Help! Trying to recover data from external HD on G5!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Amazin69, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Amazin69 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #1
    (Okay, so this isn't really so much about my G5, it's true, but this is the best place I could think of for this topic. Anyway…)

    For the past few years, i've been using an iMac PPC G5, and augmenting the built-in HD with four external hard drives. (I have a LOT of video files.) My first external was a 1 TB iOmega, which I've supplemented with 3 WD drives (a 2 TB and a pair of 3 TBs).

    Recently, my iOmega basically blinked out of existence, as far as my computer was concerned. All of a sudden, I'm getting "the disk you attempted to insert cannot be read" error messages and the like, and the iOmega's icon is gone from the desktop.

    A quick Google brought up some semi-related help threads, and I followed their advice and gave the iOmega a hard boot, which did get the icon to mount, but none of the folders will show. It just says "0 items, 62 GB available." So the computer does, presumably, know that there is ~900 GB of data on that drive, it's just not showing it to me.

    DiskWarrior was no help, it only listed the drive as "Unknown device". (Somewhat worrisomely, it did the same for one of the 3TB drives, despite tht one working fine.) Disk Utility was more of the same.

    At this point, I'd settle for just being able to transfer my data to the other drives (they have about 1.5 TB of free space between them, so they can handle the missing 900 GB), and then I could try to erase/rebuild the iOmega, but how can I do it if I can't see the data to begin with?

    The data recovery programs that I've downloaded don't seem to work with my OS version (10.5.8), and I really don't want to spend $$ TechTools when it might not solve the problem, as I'm disabled and on a limited budget.

    One good thing is that the power light is on in the iOmega and I can hear the drive spinning; it just can't be read by the computer, apparently. I've moved the Firewire connector to every possible configuration, but it doesn't seem to help.

    Ideas? Hints? Helpful prayers? I'm open to anything right now, to be honest.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    Have you tried opening the enclosure and pulling the drive out it?

    I've had external enclosures die when the disk inside was perfectly fine(although I've also had the opposite happen). Since the disk will still spin up, it sounds like it may have some life in it.

    If you crack open the enclosure, I'm guessing that you will find a SATA drive in it(given that it's a 1tb drive). You could then install the drive in your secondary HDD bay in your G5 at least temporarily to allow you to get your data off of it...or if you don't want to do that USB to SATA cables are plentiful and cheap on Ebay.

    While I'm at it, I'll also add that a a set of USB to SATA cables can be an invaluable thing to have when you're dealing with older hardware. The ones I have combine IDE, laptop IDE, and SATA onto one connector. Data transfer is relatively slow over USB 2, but at least it will allow you to access the HDD.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    Data Rescue 3. PowerPC compatible.

    It's helped me a few times. Keep in mind that if you go down this route you are in for a VERY long time of just letting the computer stay on and the program running. Depending on the speed of your computer.

    It could take hours or days, depending.
     
  4. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #4
    I don't think his G5 iMac has a secondary bay, so an external solution would be required.
     
  5. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    Sorry, missed that! I have a bad habit of thinking "Powermac" anytime I see G5.

    Still, I think that based on the symptoms described an external solution has at least a decent chance of working.
     
  6. rivettmj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #6
    You also might want to see if the directories have been hidden.

    if you open Terminal.app (In Applications -> Utilities)

    type: df -h
    you should see several lines like
    /dev/disk3s2 74Gi 41Gi 33Gi 56% 10730544 8716726 55% /Volumes/MyHD1

    One of those should line up with the USB drive (size ~= 1tb should be a good indication of which drive)

    Next type: ls -la /Volumes/NameFromAboveCommand where NameFromAboveCommand is listed above MyHD1 (case sensitive!)
    Example: ls -la /Volumes/MyHD1

    Paste the results into a reply.

    I'm also assuming you have tried a Disk Utility check on the drive?
     
  7. Amazin69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #7
    Six Weeks Later…

    First of all, thanks to all who had suggestions before. After thinking about this for most of August (I had a lot of other issues going on, too), I decided to simply purchase a new 4TB drive from Staples and let their techs perform the recovery/transfer. (They had a sale going on, and I needed the extra storage space.)

    Problem: they're not trained on Macs (didn't even have a functional Mac in the store to test the drive with) and ended up just running SeaTools, getting a "No serial number found, test failed" error, throwing their hands up and giving me my service fee $ back. Gee, thanks, guys.

