Please help me! Lost 400GB of images!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by franz1999, May 2, 2008.

  1. franz1999 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #1
    :eek:My Mac crashed few minutes ago and I had to do a hard reboot.
    After it came back, my external hard drive - which has more than 400GB of pictures in 6 folders - now shows only one of the folders and one folder with 0 bytes with weird characters as name...
    Is there a way to recover?:confused:
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #2
    Open Disk Utility and verify the disk. If errors are found, click Repair Disk.
     
  3. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

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    Jun 22, 2006
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    #3
    ... or if that doesn't work.. do you have any utilities such as tech tool pro?

    If the images are really important to you then take the drive to a data recovery pro (assuming that nothing else works for you). It is very rare for data to be completely unrecoverable unless the physical media have been very badly damaged.
     
  4. franz1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the quick reply... doing it right now

    Verify didn't report any error and told me I have 432GB free on the disk...
    I am running Repair now....
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #5
    Where there any disk operations in progress with the external? What filesystem is it?
     
  6. franz1999 thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #6
    I don't have any utilities like that. I have just switched from a win xp to mbp...
    I am at a loss here... if it's so easy to lose data on a mac I can't possibly use this machine... My XP was crashing all the time but never lost a single file... here in 3 days of usage I lost my entire library of images

    No, the disk was mounted but not being used.
    File system I believe fat32 but i could be wrong. It was used with my XP machine before and I just plugged in my new mac and used it without formatting it

    Verify ran and I still have 432GB free and the stupid folder with weird characters and 0 bytes
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #7
    I'm not sure how thorough Disk Utility is when it comes to FAT32 repairs but you might want to give ScanDisk a try on Windows as well. You really want to use journaled file system.
     
  8. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #8
    It's not "so easy to lose data on a Mac" - what happened here can just as easily happen under Windows, Linux, or any other operating system if you reboot the machine while it is reading from/writing to the disk.

    Anyway, what I suspect happened here is that whatever program was managing the images was busy doing something when you rebooted, which caused the directory of the drive's contents to get wiped. Your files are still there, but Mac OS X doesn't know how to get to them. The best way to get your data back is to take your drive to a data recovery specialist, at this point, and remember this lesson: NEVER reboot a computer while it is using a disk! This is the most common way data corruption/loss happens.
     
  9. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

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    Apr 10, 2008
    #9
    Don't do anything else, just take it to the apple store and have one of the geniuses attempt to recover it.
     
  10. Delameko macrumors member

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    May 1, 2008
    #10
    I'm pretty new to Mac so I don't know the best tools over here.

    But O&O Software make really good data recovery tools for windows, and they provide fully-featured 30-day trials.

    Either install Windows via bootcamp, or by Parallels or VMWare Fusion (both which also provide 30 day fully featured trials - plus you can easier delete Windows when you're done), and give O&O Disk Recovery 4 a try.
     
  11. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #11
    Ouch! Running 400GB worth of data is suicidal without a backup no matter what OS you are using.

    That said you can try testdisk (free and very impressive) to recover the partition/data
     
  12. agentphish macrumors 65816

    agentphish

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    #12
    I wish I had seen this post earlier!!!


    DATA RESCUE II by the same people who make DriveGenius will more than likely be a HUGE help to you.

    Whatever you do, don't write any data or format the drive.
     
  13. DeuceDeuce macrumors 6502a

    DeuceDeuce

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    #13
    Good information in this post, thanks everyone
     
  14. franz1999 thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #14
    I didn't say I don't have a backup. I have a somehow recent backup of that data in the office and today I had to buy another 200$ external hard drive to bring that data back home (cannot risk to be at any time with less than 2 copies of my data).

    What I am saying is that Mac in one second destroyed an amount of data that I had never ever lost before in 24 years of using computers. It's ridiculous and it all happened because the mac itself crashed while I was opening my emails. I hard-booted and then I got the nice surprise of not having anything left on my hard drive.

    And now I have to re-transfer again all my data (moving 450GB of data takes many hours) and make my music work once again with the mac itunes (that took me 2-3 hours the first day after the switch).

    So thank you Mac, in your first week of life you made me lose 200$ and many many hours of work. Not bad for a system that should simplify my life.
     
  15. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

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    London
    #15
    Sounds like you've been very unlucky indeed! However, look around this forum and others... yours is not a particularly common tale. Of course if you don't believe me you still have the option to get a refund.
     
  16. franz1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #16
    I don't want a refund... I still have the hope that what happened was caused by me. I will take the drive and format it with the Mac OS and see if this happens again. So far the only times I had similar issues were when I took external drives and swap them between macs and pcs so I am decided to blame this very unlucky accident to the FAT32 and to the fact the drive was sometimes plugged in a PC last week to transfer data.
     
  17. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #17
    You might want to give SpinRite a shot.

    It requires a PC to use, and since you have one already it would be a good solution for you.

