Retrieve data from failed HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by futurevibe, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. futurevibe macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    The last couple of weeks my MacBook (Late 2007) has been acting weird. It's taking ages to open Safari and other apps and to even quick-look files in the Finder. The problem got really bad last night when it took about 20 minutes to quick-look a photo in the Finder. I deleted the trash and shut down the computer. When i tried to restart i just got a white screen. I then tried to connect the MacBook to my MacPro in FireWire target disk mode. It took about 20 minutes for it to show up in the sidebar of the finder on the MacPro but it wouldn't show the files contained on it. I was pretty sure it was a hard drive problem then, so i put in a spare i had lying around and re-installed the OS and it seems to be working fine. I put the broken HD in an external USB enclosure and connected it to my MacPro but it would not mount at all. The HD is still spinning and is not making any weird noises. Is there any way i can (cheaply) retrieve the data on it?

    Thanks
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Does the HDD show up in Disk Utility?

    To retrieve files, that have been deleted and also been emptied from the Trash or don't show up due to some corruption, you can use
    Data Rescue 3 (trial lets you scan the HDD and see, if data is recoverable, but to actually recover files, you need to buy the full version for 99 USD) or
    FileSalvage (trial lets you scan the HDD and see, if data is recoverable, but to actually recover files, you need to buy the full version for 89.95 USD).

    Also know, that you should immediately stop any writing processes to the actual HDD. If it is the same HDD as the one your operating system (OS) resides on, it is better to use an external HDD with Mac OS X on to boot from and install Data Rescue or FileSalvage onto to scan the HDD from which the data has been accidentally deleted.
     
  3. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for your reply. No it doesn't show up in Disk Utility.
    I'm not writing anything to the drive because i took it out of the macbook, put in a new drive and installed the OS on that. Will i need to put the broken drive back in or can i run the software on my MacPro and plug the broken drive into it using an external USB enclosure?
     
  4. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #4
    I had one situation where an HD failed suddenly (was working fine, not a single sign of mechanical problems or excess noise) and a few things were missing from the backup. You can use an external enclosure, but it would still have to show up.

    If you end up sending it out for data retrieval it will be expensive, but it's still spinning so it might not be too horrible. If something like Data Rescue won't do the job, it will most likely require some kind of physical repair. If it's still spinning up they may not have to pull out the plotters, which would save money, but it can still be several hundred dollars.
     
  5. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2010
    #5
    So if the drive doesn't show up in Disk Utility the recovery software wont be any good? Is that correct?
     
  6. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #6
    It is in entirely possible if the drive is not mounting then the data recovery software will not be able to see it.

    Is the Drive clicking at all? If so you can carefully tap it with a screw driver to see if you can knock the read / write heads back or put it in the freezer make sure you seal it up first.
     
  7. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #7
    No clicking or noise at all. Sounds normal.
    Thanks for the replies by the way.
     
  8. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #8
    Do you have another enclosure you can try?

    if you go into the terminal.app and type

    diskutil list


    Does it list all the mounted disks or detected disks? Does System Profiler pick up the enclosure as a USB device?
     
  9. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #9
    I've tried the demo's of both Data Rescue 3 and FileSalvage but the drive failed to show up in either app. The status light on the USB enclosure is also green by the way so it seems to be powering up fine.
    Anyone have any other idea's please?
     
  10. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #10
    Do you have another enclosure to put it in? Just in case i have seen failing drives not work in certain types of enclosures.
     
  11. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #11
    No, don't have another enclosure i'm afraid. I guess the only option left is to send the drive somewhere to see if they can retrieve the data yeah? Can anyone recommend somewhere in Ireland/UK where i can get this done for as little as possible?

    Thanks.
     
  12. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #12
    If you where to put this HDD back in the laptop you took it out of. Do you have a fire wire cable? You could put it into target disk mode connect it to another mac.

