HELP! DELETED FILES FROM EXTERNAL HARDRIVE!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tawnycat, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. tawnycat macrumors newbie

    tawnycat

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    #1
    Ok so here it goes...

    Original plan:
    Move all my pics, movies and audio from OLD seagate hardrive, to the NEW seagate hardrive.

    Problem:
    NEW seagate hard drive is in "read only" mode.
    Found out that in order to change the format so that I could "read & write" in order to copy files over...
    I need to change the format from
    "MAC OS Extended (journaled)" to
    "MAC FAT 32" which is also just referred to as "MAC FAT".

    What really happened :
    I ejected the OLD hardrive thinking it wouldn't show up on the sidebar when I begin the process to change the format on the NEW harddrive.

    Even though I ejected the OLD drive, it still showed up on the sidebar.
    So hear I'm thinking it's now off my radar so I didn't get confused.
    Sure enough it stayed on the sidebar.
    I selected the OLD drive without knowing, and thinking it was the NEW hard drive.

    Reformatted, selected erase, also ignored an selected "no" when the Time Machine backup notice came up.

    So now I'm left with an empty OLD harddrive which had all my pics and content.

    I am currently on MacOS Sierra
    Version: 10.12.4
     
  2. maculateConception, Jun 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017

    maculateConception macrumors 6502

    maculateConception

    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Location:
    Die Bundesstaat Kalifornien
    #2
    Wow, sorry to hear that. I know how much that can suck, coz I experienced a similar moment of panic when my Mac wiped out one entire folder from my external HDD, although I wasn't doing any reformat/erase at the time. I was browsing external drive folders through the Terminal, when the whole system froze, and I had no choice but to do a hard reboot. Upon reboot, an entire folder was gone !

    Back to your situation, the only potential salvation I can think of is to look into data recovery software, but I'm not even sure those will work, because those are designed to recover data that has been deleted from the Trash, which might be an easier operation to recover data from than the reformat/erase which you did. In other words, I think the reformat/erase operation really does permanently delete data off your drive (I'm not certain ... look it up), whereas your everyday "Delete permanently from Trash" operation deletes data in a recoverable way.

    Good luck, and if you have any luck, please share your results, because I'd be interested in getting my action movies back !

    And, welcome to the forum (I just joined, myself) ! :)

    BTW, I don't understand why you're not able to write files on a Mac OS Extended journaled filesystem from a Mac. You should absolutely be able to write to it on a Mac computer. If you were using that format on Windows, it might be read-only (dunno, never tried).

    I had a similar read-only problem with my drive, but it was in the NTFS (Windows default) format. I changed it to ExFAT to make it fully R/W compatible with both OS's. Are you sure your drive is not really in the NTFS format currently ?

    Assuming it really is a Mac OS Extended filesystem, as you believe it is, this could be a simple permissions issue. Did you look at the drive permissions and try to change them to read/write ? Right click on the drive and select "Get Info", look at permissions at the bottom of the popup.
     
  3. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #3
    I think what happened was that the new drive was formatted in NTFS, which, natively, the Mac can read but can't write.

    Take a look at Data Rescue (Prosoft) and Disk Drill (Cleverfiles). I haven't used these but these are a couple of apps recommended by others for the type of problem you have. The way that the Mac formats a drive is that it doesn't overwrite all of the data on the drive (unless you selected secure erase, in which case there's much less of a chance of recovery). You have to be prepared to spend money for the software and spending time researching and doing the recovery. Alternatively, you can go to a data recovery service and I would think this is something that's fairly routine for them to do.

    Whatever you do, don't use the drive until you have the software you want to use or give it to the data recovery service. If you have access to a PC, you might want to run software called EaseUS and clone the drive to another drive. This a sector-by-sector clone, not a file-by-file clone. You can then work on the clone, not the original drive. This cloning operation takes quite a while - on my USB2 PC it takes about 6 hours to do 500GB, with USB3, it would take about half the time. (Running EaseUS requires the creation of a boot CD/DVD/USB and then you run the program off of this device so you can't use that PC while the cloning is being done.).
     
  4. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    Don't you have an older Time Machine backup lying around somewhere?
     
  5. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #5
    I think if you simply reformat the drive, the reference to the actual file locations are deleted, so the OS can't see the files, but the data should still be there until they are over written by new data. Now if you chose the option to secure erase by writing zeros or something similar, the data might be gone.

    If you simply did a reformat, which should only take a few seconds, then it's best not to use that drive so the data is not overwritten.

    Hope it works out for you!
     
  6. Fishrrman, Jun 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    First, disconnect the "old" (erased) drive until you have data recovery software.

    Then, get ahold of data recovery software. ProSoft's "DataRescue" has the best reputation.

    HOW DATA RECOVERY SOFTWARE WORKS:
    - You download the software for free
    - You "aim it" it the problem drive and let it run
    - The data recovery app will scan the problem drive (this make take time) and then report back with what it finds.
    - IF the app finds files that can be recovered, it may let you recover a SINGLE file as proof that it works.
    - At this point, you pay the registration, get a code number, enter the code, and the recovery app "goes to work" on the drive

    BE AWARE that you WILL need a SECOND drive of sufficient capacity to receive the recovered files.
    BE AWARE that you are going to lose all previous folder hierarchies and probably many file names as well. This is "par for the course" with data recovery software. The consolation is that you get the files (NOT the filenanes) back.

    (ProSoft may have changed their registration policies lately, check first)
     
  7. Boneheadxan macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #7
    I had a similar situation happen to me a while back, lost my client's projects (Logic sessions). I tried many of the available softwares for Mac, unfortunately none of them worked. :(

    The only files I could recover were photos. The other files were all just too scrambled up an renamed.
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #8
    I've had tremendous success with SpinRite in the past, as it works at a very low level on the effected drive.

    Last used it on PC, not a Mac, however it boots to it's own environment. As others have suggested stop using the drive and effect a sector by sector clone ASAP. More you plug in the drive the more data will be overwritten and subsequently unrecoverable.

    SpinRite needs to run on PC, however as it does not work with the filesystem, the drive format is irrelevant.

    Q-6
     
  9. seagate_surfer macrumors newbie

    seagate_surfer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2017
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #9
    Hi, this is the Seagate Forums Team! We are sorry to hear that you’re experiencing trouble here. You have a few options here as far as how to proceed. First and foremost, if at all possible, clone the drive and disconnect as soon as possible, as other users here have mentioned. If you're able to, see if the same issue occurs on another computer.

    As for recovering the data, you can try to run some of the Do It Yourself software other users have mentioned (Note: this should only be done as long as the drive is not clicking), and lastly, if these options are not working, you can utilize Seagate Recovery Services, including Lab Recovery Services. We hope this works out for you!
     
  10. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #10
    seagate_surfer, glad that you posted a response and hopefully Seagate will have a regular presence here. If possible, can you comment on the chances of recovering data for somebody like the OP - where the drive is not defective - they mistakenly did a quick format of the drive (I'm guessing they didn't do a secure erase), didn't use the drive after they realized their mistake and they have media files - pictures, video, audio.

    Also, in looking at the link, the Recovery Services says it's meant for damaged drives - can people use Recovery Services for drives that were mistakenly reformatted?
     

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