Reformatted the wrong hard drive! Urgent!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zdlo, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. zdlo macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    I moved 1TB of data from an NTFS formatted external to a mac external.
    Then I ran the program called MacInstall, which is found inside the emptied Seagate FreeAgent NTFS drive. I was trying to convert the emptied drive to mac format.
    But the program unexpectedly converted the other drive with all the data.
    It was already a mac formatted Seagate FreeAgent Mac drive.
    I've lost 1TB of important data.

    When I ran Seagate MacInstall, it took just seconds for the format to be completed. So I guess it was just a quick format.
    I don't know if it also changed the type of the format. It was already mac formatted, but there may be different types of mac formats. I don't know.

    I need to convert the process. It is very important and quite urgent.

    If I can't find a software solution, I can also try one of those laboratories who charge thousands and rescue almost everything.

    Here's a detailed explanation of what happened:

    There were 4 external hard drives connected to my iMac.
    1. 1.5TB FreeAgent Mac via FireWire800 (Mac format)
    2. 1TB FreeAgent Pro via FireWire400 (NTFS)
    3. 1TB FreeAgent Pro via USB (NTFS)
    4. 400GB Seagate Barracuda in an enclosure via USB (NTFS)

    I MOVED all my personal archives from number 2 to number 1.
    Then I ran the MacInstall from the desktop drive created by macinstaller.dmg found inside number 2.

    It has just formatted the wrong drive, number 1 (with all my archives) instead of number 2.

    I don't know what to do now. This is very important and I need help immediately.

    I guess it was just a quick format as it took only a few seconds. There must be a way to restore everything on drive number 1.
    But what is it?

    Please help!..
  2. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Doesn't sound good. For future reference, always use Disk Utility for your formatting options as I've never had any luck with the built in apps they give on HDD's these days.

    I don't know what the chances are if it formatted the drive to a completely different format, but if it just cleared it out then you should be able to do a scan on it with an app like DataRescue II (one I've used personally, and had mostly good luck with) or some of the other HDD recovery apps out there for Mac. I don't think any are free, but I think it's a small price to pay.
  3. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I agree with madog that your first attempt should be to try Data Rescue II first as it is a data recovery application. Disk Warrior on the other hand is intended to rebuild damaged disk directories on Mac OS fomatted disks and writes data to the drive, so not the best choice for a data recovery attempt.

    You can download a free demo of Data Rescue II here which will allow you to see what it can recover prior to needing to buy a license to actually do the recovery. It will only read from the troubled drive and not write anything to it so nothing will be overwritten on it which is critical.
  5. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yes. I would try that too.
    I'm really sorry that you lost all your data.
    Good Luck getting it back!
  6. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Data Rescue II SHOULD work for you (never failed for me), but if not and the data is that important, DriveSavers and its ilk can certainly rescue you. It's very pricey (like INSANE pricey), so be prepared to pay some serious dough.
  7. zdlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    Thanks for all your help.

    I tried a few rescue programs like Data Rescue II, Stellar Phoenix and Disk Doctors and only Data Rescue II's through scan could find the files.

    I guess it found all of them but there is a big problem:
    The file names...

    Without the file names and even the file formats for all the non-media files (who are not videos, music or pictures), it's not enough. I'm talking about 1TB of data without filenames. The program also put all the files under categorized folders, so even the directory structure is missing. I guess it's not possible for me to rearrange those files without knowing their type, name and place in the structure.

    I need a solution with the file names and the complete directory structure. I believe, it is not possible for the system to erase all that information with a quick format which took just a few seconds. Am I wrong? Is it impossible to unearth the filenames and the structure with a software? What about a lab service like DriveSavers? Is it possible in any way at all? And if it is, which is the cheapest solution? It's driving me crazy; as it was just a quick format and I did everything right in Seagate's reformat procedure. They should warn customers using Mac with more than one external drive about this. They should also release a solution for the ones encountered this problem. It is clearly Seagate's responsibility to do so.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Disk warrior has a "Recovery" option. other threads mentioned it.

    A service will be pricy. At least a few hundred, since it's not hardware error.

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