Mac Mini flooded; how to save data?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by korslund, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. korslund macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #1
    Looking for a bit of direction. My MacMini got flooded (please don't ask!); :eek: and has pretty well died (BTW, I'm in Switzerland). The repair quote from an authorised Apple shop was for about the same as a new Mac Mini. Makes sense for me to do that...

    Q1: how likely is it that my data (really only concerned about JPGs from iPhoto, and music from iTunes) will still be OK?

    Q2: do I need a data recovery specialist? Any "simple" tricks to offload my data from the old HDD, onto my (not yet purchased) new Mac Mini?

    Thanks all! :)
     
  2. PaulexPC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #2
    The simple solution is to remove the hard disk and buy a USB 2.5" enclosure. Put the drive in the enclosure and plug it into another computer.
    See if it pops up okay with data, or not.
     
  3. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Abingdon
    #3
    Agreed but I would wait a full 3 or 4 days before turning the drive on, I would let it just sit and dry out. You should be able to recover all of your data.

    -iGrant
     
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #4
    I agree with PaulexPC and by going the external route you can clone your existing install with SuperDuper to the new mini and be up and running again very quickly.
     
  5. korslund thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #5
    USB Enclosure

    to both of you, thanks for the quick reply. Never thought about that, nor tried it before. Happy to have a go.
    1. I assume the external enclosure comes with some basic drive electronics, etc. to connect the old MacMini HDD to the USB interface. Correct?
    2. Any suggestions on brands to choose or avoid, and where to get such an enclosure? I'd rather source from Europe (UK or Switz are easiest).

    Again, thanks!
     
  6. PaulexPC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #6
    I bought my 2.5" enclosure on eBay for less than $15. You just have to make sure you get the right type for your drive. once you get the right one it's dead simple and should include instructions. If you have a local computer gizmo store they certainly sell them.

    edit: I think they are all 2.5" IDE anyway.
     
  7. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Gloucester, UK
    #7
    Correct

    I'm from the UK and I tend to use Aria as my first port of call.

    If you have an Intel mini, then your hard drive is a 2.5" SATA model and this will do you. It comes with a dual USB cable and I've found that this must be plugged into 2 USB channels in order to provide enough power.

    If you have a PPC mini, then your hard drive is a 2.5" IDE model and this should suit you needs even better as it's got the holy grail of firewire!
     
  8. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #8
    The enclosures come with all the electronic bits needed to connect the harddrive to a usb port.

    The enclosure should be pretty cheap you need to look for a 2.5" SATA to USB and or Firewire enclosure for an Intel Mac Mini or 2.5" PATA (IDE) to USB/Firewire for the PPC Mac Mini I believe.

    For example:
    Both
    Intel Mac Mini HDD enclosure
    PPC Mac Mini

    You should be able to buy one locally for not much more than online, just make sure to get the correct type.
     
  9. korslund thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #9
    I'm a happy camper, now!

    OK, thanks. My mini is ~4 years old; definitely NOT the Intel version. I'll follow the references given. Will look for an IDE or PATA style enclosure.
    Really appreciate the help!
     
  10. Berlepsch macrumors 6502

    Berlepsch

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #10
    HD enclosures are quite common nowadays, and you can buy them in any decent computer shop. You need to know if your HDD uses SATA or IDE connectors - the current Mac minis use SATA, but I don't know about earlier models.

    There is one big pitfall with this solution: Since we are not allowed to asked what happened :)rolleyes:), it is hard to say if water has entered into the drive (there is a tiny hole for ventilation in all HDDs). In such a case, or if the electronics is damaged, you will probably cause more damage if you try to spin the HD up again.

    You have to decide yourself. A data recovery would cost in the range of several hundred to a few thousand SFR, depending on the amount of data and the damage to the disk. If you buy an enclosure, you can get one starting at roughly 20 franks, but it would only work if the water damage to the disk was minimal.
     
  11. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000

    Fonzijr1964

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #11
    not true. if the electronics in the Drive were not damaged, in pure water the disk itself would survive
     
  12. Berlepsch macrumors 6502

    Berlepsch

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #12
    Unfortunately, most people don't have pure water around when they drown their devices. We don't know what happens - maybe korslund just spilled some distilled water on his mini, maybe he sunk it 300m deep in Geneva lake, or the Mediterranean sea.
     
  13. korslund thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #13
    here's the truth...

    I didn't mean to be so elusive; I am just a bit embarassed. Since I've gotten such solid help, I can certainly share the fate of my Mini.

    It was sitting on the desk, in our "new" home near Lausanne, under a skylight which opens. We mistakenly left the skylight OPEN overnight, and there was a light rain.

    My wifi router survived just fine (gentle hair dryer by my son fixed that), but the Mac Mini seems to be pretty well toasted!

    Not completely "PURE" water, but the rainwater will be closer to that than the bottom of Lac Leman!

    Sorry the true story isn't more interesting -- and thanks again. I'll be back to try to learn more from all of you!

    Cheers & bon chance!
     
  14. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Bummer.

    I guess the Mini was left on / in sleep mode.

    I would guess the hard drive would be ok. How wet can it have gotten from some light rain through a window.

    What did the store say was wrong with the mini?
     
  15. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000

    Fonzijr1964

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #15
    true
    :D
    oh, i think ur HDD should be good but u are going to have to try to know for sure.

    Have you ordered the enclosure yet?
     
  16. korslund thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #16
    to Fonzijr1964

    no, I've not yet ordered the enclosure...

    the "store" report wasn't very informative. They recommended a new motherboard (ƒ604) and a bottom housing (ƒ88). Plus labour at ƒ180 and tax of 90 makes a total of 962. Makes a new Mini look very attractive!
     
  17. belunos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #17
    Oh yea, definitely don't bother getting the old mini repaired. I think you'd be better off just buying a new one, or getting a used Intel model.

    And these guys were spot on with the usb suggestion. I have a feeling you'll have pretty good luck getting data off that drive. If not, your only hope is to send it to a specialist, like OnTrack, but they charge a boat load of money.
     
  18. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000

    Fonzijr1964

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #18
    yep and the enclosure method would be the first thing they would try
     

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