Shot Film on RED ONE - now Lacie Drives down: what is best data recovery option???

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MattinJersey, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. MattinJersey macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2010

    I shot a film this summer on RED ONE digital camera, and now BOTH of my Lacie 2TB drives in which we deposited the footage aren't working. I NEED to recover data.

    In researching here and online, I've looked into software options such as Data Rescue 3 and Disk Warrior.

    I've also investigated companies in which you mail the drive into them. Lacie themselves recommended a CA outfit called Drive Savers Data Recovery; I've also investigated On Track Data Recovery (the world's largest), and ESS Data Recovery. There's also Tekserve here in Manhattan.

    Does anyone have any experience with any of these options/companies specifically? Huge differences in price; everyone seems confident, ESS the most realistic.

    What is the best route to recover my film?????

    The drives have about 800 GB of film footage - in the form of RED's proprietary software - R3D file extensions, plus Quicktime proxies.

    Here are the drive issues:
    DRIVE #1 - My Master copy of film: my iMac had OS 10.4.11; the drive mounted no problem; I upgraded a few days ago to Snow Leopard 10.6.4. Now it doesn't mount. It's in Disk Utility but the volume line is greyed out. The Apple Store folks tested my iMac and my drive and said it's the drive. They said it was just a coincidence that the drive developed an issue at the same time I upgraded my OS.

    DRIVE #2 - was initialized in a Dell laptop, but NOT formatted.

    Any advice would greatly GREATLY appreciated.:confused:
  2. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    This doesn't solve your problem but if the footage was so valuable , why didn't you do some redundant backups? you should be able to afford a couple more back up drives if you can afford a RED camera. If the drives are hosed, i am afraid you are sorta SOL. there is only so much that you can do.
  3. kmaute macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2008
    The backup lesson which I'm sure you have learned aside, I wouldn't exactly go right to 3rd parties yet. While it's possible, I disagree with the Apple store folks as I think there is a significant chance that the drive is okay and your problem is with OSX. Have you tried mounting the drive on another mac?

    If I were you, I would try mounting the drive on a linux platform such as ubuntu. You can download a live CD and use it right on your mac. The Ubuntu disk should allow you to mount the drive or at the least, rule out the OSX installation as your main issue. If not, you can try (both drives) using a program called autopsy. It will load the drive and attempt to do file recovery. You'll need a second disk to copy the information to if you are successful. The program can be found in synaptic package manager (free of course...)

    I think you have an excellent chance of recovery the data. If the first disk is hosed, there's not much you can do but I bet it's a problem with the OS. If not, Autopsy should be able to recover the software off of the second disk. Third parties can do this as well but it will be $$$. Good luck.
  4. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    chances are, the installation of the os on your computer was messed up. try and reinstall. maybe that will help because i don't think dead drives even show up.
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Disk Warrior is the least expensive and easiest option so I would do that first before sending the drive off.

  6. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    Heck, for all you know the problem may be with the LaCie enclosure and controller and the hard drives within could be okay.

    If the previously suggested solutions don't work, don't rule out pulling out the drive from the enclosure and putting it into a new external enclosure.
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You can use MacDrive to read HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) formatted HDDs in Windows. There is a 7-day trial which will work without hiccups.

    And have you checked or verified the HDDs via Disk Utility yet? What does it say?
    Have you tried an SMC reset? That helped me with my LacIe HDDs sometimes.
    Also check the "partition scheme" on that LaCie via Disk Utility.
    Were those HDDs formatted on the Mac you are currently using?
  8. MattinJersey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2010
    Hey everyone - thanks for the advice so far.

    Spinnerlys: the drives were formatted on another Mac, a MacBook Pro. I have not verified, or done an SMC reset yet (not even sure what that is; I will obviously get some technical coaching).

    Kufford - yes, we did try mounting drive on another Mac, one at the Apple Store. We also successfully mounted a separate drive onto my iMac; that is why the store personel said it was my drive.

    Thanks for the enouraging words.

    wywern - the 2 drives are redundant. I thought 2 separate, redundant drives would be enough as Lacie is supposedly a good name. Also, in your comments, don't assume I own a RED camera; I rented it through a personal contact. I am not made of money.

    At first I thought it was a memory issue, as my internal iMac hard drive is near capacity, I only have 1GB of RAM and the LaCie's have about 700 GB on them. Would that be an issue that wouild hinder mounting?

