS boxes, or using a service like Carbonite.
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    A good reminder on why it's very important to make backups. Even external and networked drives.

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