LF:Data recovery software.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UrsaMinor, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. UrsaMinor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    #1
    Hello.

    I'm a computer tech that has been getting a lot more Apple computers lately. Fortunately, I haven't had to do data recovery on a failing Mac drive yet, but it's going to happen.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. techwarrior macrumors 65816

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    First, be sure to encourage your customers to at least use Time Machine or better yet, Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to do regular backups. This might sound foolish, but there are a large number of folks out there who never think about backups until it is too late. TM is designed for even the brain dead to be able to do regular backups (hourly by default) as long as they keep the backup drive attached.

    Create a USB boot installer drive, you should be able to use an 8 or 16GB stick for this. Plenty of blogs detail how to do this, but you will need a Mac to do this. This will be infinitely faster than Internet recovery. Or, if you are willing to go to the trouble, you can create boot install images on a Mac and install to the new drive from that.

    TM and CCC may be able to recover data from a failed Mac drive, you may be able to plug it in to a USB dock with SATA drive support ($10-20 typically). To facilitate cloning, there are some decent USB dual docks that can effortlessly clone disks without having to use a Mac or PC to do the clone (under $50 generally). The latter can work as either an attached external dock, or as a unattached cloning device. If it is still readable, you can install the OS fresh on a new drive and then run the Migration Utility to pull everything off the old drive or TM backup. If they have a CCC image of their drive, you can clone the new drive directly from the CCC image.

    In short, a lot of different avenues. But, backups are the surest way to ensure your customers are able to pick up where they left off.
     
  3. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #3
  4. UrsaMinor, Apr 13, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018

    UrsaMinor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    #4
    Thank you for the replies.

    Techwarrier:

    I do own a Macbook Pro, and have created a bootable USB installer for El Capitan and High Sierra. I've used them both numerous times with great success.

    I seem to get contradictory information when trying to find out what exactly TM backs up. Is it disk image or does it just backup the user accounts?

    Mr Brightside:

    I would definitely want APSF compatibility, so Disk Warrior is off the table.

    The Prosoft recovery looks promising. It seems I would only need the $99 version, as when I do data recovery, I'll be removing the drive and connecting it to my Macbook.

    What is it you don't like about the pricing scheme?

    Edit: I think I see what you mean Brightside. It looks as though the $99 version is only good for 5 devices. If I'm understanding that correctly, it basically means I can recover from 5 drives and that's it. Is that right?
     
  5. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    That is also my understanding, which seems a little bit off. The product is useless after 5 recoveries? The model changed between versions 4 and 5 I think, but I think you can still buy 4 which I'm considering.
    I'm not sure if DR supports APFS either.
     
  6. UrsaMinor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
  7. Shadow Jolteon macrumors regular

    Shadow Jolteon

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    Time Machine backs up your entire volume (unless you tell it to exclude something), but it is not a clone or image of the drive. Basically, any files that have been added or modified are copied over to your backup drive every hour the drive is attached and computer is awake. When you need to restore a changed or deleted file, you can enter Time Machine while in the folder through the menu bar icon, and go back to the date the version you need is located and choose to restore it. If something happens to your computer or drive, you can easily restore it from internet recovery or the recovery created on the Time Machine drive.

    An easy way to get a good understanding of it would be to set it up on a drive and take a look at the hierarchy of files it is creating and storing, and look at the Time Machine menu and restore process.

    More Information on Apple's Website

    ---

    As for the main topic: I've used DiskWarrior in the past with a lot of success.
     
  8. UrsaMinor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    #8
    That was helpful Shadow. Thanks.

    I got a reply from Prosoft:

    The personal license of Data Rescue 5 will only for recovery from 5 different hard drives. If you will need to recover from more than 5 drives or if you will be using in a business/professional setting, then you will need the professional license of Data Rescue. It is compatible with APFS.

    I sure the heck am not paying $300 for a data recovery program.
     
  9. HDFan, Apr 13, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018

    HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #9
    Take a gander at Techtool Pro:

    https://www.micromat.com/products/techtool-pro

    "it is the first third party Mac utility to offer APFS compatibility. And it has been fully tested to support High Sierra (macOS 10.13) as well. One extra upside to APFS drives: you don't need to start up from an eDrive to test them.

    Trust us when we say that there is a lot going on with this new file system, so this is just *initial* support. Techtool Pro can now test and repair these disks, even eDrives on them, but we're still hard at work exploring the depths of this file system. Some more advanced features will be coming down the road."

    As for time machine I have had a lot of failures in the past. Since it uses hard links it has a very complex file structure, so any disk glitches (even on other drives) can cause corruption. A direct clone (such as Carbon Copy Cloner) is more robust.

    https://www.macobserver.com/tips/deep-dive/time-machine-and-apfs-need-know/
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP wrote:
    "I do own a Macbook Pro, and have created a bootable USB installer for El Capitan and High Sierra. I've used them both numerous times with great success."

    That's "not enough"
    You want a "stable" of independently-bootable external drives (they could be USB flashdrives), each "bootable to the finder" (NOT to an OS installer). Each with a complement of recovery/repair utilities pre-installed.

    I suggest one each of of the following:
    - El Capitan
    - Low Sierra
    - High Sierra

    I don't believe there are many (any?) recovery utilities that support APFS yet.
    Apple has been very stingy on releasing the details of how APFS works.

    If you support other Mac users, I would advise them to AVOID APFS whenever possible.
    I would also urge them to use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper, and AVOID using Time Machine. I've seen post after post after post after post after post (had enough?) right here on macrumors, from people who had been using TM, and then tried to access their TM backups in a "moment of need" and..... couldn't.
     
  11. UrsaMinor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    #11
    Thanks HDFan, I'll check that out as well.

    Fisherrman,

    I'm unclear a to why you suggested a drive that's bootable to the finder. That is, if Cap or Sierra won't boot then:

    I may choose to try safe mode, resetting the smc, pram, etc.

    If I need the terminal or disk utility, then I access that via the bootable installers.

    If the drive is failing, then I remove it and attempt data recovery.

    If the drive is ok, but the OS is corrupt, then I just reinstall the OS without formatting the drive.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    OP wrote:
    "I'm unclear a to why you suggested a drive that's bootable to the finder"

    Because if "all you have" is a bootable "installer", it's not going to let you do anything other than run a VERY LIMITED set of options.

    Let me give you an example.
    A client has a drive "that's broken". It won't mount. It won't boot. It has data on it, but the client can't "reach it".
    If you boot the problem Mac using an installer, all you're going to be able to do is reinstall the OS, erase the drive (or run other Disk Utility functions), work with terminal.
    BUT... if you had a FULLY BOOTABLE TO THE FINDER external drive, you could boot the Mac, and the problem internal drive MIGHT JUST MOUNT UP IN THE FINDER.
    This would give you the opportunity to "get the data off of it" and onto a "known good" drive.

    Another thing:
    You can't run important third-party utilities (including data-recovery software) UNLESS you've booted to the finder.
    Installer drives won't permit this (to my knowledge).

    If you really want to be a "Mac support wiz" you need a set of finder-bootable drives "in your toolbox"...
     
  13. UrsaMinor, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018

    UrsaMinor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    #13
    In the example you gave, are you referring to a drive that won't mount due to the drive physically failing, or a software problem?

    If the former, then I would remove the drive, connect it to my Macbook, attempt data recovery, and replace the drive.

    If the latter, then I would attempt to mount the drive from disk utility and/or the terminal. If that fails, then I would attempt to reinstall the os via the usb installer, without formatting the drive. Since the drive isn't formatted, then the client's data remains intact.
     

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