HDD trauma. Recovery recommendations?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by orvn, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. orvn macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    I have an older (core duo) Polycarb Macbook which underwent a blunt impact (fall from five feet) a year ago.

    Recently, I finally found the time to order some parts, gut it open and fix. It works great at the moment, but I still have this old SATA disc drive that I want to try to recover.

    The drive is standard HFS (Mac Extended Journaled)

    What would you guys recommend for recovery software in this instance?
    I do have OSX, Windows and Linux machines at my disposal.
  2. blackburn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    Where Judas lost it's boots.
    Get an empty hdd and run ddrescue or similar (I think there is a better tool in linux) to copy the contents of the damaged hdd to the new one (must be equal or bigger than the hdd that you want to recover data from). Then try to recover the contents from the hdd clone. Avoid mounting the original hdd as rw in order to minimize the damage to hdd.

    Anyway I don't know the hdd symptoms but a professional recovery company could be an option but they are very expensive. In some cases trying to copy anything off the hdd is going to damage it even more. A few months ago I was able to recover 99% of the files from a friends half damaged hdd with ddrescue so you could give it a spin, but if your hdd makes a scratching noise your most likely damaging it even more.
  3. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    The question really is how important is this stuff to you? Some places can do a simple data recovery on a hard drive that is still somewhat working. Symptoms of an expensive data recovery usually are.

    • No matter what the drive wont power on.
    • It powers on but it ticks... tick tick tick, and sometimes makes a horrible scratching noise.

    These symptoms usually mean it has to go to a professional recovery place that charges $1,000.00 as a starting estimate with a non refundable deposit of $150.00 and up.

    If you have no idea what you are doing do not open your bad hard drive and try to attempt to recover the data. recovery places have "clean rooms", and "anti-static" and other specialty tools and that is partly why professional data recovery can cost so much.

    So again what is the data worth to you?
  4. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    blackburn hit the nail on the head. Use ddrescue, and don't forget to log your progress. When doing data recovery, I start with ddrescue on a Linux box (part of the gddrescue package on Ubuntu).

    Then run either Disk Warrior or Data Rescue on the image file (or destination drive) in order to retrieve the files.

    eljanitor is right, too, though. If the drive clicks and/or doesn't detect, you're pretty much screwed.
  5. Adanyuan, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    Adanyuan macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    Humm,,you may try Nice To Recover Data For Mac, which is recommended by many people.I find many guides in detail there.
    Hope it can help u. Good luck.
  6. orvn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks guys!

    Detruis & Blackburn, I'm going to do what you folks suggest.

    The data on the drive isn't terribly important. But there is nostalgia involved. At this point it would be like opening a time capsule.

    A hardware course and some assembly programming years ago gave me a decent understanding of hard drives and their specifics, but I'd imagine that's hardly enough to go ahead and begin playing operation in anti-static rooms (sadly, as that would make for a pleasant evening).

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