Help! Deleted Admin

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Jenniferram, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. Jenniferram macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    #1
    Hi. I had some issues with my mini booting up a couple of months ago so i took it in for repair. When I got home my husband booted it up and there was a folder that contained, I assume everything that was on the computer. The Adm account was named "FAN", intials of the store that repaired it. It bothered him that he could not change the name of the Admin. So he went in and deleted the Admin account, created a new one and then realized he had just deleted everything. Thats when i started freaking out, because there is 10 years of my photos.
    There where a couple of options when he deleted the account, I believe he chose Delete-Dont save in Trash, but im not quite sure. Is it possible that everything is permantely deleted?
    I appreciate any answers you can give me.

    Thank you.
     
  2. pianoman88 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    #2
    Files can be retrieved ...

    … using computer forensics software. Check for qualified people in your area.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    Shame on the "repair" guy that did this to you, without consulting you first to at least ask if your data was backed up. And double-shame on him for not creating a "dupe" of the drive before he mucked with it.

    It -might- be possible to get -some- files back using data recovery software, but I think the chances in your case are slim, for two reasons:
    1. The repair guy may have over-written the old files when he created a new account
    2. The computer has been in use since then (correct?)
    .... thus, the "space" that the old files occupied may have been over-written by new activity.

    There is data recovery software out there, see following post for what to try.

    There is a lesson to be learned here, and I believe most long-time computer users have learned it the hard way at one point or another.

    That lesson is:
    KEEP A BACKUP OF YOUR STUFF.
    (shouting above is intentional)

    If you get an external drive and use CarbonCopyCloner to create a bootable backup of your internal drive (and then run CCC once a week), you will be protected against such things in the future, even if there may not be much you can do about the lost data now.

    Go forth from this day, and learn....

    ----------

    Here's something to try, may get a few things back for you:

    Data recovery software, such as:
    DataRescue3
    Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery
    Disk Drill

    Try DataRescue first.

    Here's how these apps work (they all work about the same)
    - You download the app for free
    - You "aim it" at your problem drive
    - The software scans the drive, assembles a list of "found files"
    - The software lets you actually recover ONLY ONE file
    - The purpose of above is to give you an idea if the app will work for you, BEFORE you pay the registration fee.
    - Next, you pay the registration, get a code, enter the code.
    - Now, the software goes to work on the entire drive, and recovers what it can.

    Important #1:
    You WILL lose most or all previous folder hierarchies and most or all file names. This is "par for the course" with data recovery software. The consolation is that you get the DATA back.

    Important #2:
    You probably (almost certainly) need an external drive to serve as the "scratch drive" to which the lost files will be recovered.

    Again, bear in mind that data recovery software can't "recover" files that have been over-written by NEW files. That could be a problem with your drive.

    And again -- the only real suitable solution for the long-term is to buy an external drive and do (at least) a weekly backup to it....
     
  4. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #4
    Heck, just buy a cheapie 1TB USB3 bus-powered drive, choose it for Time Machine backup and plug it in when possible. Problem solved.
     
  5. Kyle-K, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

    Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #5
    This post is no longer a work in progress and is now finished. Was updating in writing this post kind of live just encase the OP comes online and sees this. As always I like to start with this: If the data on the drive is important to you you probably are best seeking a data recovery specialist.

    Jennifer, First thing is to stop using this computer immediately as you will cause more data loss turn it off and leave it off. From another computer, We first need to attempt to identify what your husband did.

    Worst case scenario you're going to have to look at data recovery.

    Now we need to determine what your husband has done, This should be done from another computer. There's several options when deleting a user and they are different depending on which version of OS X you're using.

    I'll explain which each option means in the screenshots below and will explain to you how to determine what has happened at the end.

    [​IMG]

    In the above screenshot.

    The first radio button: A disk image is saved to a deleted users folder in the users directory on the Macintosh HD. If your husband chose this option and did not delete the file that was generated afterwards all your data is fine.

    The second radio button: If your husband chose this option the data should be located in the same location it was originally in the users directory. If he didn't choose to delete this folder manually afterwards all your data is fine.

    The Third radio button: If your husband chose this option all the data was deleted and you will need to use data recovery software to recover it.

    [​IMG]

    In the above screenshot.

    The first radio button: A disk image is saved to a deleted users folder in the users directory on the Macintosh HD. If your husband chose this option and did not delete the file. that was generated afterwards all your data is fine.

    The second radio button: If your husband chose this option the data should be located in the same location it was originally in the users directory. If he didn't choose to delete this folder manually afterwards all your data be fine.

    The Third radio button: If your husband chose this option all the data was deleted and you will need to use data recovery software to recover it. If he also chose to check that box below the data is permanently gone and will not be recovered using any software.


    Now you need to get access to the hard drive from another computer to determine which option your husband chose and if required use recovery software to try and retrieve your data.

    Without knowing more about your situation like what Mac Mini it is or what type of computers you have access to other than this computer. This next lot of information will be a little bit broad.

    Essentially you need to connect the hard drive to another computer (Preferably a mac.) either by removing the drive from the Mac Mini or using something like target disk mode.

    Once you're connected to the drive, you will need to navigate to.

    For first radio button: You want to navigate to Macintosh HD/Users/Deleted Users/ in this directory there should be a file with the deleted username ending in .dmg if present all your data will be located in the disk image and can be retrieved and transfer to another user.

    For second radio button: You want to navigate to Macintosh HD/Users/ There should be a file with the deleted username if this directories intact and if the relevant subdirectories are present its most likely that the data is still there and can be easily transfer to another user.

    If nothing was located in these two locations or your husband can remember removing the files afterward. Unfortunately your only option will be to try data recovery software.

    From another post earlier today. As I've written enough.

    Jennifer, I wish you the best of luck. You're going to need it.
     

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