    Target disk mode basically means your using the Mac as a external hdd. You could see if your other mac can mount the disk.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_Disk_Mode
     
  13. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #13
    Already tried this. It mounted in the sidebar of the finder after about 20 minutes but wouldn't show the files on it. Thanks anyway.
     
  14. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #14
    What about putting the drive in the freezer for a night?
     
  15. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #15
    Before doing this, wrap the drive tightly in a plastic bag, preferably with all cables already attached - don't take the drive out of the bag again until it has returned to standard room temperature or condensation may wreck it.

    Any amount of water or ice frosting on the disk as it spins, no matter how tiny, is liable to cause a head crash for example due to the incredibly low fly height of the heads in modern drives.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    The original poster wrote:
    "Thanks for your reply. No it doesn't show up in Disk Utility."

    And "toolbox" replied:
    "It is in entirely possible if the drive is not mounting then the data recovery software will not be able to see it."

    I had a similar experience with DataRescue and a corrupted partition.

    That is, the partition could not be mounted on the desktop (or repaired with Disk Utility), and because it didn't mount, DataRescue was unable to "see" it (and access it).

    The solution was radical:
    I RE-INITIALIZED the entire drive (yes, you're reading that correctly).

    The "erased" drive would then mount, and now it was "reachable" by DataRescue.

    I was then able to recover my data from the newly-reinitialized drive.

    CONSIDER:
    When you re-initialize a drive, what exactly are you doing? You're just "wiping" the old directory and replacing it with a fresh one.

    But -- the actual _data_ (that is, the electrical information that resides on the sectors of the disk platters) is left UNtouched by the re-initialization process.

    A data recovery app like DR (same with apps like Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery and Disk Drill) is designed to "go around" a corrupted directory. Instead, it goes directly "to the drive platters" and scavenges whatever data it finds, and then re-assembles the found data (this is why you need a "scratch drive" to use these apps).

    You WILL lose all previous folder hierarchies, and perhaps file names as well. But the DATA that comprised those files will be "recoverable".

    IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT!
    Do NOT "zero out" a drive during the re-initialization process! When you zero out the drive, you are not only wiping the directory, but clearing off all the old _data_ on the drive as well. You want ONLY to replace the drive's directory! NOT the data!

    Bear in mind that you try the above at your own risk.

    But this routine worked for me, when nothing else would.

    If the drive in question is not physically damaged, it _may_ work for you.

    Good luck!

    ----------

    "No, don't have another enclosure i'm afraid. I guess the only option left is to send the drive somewhere to see if they can retrieve the data yeah?"

    You _WILL_ need another drive if you expect DataRescue to do its job the way it should.

    There is no way around this -- the file recovery apps (such as DR, Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery, Disk Drill, etc.) ALL require a "scratch drive" to which they can recover the data (while leaving the original damaged drive alone).

    I would suggest you get something like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=usb+sata+dock&x=0&y=0
    (many items shown, they all work the same, just pick one you like that's cheap)
    I realize you're in Ireland, I just used the amazon.com site to show what's available.

    And, you will also need to buy a "bare drive" to go into the dock.

    Once you have the dock and drive, connect the dock to the Mac, put the drive in it, and use Disk Utility to initialize it.

    Try your "bad drive" in the dock, as well. Does it make a difference?
     
  17. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #17
    Really? has this worked for anyone before? I'd like to give it a go by i'm worried if it might do worse damage to the drive.

    ----------

    I understand what your saying, but how would i re-initialize the drive if i can't mount it?
    Also, the main reason i'm doing this is for my music library. It's not in iTunes, it's organized in folders in my Music folder. If i loose all the file names the data will be pretty much useless to me as it's a large collection and i wouldn't even attempt to try renaming them all.

    ----------

    By the way, thanks a lot for all your help so far guys.
     
  18. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #18

    I've seen it work, and it's non-destructive. On the other hand reinitializing the drive could potentially kill any chance of recovering the data dependent on what the failure is. If you intend to send it out for recovery I'd exhaust all the non-destructive avenues first.