    FWIW, it has recovered HD's for me when none of the Mac related utilities would work. It also conditions your hard drive as well through it's own drive maintenance.

    IMHO, it is well worth the cost.
     
  18. oliverlubin macrumors regular

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  19. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #19
    Well I refer you to Eidorians comments.

    FAT32 is not the native file format for OS X or even Windows these days because of the limitations of it, one of which is that it is not journaled.
     
  20. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #20
    While it's very easy to blame the Mac is this circumstance, I can tell you right now that at work I have a Mac server managing about 6 Terabytes (that's 6,144 Gigabytes) of data. It's been doing so for about a year and a half now. And we haven't lost a single byte, nor have we had to go back to tape backups to recover any data). The same is true for our linux servers so far.

    On the other hand, we have data loss issues with our legacy Windows server about once every year or so, for various reasons. In those cases, our LTO tape backup system comes to the rescue.

    I would chalk your experience up to being extremely unlucky. And I definitely understand your frustration. But I assure you that Macs or even OS X itself is certainly not prone to this type of failure. If that were the case, I don't think ANYONE, including the legions of web developers, photographers, video editors, musicians, sound engineers and artists who use Macs, would be using them much if their data were always in such peril.

    There's two ways you can improve the hard drive's ability to recover from crashes. If you intend to only use that hard drive on Macs, then you should consider formatting it in the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system. The journalling vastly improves the volume's ability to recover from serious errors. The downside is that a Windows computer can't easily read the same hard drive without some help.

    You could also format the drive as NTFS on a Windows machine. NTFS also has journalling, just like the Mac File System. A Mac can then read the NTFS drive, but to write to it, you need to install MacFUSE, which is free from Google.

    In any case, you had a backup, which is good! That's exactly what you should do, especially when trying out new computers and new platforms. As you've found out, sometimes migrating to new operating system (be it Ubuntu, OS X, or something else) is a bit of a bumpy ride. But I can tell you that you'll probably thank yourself for it in the long run.
     
  21. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #21
    data rescue is very good in recovering pictures.
    Be sure NOT to use the disk with the lost files on !
    if possible start up your mac in target mode and run the program from another mac with a firewire cable. If you find files recover them to another disk than the one where the original files are on. Invest in an external drive and use it as backup disk once you recovered your files.
     
  22. franz1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #22
    While I do work with computers a lot, I am not so familiar with the intrinsic differences between different disk file systems. Would you be able to explain why a "journalized" system is better in case of failures?

    **** EDIT ****

    I'll answer that question with Wikipedia:

    Updating file systems to reflect changes to files and directories usually requires many separate write operations. This introduces a race condition for which an interruption (like a power failure or system crash) between writes can leave data structures in an invalid intermediate state.

    For example, deleting a file on a Unix file system involves two steps:

    1. Removing its directory entry.
    2. Marking space for the file and its inode as free in the free space map.

    If a crash occurs between steps 1 and 2, there will be an orphaned inode and hence a storage leak. On the other hand, if only step 2 is performed first before the crash, the not-yet-deleted file will be marked free and possibly be overwritten by something else.

    In a non-journaled file system, detecting and recovering from such inconsistencies requires a complete walk of its data structures. This can take a long time if the file system is large, and there is relatively little I/O bandwidth.

    A journaled file system maintains a journal of the changes it intends to make, ahead of time. After a crash, recovery simply involves replaying changes from this journal until the file system is consistent again. The changes are thus said to be atomic (or indivisible) in that they either:

    * succeed (have succeeded originally or be replayed completely during recovery), or
    * are not replayed at all (are skipped because they had not yet been completely written to the journal).

    ****************



    Yes, pretty bumpy... but having 3 copies of my data (two in the apartment and one in the office) helps to minimize losses in cases like this. I actually never had to use the backup and was getting lazier doing them. You can rest assured that this is going to put me on my toes :)

    I am moving data around today (not so quick when the data is about 0.5TB) and I am reformatting one drive at a time to be Mac OS X file system (with journalize, whatever that means). Hopefully this will add security to my data.

    I can tell you though that it was quite a surprise after I have been going around my friends and co-workers praising how much better my new mac was, to find out that in a few seconds one of my data drives was totally wiped.
     
  23. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #23
    Journalling

    As I said previously OSX, windows, Ubuntu (and probably most other linuxs) all default to journaled file systems
     
  24. JL7 macrumors member

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  25. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #25
    Apart from not actually contributing to the discussion let me address this point/attitude.

    I am not going to spend my time writing out a description of journalling when there is a good, easy to understand description already written. Simple as that. Do you think that it is wrong because if it is correct then what is actually wrong with quoting that section as it helps the OP to understand the benefits and any other person reading this thread, some who don't understand the in/outs of filesystems

    I didn't see you writing a description of journalling in this thread or even offering any help.
     

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