Recover data from old HDD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Anji71, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Anji71 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2013
    Appreciate some help folks.I just had a replacement HD from apple. The last one was completely goosed. I didn't have a Time machine back up or any other back up. I thought I did on my external drive but the mac mini is not recognizing the drive. Is there any other method to recover the data. Apple still have the old drive so I could try and get that back. Is there a internet recovery tool that could work?

    :-D :-D
  2. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    There's an application called Disk Doctor and other similar ones that run on Windows which can sometimes recover files from a hard drive even if it has been formatted or has bad sectors and so on.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you have a way to mount the old drive on the Mini?

    If you need something, get a USB3/SATA docking station, they can be found for less than $25. Go to and enter "usb3 sata dock" into the search box, and you will get many hits.

    Put the old drive into the dock, connect it to the Mac, turn the dock on, and see what happens.

    Does the drive mount on the desktop?

    If yes, copy the files you want from it to another drive.

    If no, you might try opening Disk Utility, to see if DU recognizes the presence of the drive. Don't do anything else with DU yet.

    As the reply above mentions, DiskWarrior can be used to repair directory damage. It's _possible_ that DW might help. Then again, no promises. Keep in mind that DW is intended ONLY to repair a drive's directory, if it can be done. It doesn't do "file recovery".

    If DiskWarrior doesn't work, you could try data recovery software such as DataRescue3.

    You can try DR3 on the drive "as is". It might help, then again, it might not, particularly if the drive's directory is so badly corrupted that the drive can't be mounted on the desktop.

    But that doesn't mean DR3 can't still be used. It's a last-ditch solution, but you might try using Disk Utility to RE-initialize the drive (DO NOT choose to "zero out" the data). With a fresh directory, the drive can now be mounted on the desktop, and DR3 will ignore the "empty" directory and "go right to the platters" to scavenge and rebuild the data (aside: when you re-initialize a drive, all you're really doing is replacing the directory, not the actual data on the platters).

    Lastly -- if the drive has an actual "hardware problem", bad motor, broken drive heads, etc., probably the only way to access the data is to send it to a professional data recovery outfit. They may be successful, but be prepared to pay many hundreds of dollars, up into the thousands, to get that data back.

    Is it really worth that much to you?
  4. Anji71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2013
    I decided not to bother in the end. I will just have to reload everything again. Thanks for the help gents, and I'm making sure I back up properly...lesson learned!

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