Restoring files on an hard drive that has been formatted for time machine...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by beholder121, May 5, 2012.

  1. beholder121 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #1
    Hello guys,

    This is a tough one.
    I have had an external HDD I've used back before I had my mac. When I got the mac, I used the HDD for Time Machine, which formatted my HDD (I know, I was stupid.) I want to retrieve this information... is it possible?

    I can SEE the old folders still there, but not the files in them, they are all empty. Is there a way to restore the HDD back to the old "windows formatting" and save these files somehow? I think part of the issue is that it's formatted for the Mac.

    Any help?
     
  2. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #2
    Where are you seeing the old folders?

    Take a screenshot and attach it.

    Most likely you have overwritten the old data (long ago) with TimeMachine backups. In that case, recovery would be impossible.
     
  3. beholder121 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #3
    A screnshot of what exactly? what I see are folders, but they are empty. that's all..
     
  4. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #4
    Are you seeing them in Finder, are the exactly as before, etc.

    If you format a disk (which TimeMachine would have made you do) you shouldn't be seeing folders in Finder.
     
  5. beholder121 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #5
    Oh I see. My bad. I actually see the folders in my finder.
     
  6. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #6
    Do you recall whether you were prompted to format it when you setup TimeMachine?

    I cannot think of a situation in which you wouldn't have been prompted, and as such I cannot think of a situation in which your files wouldn't be beyond recovery. How critical are those files?
     
  7. beholder121 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #7
    Hmmm that was around october of last year. Yep, a while. I was prompt to format it and I think I did... folders are there.

    I would really like the files but I'm not willing to pay a fortunate for them, I'll live.
     
  8. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #8
    You could try software that just reads the data off the disk and tries to detect files by their header/signature like Data Rescue 3 from Micromat. Disk drill, and Remo Recover are two others of a similar type. I own DR3, but there might be a trial of one of those apps you could try.
     

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