    I've seen cold, heat, tapping the drive case all work to get one spinning and yje heads moving but I've been doing this for 20 years. Have seen a lot more just plain dead with no chance short of a third party recovery service.

    Just a FYI.. backups are your friend. But I'm sure you know that now. Sounds like it did give you warning.
     
  19. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #20
    I've tried tapping it and that's no good. Might try putting it in the freezer. Can you recommend a recovery service that's cheap? In the UK if possible.
    I actually keep two back-ups of my MacPro. I didn't back up the MacBook because it's my girlfriends and i only occasionally use it for DJing. Wish i backed this up too.

    ----------

    Thanks for the info redmac, but that's WAY too complicated for me. I'd rather pay a recovery service that try that.;)
     
  20. sangerinde macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    #21
    similar problem...

    My old MacBook just died pretty suddenly. (Died=will not start up at all.) I wasn't too too concerned, since we've been good about backing up. But when we recently had a problem with the external hard drive, and I had to redo my backup, it turns out I forgot to back up ALL our video of my little one-year-old baby.

    I've tried to mount it to my new MacBook Pro using target mode, but although the Y-icon does show up and eventually begins its normal dance around the MacBook screen, my Pro can't find it.

    In my case, there *is* a weird clicking noise coming from the drive; though the one time I was extra-patient and let it run for almost an hour in target mode, the clicking did stop eventually. When I tried a subsequent time, the clicking at startup returned.

    Toolbox, I'm intrigued by your suggestions. Should I try tapping? Is the point to get the clicking to stop?

    And what about the freezing? I understand you bring the temp way down, and then return completely to room temp IN the sealed bag before trying the target again?

    And do I need to be more patient? Could it potentially take some hours before the Pro can read the target disk?

    Thanks so much for any help you're able to offer. Would also be interested to hear how things turned out for futurevibe.

    peace-
    A
     
  21. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Are you sure that it is not backed up? Most backup programs will back up all of your data unless you explicitly exclude some data. What program were you using?

    /Jim
     
  22. sangerinde macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    #23
    yeah, pretty sure. I was backing up manually, natch. And a spotlight search failed to find my stuff. So...
     
  23. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #24
    Sorry i didn't give an update on this sooner but i still haven't done anything with the drive. I contacted 2 data recovery services here in Ireland. Both charge €45 just to take a look at the drive but that is taken away from the cost of repair to the drive or recovery of the data. I don't think i'll do this though as they said it could cost anything from €100 - €300 for recovery. Although i'd like to recover the data, i really don't think it's worth €300. I've tried tapping the drive and that was no good. I think i might have to try the freezer trick. Anyone have any other idea's before i try this? I'm not at all confident that will work and i'm worried i might really destroy the drive.
     
  24. MrCrowbar macrumors 68000

    MrCrowbar

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #25
    Had a similar problem, a few sectors of the internat drive apparently failed during an initial Time Machine backup (you know the one where it has to erase the old one first). Hard drive showed up in disk utility but with no partition. Only R-Studio managed to read the partition data (EFI and Macintosh HD) and I just replaced these sectors with what is supposed to be there. Now the drive would at least be recognized by Disk Warrior. Sadly the file catalog seems to be way corrupt, disk warrior only listed about 100 MB and it was just Resources-Folders and lproj-Files.

    Time Machine did a partial backup and I got everything but my iPhoto library back. Is there any way to repair parts of that catalog file? I can't imagine that file only resides on the HDD once. I salvaged all the JPEG-Files from the drive (only 65 kilobytes of the total drive are corrupted), but with the wrong file names and no metadata (i.e. the date when the picture was taken). I assume that metadata is part of the iPhoto library which I cannot recover.

    I learned a lot about resoring partitions and salvaging data, however I really want some way to sort my photos. I'm even willing to offer the person with a working solution a high reward, see here for details: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3580804

    Don't hesitate to PM me if you're having problems with broken partitions, I'm currently writing up a detailed tutorial about how to recover as much as you can.
     

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