Recovering files off an internal drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Vz909, May 28, 2013.

  1. Vz909 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2010
    Hey guys, need some advice here. I bought a 3TB Seagate drive and installed it in my Mac Pro 2008. It worked fine for a few months then the files start behaving weirdly like I can't unzip files, the data would be corrupted and media won't play and stuff. I did a test and copied a couple zip files from the Seagate to another drive and the copied files also won't unzip so I'm kind of scared now thinking maybe all of the files on the drive are corrupted and even if I move the files onto a working drive the files will be unusable, is that possible?

    After disk utility showed errors but failed to repair it, I've been running Diskwarrior for 3 days now and it's found about a thousand overlapped files so far and is progressing slowly. But is it going to actually fix the files that are on the drive so I could move them somewhere else and save them or is it pointless? Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.
  2. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    Been there done that.
    Also used Diskwarrior the other day, running for 5 days straight and it was able to recover a few files. At the end I gave up and formatted the disk (it was just screwed filesystem-wise, not physically).

    Lesson: ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a backup. No matter how much you think nothing's gonna happen, hard disks are an accident waiting to happen. I've lost countless data over the years, until I decided I should just backup and live with peace of mind.
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Correction "ALWAYS have multiple backups" Never ever trust a single point of failure. Keep at least two full system backups.
  4. Vz909 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2010
    Yeah that kinda sucks. Got another external drive on the way for backing up in the future. So I guess DW probably won't actually fix the corrupted files then?
  5. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    I keep it simple by just having one. I know you should offshore backups yadda yadda tornadoes, catastrophes, etc, yadda yadda, but for us the "we never gonna need it" crew, at least one is a good start.
    Plus, unless your hardrive is 100 GB, it becomes real expensive to have say, two backup disks per disk (aka to have the same file three times or more).
    Is it more expensive than losing all your data? Yeah... but if we get there then at the end we're gonna end up wasting too much money on backups (neighbor, cousin on other city, friend on other country, relative on another continent, a space shuttle, and so on) ;)

    Well done. And yeah, just hit "Stop" button and move on.
    And I feel you, having a 3TB backup disk... just for backup... it hurts... but yeah... such is life. That is the insurance quota of the computer world, which hopefully one will never use (but then a lot of money wasted).

    Anyway it's late, sorry if I drifted a bit up there. G'night.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    DiskWarrior may, or may not, fix the problems you're having. It could be software "corruption" on the drive (corrupted directory). Or, it could be an actual _hardware_ problem with the drive (controller board failure, drive actuator failure, drive head failure, etc.)

    Understand that DW is an app that is designed to repair and rebuild disk _directories_, and nothing else. If the actual data on the disk has been corrupted, DW can't fix that. All it can do is repair/rebuild the drive's directory.

    If DW doesn't work, or doesn't work "well enough" -- and if you still can't "get at" the data on the disk, then it's time to think about data RECOVERY software (an entirely different animal).

    A data recovery app works when the directory is corrupted -- by "going around" (i.e., ignoring) the directory, and "going right to the platters" of the drive, one sector at a time. Recovery apps will "scavenge" the entire drive, recover whatever data they find, and then try to rebuild the data into usable files. IMPORTANT: data recovery always requires _yet another drive_ to serve as a "scratch drive" which can be used as a repository for the recovered files.

    Examples of Data Recovery apps:
    - DataRescue3
    - Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery

    I see you're on a Mac Pro.
    How many internal drive bays are still free?

    Remember, if the internal drive has gone bad, you are going to need
    1. A new boot source
    2. A "scratch drive" for recovered data.

    So you may need to aquire more than just one drive in an attempt to get the data back.

    I guess you're learning about the importance of backing up.

    I would suggest that in the future, you use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a bootable clone of your "main drive". With a MacPro, you can keep the backup drive right inside the case if you wish. This will give you an INSTANTLY ACCESSIBLE copy of your main drive, if you ever experience problems again.

    If you use your MacPro for work as well as recreational computing, it would also be advisable to create a second backup, and either store that "off-site" (different building from the one the computer is in), or at least in a fireproof/waterproof safe in the building you're in now.
  7. Vz909 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2010
    Thanks for clearing things up for me. Never really had to deal with this before, I always gave a new drive a 90 day grace period and somehow this time it's tricky with no weird sounds or error messages. I got all 4 of my bays occupied so when the new firewire drive comes I'll look into salvaging via Data Rescue or other programs and if still no go then cut my losses. :(

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