How to properly recover data from "broken" hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thezey, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. thezey macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2014
    Hello Mac users,

    I have a mid 2012 Mountain Lion MacBook Pro. My hard drive recently failed. As I have been working in Thailand, I decided to bring my laptop an Authorized Service Provider (Macintosh Center Co., Ltd.) in Bangkok. Their diagnostic was that my hard drive wasnt working anymore, and I had to change it. The problem is, since I had no backup, I asked them to recover my data and transfer to the new hard drive. But, this Apple Authorized Service Provider told me I had to go somewherelse because they have no software to recover my data! So, I went to the local Joe's repair computer store who retrieved my data from the problematic hard drive to the new one. Now, the problem is that all my "old" data is located in "orphan folders". In other words, counteless files were retrieved without folders and settings.

    So, I would like to know if it is possible to recover my data with all the settings I had and then transfer it to my new hard drive. If it's possible, what software should I use to properly recover my data? If it's not possible, how should I deal with the "orphan folders" and my current settings?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    What exactly do you mean by "settings"? Do you mean your user preferences or something else?

    If your HD was borked enough that it needed data recovery software, you should be thankful you still have your files and give yourself a sharp whack to the back of the head for not keeping a proper backup. ALL hard drives fail, regardless of age or use. It is a question of WHEN, not IF. A nearly fail-safe backup strategy for very important files is to have 3 copies: original, backup, and a backup of the backup, kept off-site(be it in the cloud or in another building).
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you now have the "old drive" in your hands?

    Do you also have a "good, new drive" in the MacBook?

    If the answer to both these questions is "yes", then the next step you should take is to get something to put the OLD drive into to "work on it".

    I would suggest a USB3/SATA docking station. They cost as little as $20 (US). To see what these are, go to amazon and enter "usb3 sata dock" into the search box, and you'll see many items.

    Once you have the dock, put the OLD drive into it, connect it to the Mac, and turn it on.

    What happens now?
  4. sixrom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
  5. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    If that was possible the drive would not have been classed as failed in the first place. It sounds like your drives index (in simple terms) has been lost at least, so some files are intact but the drive no longer knows what or where they are. In that case you can have software scan the drive looking for certain file characteristics and recover what appear to be files. What it recovers maybe new, old, incomplete etc etc. This information is lost, gone and cannot be recovered further as it is the very nature of the failure.

    If this is what you have then you are VERY lucky, many drive failures are hardware failures where no software can recover anything at all.

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