Please help, external HDD is not readable on Mac.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by 10-Dee-Q, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. 10-Dee-Q macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bandung, West Java, Indonesia & Singapore
    #1
    hi i need help
    the story begin like this.
    my girlfriend wanted to transfer some of the photo from her camera's SD card to the external HDD (1TB toshiba convio).
    this is not the first time, and previouslly it always works well.
    but somehow this time, it "stuck" on transferring for about an hour, so she guess maybe a restart will solve it, she restarted her macbook air.
    Then the nightmare begun.
    the SD card is allright, all the files still intact. but to her horror, the external HDD which she kept all of the photos and important stuff is not detected by the macbook air.

    so i tried it on my Macbook pro, same thing not detected on the desktop.
    if you wait about 10 minutes it shows on the disk utility and a pop up shows that "theres some problem with the external hard drive : initialise / erase / cancel " option.
    in disk utility it shows the external HDD all right, but it doesnt show any partition in the HDD.
    so i can't acces it.
    i tried on windows 7 via bootcamp , same result, not detected at all.
    i've tried using disk warrior software on my mac, and when i plugged in the externall HDD, the disk warrior app hangs
    but if i run the disk warrior without the external HDD plugged in , it runs normally.

    the hDD it self is still quite new , about 2-3 months old.
    and it doesnt shows any hardware problem, no ticking or funny noise, no shaking, etc.
    the acces light lights up normally.

    i know i can just "erase" the HDD using the disk utillity and create a new partition on it , but what she need is the Data on the HDD, as its her only back up, no other back up :(

    so please any kind souls give me any solution on how to retrieve the data inside the HDD.
    as i said, i believe , and i.m quite sure that the external HDD is not spoiled.
    the only thing that i suspect is that the partition table might get corrupted or something because she restarted the mac book without ejecting it first.

    so is there any solution ?
    please help, thank you.

    oh and ithe externall HDD is formatted using HFS+ extended journalled if thats make any difference.
    thank you
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2


    I'm afraid it sounds like the drive is either corrupt or on the way out....you could try Disk Warrior which has tools to help you recover files and test the drive


    http://www.alsoft.com/diskwarrior/
     
  3. 10-Dee-Q thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bandung, West Java, Indonesia & Singapore
    #3
    i did, i tried disk warrior
    but it always "hangs / freeze" when i plugged in the external HDD
    if i run disk warrior without plugging in the external HDD, it runs ok
    but when i plugged in the external HDD it freezes again.
     
  4. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #4
    That really does sound like its gone....data recovery can cost $$$ if you go to a specialist. If DW can't fix it, then I fear the worst....no TM backup or similar?
     
  5. 10-Dee-Q thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bandung, West Java, Indonesia & Singapore
    #5
    no other back up :(
    but how come it still "detected" on disk utility ?
    sigh, is there any way i could save the data ???
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
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    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #6
    If you can't read it in a USB caddy, and DW can't help, I'm afraid the only other option is an expensive data recovery company....these folks charge mega bucks so I guess it's down to your GF as to just how much money you want to invest, and just how important that data is. Good luck with it, and let us know how it goes.
     
  7. 10-Dee-Q thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bandung, West Java, Indonesia & Singapore
    #7
    okay still corssing my finger , hopes somehow theres miracle :)
     
  8. Fishrrman, Jul 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    "i know i can just "erase" the HDD using the disk utillity and create a new partition on it , but what she need is the Data on the HDD"

    I will describe below what I did with a drive that was having problems like you describe. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK - there are no promises included.

    First, what is needed:
    - A second external hard drive to serve as a "scratch drive" (I used a "bare" drive and a USB/SATA docking station)
    - Data recovery software (I used "DataRescue3")

    In my case, I had a partition that wouldn't mount. Other partitions on the drive would mount, but the files I needed were on the partition that WOULDN'T mount.

    I discovered that DataRescue couldn't "get to" the problem partition, because it would not mount in the finder. What to do?

    I re-initialized the problem drive, with only one partition.
    (yes that's right -- I re-initialized the entire drive and destroyed all the partitions that were on it)
    I specifically DID NOT choose to "zero out" the data. DO NOT DO THIS!

    So now -- the drive "mounts" on the desktop, but shows up "empty" in the finder.
    Looks like no files are on it -- BUT -- the only thing that has been done is that the drive's directory has been replaced. The actual data, out on the drive's sectors, is left untouched.

    Now, DR3 could see the drive on the desktop. Because DR3 can "look around" a bad directory, it was able to "go right to the platters" of the drive, and scavenge the sectors. It found the files, reconstructed them, and saved them to the scratch drive (that's why you need a SECOND drive, too).

    Warning: you will probably lose all folder hierarchies and many file names. This is what happens with data recovery software (folders and file names are a construct of the directory, and that got replaced, remember?). The consolation is that you get the DATA back, even if it has to be carefully sorted out, renamed, etc.

    Again, this process worked for me, when I thought nothing else could be done.
     
  9. 10-Dee-Q thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Bandung, West Java, Indonesia & Singapore
    #9
    ok, noted, but in my case the drive have only 1 partition and that partition is the one that get messed up.
     
  10. opinio macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2013
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #11
    Some have had luck freezing the drive and then quickly copying the data off. Put the drive in the freezer overnight, plug it in and try it.

    If that doesn't work, well.... you have first hand experience why backups are always suggested here.

    Putting the drive in the oven usually just ruins it.
     
  12. Kordell Stewart macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #12
    External HDD is not readable on Mac

    So your girl friend lost files from external HDD? I also face quite same problem, i lost all my file from my personal HDD? I use remo recover Software to retrieve lost or damaged file. It recover my files from HFS+, FAT file systems.
     
  13. ivy123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #13
     
  14. rivettmj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #14
    There is also the possibility that the USB enclosure failed as well, if you have another external USB drive, you can try swapping the drives between the two (this will likely void the warranty on the drive, something to be aware of since you said it was only a couple of months old)

    If you have a tech savvy friend with a linux based system that you can take the drive to you might be able to pull some of the data off by mirroring the drive with a dd command (and the appropriate flags to ignore hardware errors)

    Its an unfortunate lesson that drive failures can occur at any time, and to always have at least two copies of your important files :(

    I would avoid trying to repair the drive (or lay down empty partitions) until you decide if you going to send it to a data recovery company... Changes / repairs to the drive at this point will likely add corruption on top of the already failing hardware, which would add to the recovery costs.
     
  15. Alex W macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    #15
    Disk Warrior demands some patience

    Have you let Disk Warrior run until it says it can or cannot retrieve the information on the hard drive? I have had the same problem with an Iomega drive and have learnt that it can take quite some time for Disk Warrior to complete or even start the retrieval process. It seems to hang a lot of the time, but if you wait for about 12-15 hours, it will eventually retrieve all of the files on the drive, except perhaps for the file that you were transferring.

    You will first see the Disk Warrior "hang" for a while, then you wil see the process start up, hanging for a looong time again at step 5. Eventually you will get a message saying that it is impossible to restore the partition, but that you can retrieve the files from a "preview" drive. Click "preview", wait a bit, and there you will find your files. I must warn you however that it will take again a looong time to copy the files to your computer: count 10 hours for 1 Gb.

    If you do this make sure that you do not let your computer go to sleep. So do not use the battery and set the computer to never sleep. In the preferences also uncheck the option to let drives go to sleep when possible.

    So, just be patient :)
     

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