Save my butt - recovering a deleted folder?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by cameronjpu, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. cameronjpu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #1
    Hi all - I am looking for help saving my ass... I was recovering data from a damaged imac and a MOVED the data from it onto another computer. Somehow I totally lost my mind, at least I think, and I must have deleted that folder of recovered data before I returned it to the owner. So now I have the iMac hard drive which is missing the critical folders (Documents, Pictures, etc from the user home folder) and a Mac laptop that also previously had the folders but doesn't now (not in the trash). It was a couple weeks ago that I recovered it, so I'm not 100% sure the data was on this laptop, but I'm of course 100% sure that it was on this desktop hard drive from the iMac.

    So my question is, given how I moved it (simple CMD+drag), what are my best options for recovering the data? I have run it through some basic data recovery and not found anything (Easus has a free Mac data recovery app) but have not done much else as it was just tonight that I started. Thought I'd see if there were any great ideas for recovering a folder deleted in such a way.

    Thanks for any ideas! Hoping not to have to spend an arm and a leg to go to a full service data recovery place to fix my boneheaded mistake!
     
  2. mmitechnic macrumors newbie

    mmitechnic

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Location:
    Greece
    #2
    Hello,

    For start I think that you must talk to your customer. Probably not in the way that you told the problem to us but in more sophisticated way. The possibility not to recover all data is on the line so instead of giving excuses afterwards, it is better to start a project of recovery the data, with the customer knows about the problem. Accidents can happen all the time. And in that case you must not loose your patience and calm, otherwise you will not come to a good end.

    As for the recovery scenario you had just test one software. There are plenty of others in the market more powerful. You can try to recover only deleted files but you can recover hall damaged or deleted partitions too. So I think you have a long road ahead. If you are searching for the magic move I think you have a wrong thought. Of course the possibility to use professional services is an option that you must keep in mind, - the last of course - but it is an option. So it is better to keep the disk as in good condition as possible.

    I don't know any particular software to make a suggestion. You must test them all. It happened from time to time a recovery job that "This" software couldn't succeed, to do with "That" software and the opposite. But in general you have lots of chances to recover the data if you haven't copy data above the lost ones. In cases that I had in the past, with hdds that there were no data overwritten, most of the times I had recovered 99% of them.

    Good luck.
     
  3. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    #3
    Any chance time machine was running on either computer?

    The auto backups may have the folder.
     
  4. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #4
    No time machine unfortunately
     
  5. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #5
    I'm on top of the customer relations, but now I need to try to recover the data. Thanks!
     
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #6
    And I take it that step 1 was not to make a clone or fresh backup using some other app?
    And the owner of the computer didn't do that before turning it over to you?

    Have you looked into Data Rescue? I think you can download a trial version for free and see if it will recover what you need. Of course, if it seems that you can, you then have to pay before the actual recovery.
     
  7. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #7
    Disk Drill is good in such situations.

    Work on the original Mac HDD though. Much better chance of a good recovery.
     
  8. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
  9. lebronhuo macrumors newbie

    lebronhuo

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2017
    #9
    I used easeus free data recovery app once, it recovered most of my deleted files but not 100%. Maybe you can try thier trial edition, I heard it is more powerful. Or you can also try Recuva.
     
  10. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #10
    Disk Drill did do a job of finding all the data, but the structures and filenames are lost. So I have file3233.docx, file27483.jpg, etc, and no folders. So I'm checking with their tech support before purchasing it, it will be of little benefit to have 4000 jpg files without names or folders. If that's the best i can get, I will have to pay the $800 for Kroll or somebody to have a look.
     
  11. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #11
    JPEGs without original names aren't as bad as documents...unless they've lost their EXIF info, if there was any.

    Documents are worse, of course. Perhaps there's a way to rename them based on the first words in the docs themselves. That might help the end user quite a bit. Anyone know of such a thing?
     
  12. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #12
    Sounds like Catalog file corruption...A "raw" recovery (recovery without original file names) is probably the best you're going to get.

    Would be good if there was such a utility invented...I don't think there is though!
     
  13. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #13
    Yeah I haven't yet looked at the JPGS to see if EXIF info is still there. Obviously that's just about fine, i have an app that will rename pictures based on date MMDDYYYY HHMMSS style. But the docs will be a problem. I just don't see how this info could be unrecoverable from a folder that was just deleted, with no greater effort than a CMD+Drag/Drop.
     
  14. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #14
  15. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #15
    Thankfully the EXIF data was safe, so I was able to whittle down the pictures to a mostly usable format. Eliminate anything smaller than 100kb... rename all files with their date/time taken using EXIF Date Changer... find all files with duplicate times (thus just multiple sizes of the same pic, from thumbnails usually) by searching all files named "-1.jpg" and "-2.jpg" etc. Pictures are good. But docs.... still a debacle.
     
  16. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #16
    Well done OP in sorting the pictures!
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    OP wrote:
    "Disk Drill did do a job of finding all the data, but the structures and filenames are lost. So I have file3233.docx, file27483.jpg, etc, and no folders. So I'm checking with their tech support before purchasing it, it will be of little benefit to have 4000 jpg files without names or folders. If that's the best i can get, I will have to pay the $800 for Kroll or somebody to have a look."

    I agree with what komatsu wrote in reply 12.

    WIth data recovery, quite often the original file names and folder hierarchies are completely lost.

    This is "par for the course" with data recovery.
    Consider: filenames and folder structures are a construct of the original (and now LOST) directory that isn't there any more. DiskDrill (or any data recovery software) can't find what no longer exists.

    You should consider yourself lucky that you CAN at least get the data itself back using only DiskDrill.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you get EXACTLY THE SAME THING back after paying $800 for a professional data recovery firm to do it. They'll probably repeat what I just said above.

    It MIGHT be possible to recover jpg names by "dumping" all your jpgs into a NEW iPhoto or Photos library. iPhoto (or Photos) will then read the metadata associated with the files, and "discover" the file names.

    This MIGHT work with music files as well, dumping them into a new iTunes library and letting iTunes sort things out by reading the metadata. I actually did this with a "lost" partition of mp3 files, and it worked pretty well.
     
  18. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #18
    Well photo file names are pretty meaningless for most people these days. Cameras auto name them, and most ways of importing into the computer do not apply names. So that's a non-issue.

    Every experience I've had with Kroll results in 100% of all data recovered, including structures, though this was on damaged drives, not deleted data.

    It all comes down to the word, excel, pdf docs. To lose those file names will be really annoying. It just seems like I've got no hope :(
     
  19. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #19
    A quick Google search indicates that renaming DOC files or PDF files based on content might have a Windows solution.
     
  20. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #20
    Indeed... but that's if you want all your files auto-renamed.
     
  21. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #21
    Just curious Brian - from your website:

    • My non-retainer rate is $110 per hour.
    • Blocks of five hours can be purchased in advance at $95 per hour.
    It's an interesting business model - do you find that many people pay in advance for the discount? If so, do you feel like you're giving away $15 per hour for nothing? IE... if that client would have hired you anyway, or if you are fully booked anyway, why give a discount like that? Finally, I always feel like my motivation is sucked away when I am paid in advance - do you kinda hate going out to do those jobs where you actually don't get paid because you were paid weeks or months ago? I've been in the business for 15 years myself, just wondering.
     
  22. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #22
    A low percentage go that route so it's not really much to think about.
     
  23. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #23
    Good. I'd be bitter if that happened to me. Always hate being paid in advance, it saps the motivation. Backwards I know. I'm in Arlington, don't get north of Silver Spring pretty much ever. Lots of cash in the DC area that doesn't care about price as long as you do a great job.
     

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