Need help recovering files.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zackkmac, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. zackkmac, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014

    zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    So I had installed OS X 10.10 on my 2013 iMac to try it out since my MBP is my main computer anyways. However, my iMac is my media hub with much more files loaded onto its 3TB drive.

    I got tired of messing with Yosemite and went about downgrading to Mavericks. My plan was to create a new Mavericks partition, move everything over to it, delete the Yosemite partition and bring that free space back to the Mavericks partition.

    I successfully made the 10.9 partition, installed 10.9, and spent quite a while moving everything back over. Then, I rebooted the iMac into the installer via USB and go to Disk Utility. From there I saw an option to merge my existing, working Mavericks install with the 10.10 partition. I clicked that, and it told me that everything on Mavericks partition would be erased to do this.

    Since that wasn't what I wanted, I hit cancel...or so I thought. Instead, cancel must have been the highlighted (blue) button and the execute button was the white one (which I assumed was cancel). So since I mistakenly didn't take the time to read the buttons, I hit Erase.

    As soon as it said "Preparing to erase drive", I shut the iMac off and rebooted it. My Yosemite partition is still there, albeit with no OS because I cleared it a few moments before this within Disk Utility. But now, of course, my Mavericks partition that had all of my files is now unable to be found.

    I know that since I didn't leave it any time to delete anything (or very little if it had), these files are somewhere. But how do I access them now? I do have my MBP and Thunderbolt cable to help. The iMac is currently in target disk mode, but all I can see is the blank Yosemite partition.

    Sorry for the long post, just wanted to fully explain the situation. Your help is very much appreciated!
  2. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Also, is there any chance my Time Capsule will restore Yosemite backups to Mavericks? If so then that will be a feasible (although dreadfully time consuming) solution.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You could try something like Disk Warrior to recover files from that partition, but I would be shocked if it could recover it and make it boot and work. It might be able to recover some files you could copy off if they are not backed up anywhere.

    Is all your data on the Time Capsule?

    Here is what I would do. Option key boot to your Mavs USB key installer then start Disk Util. Go to the erase tab then select the drive brand name at the very top and erase the entire disk to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Now quit Disk Util and click restore then point it to the Time Capsule.

    You will get this screen.


    Scroll back to a time before you installed Yosemite so you can get Mavs back and select that for the restore. Now go have a beer while this restores because it will take a long damn time :(.

    This will get you back to Mavs with your user account and all data back in place.

    If you can connect the iMac to the TC via ethernet it will makes this faster.
  4. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008

    Thanks! That worked, and it was pretty easy. My biggest problem was recovering the 500GB of space I lost when I stupidly shut off the computer as it was preparing to erase the working partition. But I finally managed to get my fusion drive back to its full 3.12TB capacity and restored everything back on Mavericks. :)

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