    I got it home, plugged in the new HD, waited a couple of days (I'm kind of avoidant sometimes) and then plugged the troublesome Iomega HDD in. Voila, the image mounted and the whole folder tree was there. (I'd only once gotten a glimpse of the tree since the problem started.) Deciding not to push my luck, I immediately moved to copy the contents to the new drive…

    …only to fail because I got a message saying that "DS" was missing/broken (I didn't note the details as well as I should have, unfortunately.) I then tried DiskUtility, but "verify" failed and "repair" said the disk wouldn't unmount.

    So, probably foolishly, I used the "unmountDisk force" Terminal command to unmount it, and then it wouldn't re-mount, of course. (I haven't tried a "mountDisk force" command, if such exists, because I realized I was probably rushing things at this point.) Now the disk is just sitting nice and greyed-out in the DiskUtility listing, and only using its location (disk5s3) instead of its name (IomegaHDD).

    So I did the "ls -la" command suggested above, and this is what I got in response:

    Do I need to remount the disk and get "IomegaHDD" recognized as the volume name again or is that response from the Terminal sufficient?

    (Also, I've never run Repair Disk from the CD on this drive. Should I try that? Or is that only for when one is having trouble with the internal HD?)

    Thanks in advance.
     
  8. rivettmj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #8
    Correct, if you can get the volume mounted and 'cd' into that directory (via Terminal) see what an 'ls -la' results in
     
  9. tigerintank macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #9
    have you tried removing the boot drive, booting from an external, with the problem drive mounted internally in place of the original boot drive?
     
  10. Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #10
    Earlier this year I may have knocked an external USB drive onto the floor. It quit working. I took it out of the enclosure, clicked all cables back on good, nothing. I wrapped it up well and froze it in my freezer (yes dessicant etc) a was able to get all the data off! But then when it warmed up it still worked, so maybe this was just more voodoo debugging.
     
  11. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #11
    :O wow
    I have a hard drive that fell on the floor long time ago. I wonder if the freezer would work O-o
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12
    Well... The problem with the freezer is that it causes condensation on the parts. If the drive was running when it hit the floor then there is probably a severe scratch or crack in the platter from the needle crashing into it. If it was off then it may of just misaligned the internal parts. Does it make any weird sounds when you try to run that drive?
     
  13. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #13
    Dunno, haven't powered that drive in years. I assume it was clicking...
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #14
    Generally, the freezer trick is used for a drive that isn't spinning or is seized up. When put in the cold freezer, the metal parts contract sometimes just enough to get the drive to spin.
     
  15. Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #15
    For me, the freezer is the trick of last resort. If I've tried taking the drive out and putting it back in, tried popping and reattaching the cables, tried ignoring it for a week (surprising how many times that works, actually) and nothing has worked, then I put in the freezer. I do wrap it up very well in plastic wrap with some uncooked white rice so that it doesn't pick up moisture in the freezer, and I plug it in right out of the freezer without unwrapping it, and it's worked twice.

    I think yes, it is either unsticking something that got stuck or re-connecting something that got unstuck. Maybe a hairline crack in a solder joint, and with the thing cold it contracts enough to make contact? It's a mystery that I've never bothered to figure out. All I care about is it works or not, did I get the data, and then I do a little happy dance of gratitude to the Dat Lords and take the drive apart for magnets and pretty parts before recycling it. I like the shiny platters, and the magnets are good for lots of magnetic uses.

    Reminds me of some years back there was a problem with solder joints on the Xbox, and people were wrapping them up in towels and letting them get hot enough to remelt the solder and fix the problem, and this also seemed to work for people. Works or doesn't, works or doesn't ..

    Now, the main question is: will Apple release the new Mini soon, or will they not?
     
  16. Amazin69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #16
    Well, let's hope I don't have to go to the freezer just yet.

    Some good news and some bad news:

    Good news, I obtained a copy of Data Rescue 3.2, and wow is it a champ! Buzzed through reading my other drives and analyzing them at great speed, I was very impressed.

    Bad news, at this point I still couldn't get the Iomega to mount. Indeed, Terminal and Disk Utility were no longer even seeing the enclosure at this point, I was no longer getting the message about "The device you attempted to install is not recognized by this computer" (or whatever) when I would restart my boot drive, and all the System Profiler would show me was an "unknown device" at the location.

