Fastest way to copy files / Crashed Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by piller97, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. piller97 macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2014
    Hey everyone, really hoping someone can help me out here.

    If you don't want to read the background, to summarize:
    A have a failed hard drive that I intend to freeze with the hopes of buying myself a couple minutes to retrieve files.

    This past week a family member of mine's mac suddenly wouldn't boot (flashing file folder). I know the hard drive is most certainly gone (not even showing up in original mac. Wont show up via target disk, Disk Utility, single user mode or diskwarrior when mounted in external housing).

    The drive spins up but clicks and is pretty loud. Not at all unexpected behaviour about 9 years old.

    However there are some files on there that would be really good to have and ironically enough, it was backed up until the backup got corrupted and upon fixing (like an idiot) I never backed it up again after fixing the drive.

    Considering the drive is almost done, Im at the point where Im going to try leaving it in the freezer for a bit hoping that it will mount(this may not be the correct situation for that fix, however everyone seems to have different opinions on what this fixes and at this point, considering I'm out of ideas, Im thinking its worth a shot.

    My Question:
    If this does indeed work, the effects will be temporary and I'm sure my time will be limited. And considering how far gone this thing seems to be, Im pretty sure Ill only have one shot at it.

    That being said, Im looking for the fastest way to get data copied off it. Ill be using a external hard drive housing that limits me to USB3.0, however I'm not sure sure if USB3.0 exceeds the transfer speed of the drive(and its not like this will matter considering Ill never actually get the max transfer speed).

    Ideally id clone the drive in terminal to a second drive I have lying around, however I doubt ill have time todo it all (and having to write to a second disk would just further increase transfer time).

    This being said I'm left with the option of copying folders I know I need to a directory on my drive, I don't think I can use terminal because I don't know everything Ill want by filename, so Ill be doing it in finder.
    I also have to consider how I can optimize the computer to transfer the quickest.
    Would it be best todo it in a separate user so that theres nothing else running?

    Does this make sense?
    Id love some input on your opinions on how this can be done
    If by chance you've had luck with failed hard love to hear that to!

    Thanks so much for your time!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    What I'd try:

    1. Have ANOTHER "scratch" drive waiting and connected for when you connect the problem drive.
    2. Have CarbonCopyCloner on your drive and ready-to-launch.
    3. Connect the problem drive
    4. Does it mount? If so....
    5. Launch CCC and immediately try cloning the entire drive to the scratch drive.

    Why you should try this:
    CCC will try to copy the entire drive.
    IF CCC encounters a bad file or bad sectors on the drive, it will "pass them by" and try to keep going, copying what good files are there to copy.
    Most backup apps will quit if bad files "get in the way". CCC won't.

    At the end of the copying, CCC should present you with a log as to which files were skipped.

    If this works, you can then set the problem drive aside, and use the good "scratch drive" to search for whatever files you need to retrieve...

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