Failing hard drive needs help to save my pictures

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Doctorsti, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Doctorsti macrumors regular

    May 30, 2006
    I have found a lot of reviews of various programs for data recovery on clicking or failing drives but I wanted to present my specific situation before I send my drive off to a data recovery company and waste 700 plus dollars.

    My IMac drive was clicking and stopped responding with the spinning beach ball. I shut it down via the power button to restart and see the blinking file folder with question mark. Having had a drive die before I assumed the worst and took the machine to the Apple store letting them know that they were not to restart the machine so I could limit any damage to the platters so I could send the drive away to have data recovery. they gave me my drive back and reinstalled a new drive.

    I ordered a "Voyager Q" Sata hard drive dock just because my curiosity was peaked by a member here that my drive may be fine just where the machine was looking for the OS went bad or something. I got the Voyager today, plugged in my drive and turned it on to hear my disk whir to life pretty normally and be recognized by OSX on the desktop and finder window showing about 7 file folders which I can't really name right now. I was shocked and scared I would screw it up so I unmounted the drive by "ejecting" it out of OSX and turning the Voyager off.

    My trouble now is how do I get the data off the drive in the quickest manner possible through the Voyager and onto a 4TB Lacie RAID array. The drive was 500GB and I had used 499GB... so it's a lot of data. I really only want the pictures that were on the drive but have no idea how to get to just them. I had a time machine time capsule but it had been turned off for 3 months so I lost all the stuff I loaded on since then.

    I have a 640GB drive in my IMac now that has 140GB free so I won't be able to just image the disk to my new drive and then transfer it onto the Lacie 4Big so I will have to either move all my video to the Lacie to make room.

    Should I use Disk Warrior, Data Rescue III, or take my hard disk to my parents house and use Spinrite?
    I really want to do it fast as I know the clicking I was hearing was the disk so it's not likely in good health despite spinning up just fine tonight for the minute I had it mounted.

    Please help with any information you can. I really don't want to make a 700-1000 dollar mistake.

    Does anyone know if I could read all the file folders on the drive if I can just drill down through them to find my iphoto file and just plain old copy and paste them from this drive to the new IMac drive?
  2. Doctorsti thread starter macrumors regular

    May 30, 2006
    Well it turns out that I got the courage to spin up the drive in the Voyager Q tonight and was able to pull off the 90GB of pics I have on there... Basically just transferred the whole iphoto library off the hard disk and replaced my current iphoto library and now I have every single pic I had all the way up the day the drive was unrecognizable to mac OSX. Poking around in the drive revealed that almost every single file was intact along with all my video and applications. I wonder what happened to the drive to be not recognized by OSX but the drive sounds perfectly fine now that it is being run outside the IMac and in the Voyager so I can only assume it was a minor problem or that a critical sector with the operating system was damaged. Maybe all I should have done was boot from the DVD and all would have been fine. Maybe not but either way I now have a 640GB drive where I once had a 500GB drive and the headache of having to re-back up my whole time capsule, mess with my networked printer (which I still can't get to work properly), and download a few apps I had recently installed that are free anyway like garmin updater, garmin ANT+ agent, and tomtom home!

    I also have a 500GB drive jam packed with all my pics and video as well as having them on the 4TB 4Big in Raid 10. Guess my data is in at least two places now. No harm no foul! Many thanks go to the member on here who gave me the idea to look further into the flashing file folder with question mark!
  3. Rawn macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2010
    Hey Doctorsti,

    I'm SO glad to hear that you got all your data back without having to waste $$ getting it 'professionally' recovered. And I suppose it probably worked out for the best that you got the harddrive replaced, cause this way you got a free 640GB drive + a 500GB backup drive, all for the cost of an external enclosure and a bit of time!

    Next time your Mac freezes and you have to hard reset, the first thing you should try is sticking in the drives and checking the permissions + harddrive health in Disk Utility. I've had to do it twice with mine, the first time because the harddrive had been corrupted somehow and the second just as a precaution, and it's a really good way to find out whether you've got a software or hardware problem on your hands, at least in terms of the harddrive.

    Now that you have a spare 500GB drive lying around it might be worth setting up a Clone backup. I *think* this is the application I heard is really good for it.

    Basically the idea is you use it to completely back up your drive, and all you need to do is plug it in to access everything (unlike time machine where you need it installed blah blah blah). I haven't used it myself, but I've heard it's quite good.

    Good luck with it all man, and don't hesitate to drop by again if you have any other questions/problems. I'm new-ish to Mac and OS X (switched in September last year) but I'm trying to become a 'power user' because I love knowing the ins and outs of my computers and how they work and everything. But yeah, feel free to come back and either post a thread here or send me PM, whatever suits. I don't know everything, but I can try.
  4. Doctorsti thread starter macrumors regular

    May 30, 2006
    A big thanks to this member. They have been the most help I have ever got on here. Had it not been their thinking outside the box I would likely be out hundreds of dollars and weeks of time.

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