SATA to USB/Data Recovery

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Wabash1KC, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Wabash1KC macrumors newbie


    Mar 7, 2017
    Hey all. So, about a year ago, I was just a month or so into deployment when my 2013 13" MacBook Pro crashed. It had been sitting in a dry, cool room and never moved, so I'm 100% certain it was not physically damaged; it just crapped out in the middle of watching a movie. That hard drive was actually aftermarket, as a mild tantrum in 2014 resulted in my ruining of the stock HD, but losing nothing super important. Up until recently I never knew the ease and importance of backing up data, so no there's no time machine options.

    After installing this 1TB Seagate Momentus, everything was fine. For like 2 years... And then one day, it just crapped out. Buddy of mine is a huge tech guy so we looked at it, he ****ed around in terminal trying to ping certain stuff, and we deduced that the hard drive had no mount point... So I bought a cheap Windows just to watch movies on for the remainder of deployment. What sucks is that I had a 45 minute long Final Cut Pro project I'd been working on for several months, putting hundreds of man hours into.

    Skip to 6 months later, I just get home from deployment, have a ton of money saved so I decide that I need a nice new computer. I head to the Apple store and drop 3 grand on this 27" iMac. It's ****ing awesome. So I decide to head to Fry's electronics and see how to go about trying to recover my laptop's hard drive. They sell me a "leash" (I think he called it) - it's a Kingwin USB 3.0. All the plugins fit, I get everything set up, the lights come on, but my computer doesn't recognize it. I go into Disk Utility and it says "Loading Disks" and never shows them.

    At this point, I've totally accepted that I'm going to lose the hard drive, but I'll do anything it takes to even try and salvage the data on it... Is there any way I can take the casing apart and take the disk inside out and replace the casing? Whatever my issue is, is it likely on the disk itself, or some other components that could be replaced simply by swapping casing? Basically, I don't mind smashing my own car window to look for the keys inside; if they're not there, I'll probably torch the car anyways.

    Thanks for reading my wall of text. Any ideas?

    -Ben, 26, San Diego
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    You would need a clean room in order to do what you're describing. Not impossible, but you would need to take it to a professional.

    Have you used any software besides DU? Ie, Data Rescue, Disk Warrior etc?

    Extremely anecdotally, I'm helping a friend right now try to recover the same drive.
  3. organicCPU, Mar 7, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017

    organicCPU macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2016
    Is the drive/partition appearing in Terminal by entering that command?:
    diskutil list
    If yes, switch it off or detach it immediately and prepare yourself for data carving like @Mr_Brightside_@ suggested!
    1. You need another drive with at least as much space as your defective drive size or have enough space on your internal drive
    2. You need a data carving tool. Personally I like ddrescue. If you try it with that one, I can guide you a bit. It's free, but doesn't have a GUI like e.g. Data Rescue. Nevertheless it has many advantages over most GUI tools.
    3. You should prevent automount and hook the defective drive into your file system preferably in read-only mode, without mounting it.
    4. You start carving the data. I'd suggest to do it onto a disk image.
    5. If you have rescued as much bits and bytes as possible, you try to mount the disk image.
    6. If mounting doesn't work, there are still some options to get some files from the disk image.

    This procedure will probably last a couple of days and there is no guarantee that it will give you back the files you want, but it's worth a try before you take hands on swapping the drive internals.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Connect the drive to the USB adapter, and connect it to the iMac.

    Do you hear the platters "spin up" inside the drive enclosure? Put your ear to it.

    If not, I'd reckon the drive is physically failed. The only way you're getting anything from it is by professional data recovery.
    Do you feel like spending $1,000 to 1,500 on it? Not kidding about those numbers.

    Next question:
    You say that if you attempt to "reach" the drive using Disk Utility ... it never shows up at all?

    At this point, I wonder if it -might- be the USB adapter.
    Things I would try:
    1. Connect the drive/adapter to A DIFFERENT MAC. No change?
    2. Connect a DIFFERENT BARE DRIVE to the adapter. Does it appear on the desktop or to Disk Utility when you connect it to the iMac?
    The idea here is to eliminate the possibility the adapter may be faulty.

    If you have done a few things (as above) to ascertain that the USB adapter is good, and you STILL CAN'T get the drive to appear in Disk Utility, then [again] I'd reckon the drive has a hardware failure (or possibly a controller board failure). And again, probably the ONLY WAY you're getting anything from it is by professional data recovery.

    If it was me, I'd just toss it into the trash and let it go. Not worth the trouble.
    And learn about backing things up for next time.
    We all learned this way - including me.

    Go forth, a sadder but wiser young man...

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3 March 7, 2017