    BUT…good news! When I tried it tonight (after leaving the external HD unconnected and turned off for a few days) the "not recognized" message came back, which I rightly interpreted as good news, and I ran the System Profiler, and it had the entire profile of the Iomega, like so:

    So I said, let's not waste time, let's break out the Data Rescue. I opened it, clicked on "Start New Scan", watched at the blue completion bar sped towards the end, reading all my other disks, and then was delighted to see the window say "Reading Iomega" as the completion bar reached 100% and then…

    and then…

    Nothing. The above took less than two minutes, it's two hours later and it's still there. Still showing "100%", still "reading Iomega". Not moving on.

    Well, after about 10 minutes of waiting on this, I decided to check Disk Utility. Good news, it's showing both the enclosure AND the drive (greyed out with only its location [disk6s3] rather than the "IomegaHDD" name, but it's still showing). After some thought, I decided to at least try "repair disk" (maybe it would work while Data Rescue was spinning its wheels) and, good news, instead of the program immediately telling me the disk can't be unmounted and refusing to try to repair the disk, it went to work.

    Bad news, it's still at work. No evidence that anything has actually happened. Just a spinning blue-and-white "barber pole". For almost two hours.

    Lastly, I checked the Terminal. This did not start off well, as using the "df -h" hidden directory check (mentioned above) did not even show the enclosure. Nor did the "ls -la" command work then, either. But…by using the command "diskutil list" I did get a list of devices that showed the enclosure and (although it took about 15 minutes) also showed the drive itself, eventually.

    Here is the relevant part:

    But, as you can see, there's still no name showing (guess I shouldn't have used that "unmountDisk force" command, huh? Although it is what's allowing the "repair disk" attempt to proceed, I suppose), and so I can't use the "ls -la /volumes/[name of disk]" command.

    So, while I've made progress, I'm still spinning my wheels, I suppose.

    To recap:
    • disk now shows in DataRescue (apparently), System Profiler, Disk Utility, and Terminal's "diskutil list" device indicators, in the proper location and size
    • however, disk only shows as an unnamed device, so name-based Terminal commands don't work (apparently)
    • both Data Rescue's "Scan Drives" and Disk Utility's "Repair Disk" commands appear to go to work on the drive, however neither reaches completion.

    So how do I get the disk renamed and ready to be read/rescued? Any thoughts?

    (And again, thanks for all the help…even the freezer suggestion.)
     
  17. Amazin69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #17
    Eight Days Later…

    Hello? Ideas, feedback, anything?

    Would sincerely appreciate any possible help, especially with the "naming the device so that Data Rescue can properly read it" issue. Again, thanks in advance.
     
  18. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #18
    I'm sorry to come into this so late, but I would forget the enclosure (I never liked them anyway bc it's just a bare HDD anyway with proprietary boards connected to them for I'O purposes). I would go out and find a FW external HDD dock. I know that it's similar to an enclosure in so far that it uses proprietary hardware for the I/O, but this at least works with ANY HDD. Mine is a Thermaltake brand single HDD docking station that accepts either 3.5 or 2.5" HDDS and I have used it with: iBook G3, iBook G4, PM G4 QS,iMac G5, PM G5 Quad, iMac C2D from 2009, and most recently my 27" iMac 3.2GHz. It has worked with every machine without fail and I have used it to boot every Intel Mac that I have had to fix and even as my media hub connected to my iBooks to stream my iTunes library to my AppleTV.

    If anything, try that instead of continuing to work with traditional enclosures.
     
  19. Amazin69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #19
    Thanks for the suggestion, but…

    I'd really just rather get the data off the drive rather than trying to find a new enclosure for it. When I opened it the last time, I found that one of the Phillips-head screws holding it in place had had its Phillips-head messed up (instead of interlocking slots it's just a rather mushy hole) and I don't know if I can even unscrew it. I might have to saw through the screw in order to physically remove the drive from where it's attached.

    So I'm quite prepared to through the [expletive-deleted] drive in the trash if need be. I would just like to be able to retrieve the data BEFORE that.

    Again, it seems the key screwup was my using that "unmountDisk force" Terminal command as described above. Now, even when I'm able to locate the drive, the lack of a name for the device keeps me from using DataRescue to access the data.

    Do you (or does anyone) know a way to reverse this error, to have the device once again appear as a NAMED device in the diskutil list, or on the system profiler or in Disk Utility or somewhere? I have a feeling that there's a very simple solution…but until I find it, I'm in the dark.

    (And it's 3.5 months without this data already. I'm getting frustrated, tbh.)
     

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