    I will try what you folks are suggesting after I get someone to effectively interpret all the suggestions.

    Thanks again.
  9. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    SMC Reset

    What about the other parts of my post?

    The one not so empty HDD (1GB is really, really low and is not recommended and it can lead to physical damage to your HDD) should not affect the less full HDD.
  10. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    I am sorry for assuming you were made of money. obviously, you are made of carbon among other things ;). anyways, i still doubt that the HDDs are dead. And it would be rather odd if both drives were to die. And your drives shouldn't be that close to full. not good. you should leave at least 10-15% empty to help w/ fragmentation issues. I suggest using macdrive to read them off a windows box. Something might be wrong with the ports on your computer or heck, it might just be the cables connecting the HDD to your computer. try using different cables and ports. Good Luck.
    P.S. It would be awesome if i was made of money. Don't u agree OP?:D
  11. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008

    I think to be thorough I'd suggest trying to mount the volume on a 10.4 machine (and scold you for upgrading an OS during a major project). It sounds like it would be worth wiping your computer to reinstall if you can't dual boot it or find another computer to test.

    I've heard of people not being able to mount drives in Snow Leopard that were used in Tiger. In fact, I had a person at work who had that exact problem. The drive wouldn't even mount with the mount command and it turned out to be a bad partition table. Thanks to an internet search I found a couple other cases like it.

    Check this out and see if it helps shed some light...
  12. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you send the drives to a professional data recovery outfit, I would expect it's going to cost you $1,500-2,000 to get the data back, IF they can get it back.

    Before you do that, I suggest you start doing things in steps.


    You want to rule out the possibility that the drive enclosures are bad. To do this, I recommend that you open BOTH cases, and take the drives OUT OF the cases.

    YES, this WILL void the warranty. But at this point, the data on the drives is more important than the warranties.


    You need to ascertain what connection type the bare drives are. Are they IDE or SATA?


    If the drives are IDE, you can use one of these to connect it to the computer:
    Note: this also works with SATA drives as well.

    If the drives are SATA, you might consider using a USB/SATA dock instead, such as these:

    The point of attempting to "reach" the drives this way (instead of still in the external enclosures) is to be sure that the enclosures aren't the source of the problems.

    When you get the steps above completed, you're ready to move on to the next phase of data recovery.

    Actually, I would suggest that you download the demo versions of both "Data Rescue 3" and "Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery" and "aim" them at the problem drives (before you even take the drives out of the cases). I believe that both programs are set up so that they will scan the drives, but only let you recover a single file. The idea is for you to ascertain if the programs will work BEFORE you pay the registration fee.
  13. MattinJersey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2010
    Thanks AGAIN everyone for the support. Emotionally it makes me feel better.

    I came to the film project from a literary background, thus I am now getting needed help in interpreting everyone's tech suggestions.

    mcpryon - at Apple store we did reboot from 10.4 and 10.5, but still no luck mounting.

    wywern - no worries... wish i had major cash, too.

    spinnerlys - your steps are next.

    So, updating your OS may cause freakin' issues with a previously formatted external drive??? WTF?

    Are these 3rd party data recovery outfits any good? Tekserve in Manhattan, DriveSavers Data Recovery in Bay Area? OnTrack? Does anyone know about them specifically or in general?

    It's hard - I have a full-time job outside of filmmaking, so I am piecing this back together piece by piece when I can. I will keep everyone updated as to what I find out. Again, I really appreciate the feedback!!!!!!!
  14. Allanist macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2007
    My external drive "broke" this summer. I had accidentally used a different transformer and got it fixed by picking the right one.
    Any chance you have the same issue?
  15. chipchen macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    Probably a long shot... but since you were on 10.4... here's an article to read:

    1. I would try DiskWarrior. A great utility to have even if it doesn't work. And my position has always been.... if DiskWarrior can't do it, no other software can.

    2. If DiskWarrior can't do anything, I would pop the drive out of the LaCie enclosure and try it that way... (buy a USB adapter or another enclosure.)
  16. plasticphyte macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    I concur with a number of posts suggesting the drive isn't dead. If the Disk Utility is seeing the drive but not mounting it, it sounds like there is an issue with the drives GUID partition tables.

    in this case you will need to use third party software to recover the data - an excellent tool is DiskWarrior. If that fails to recover the data, then you will most likely need to take it to third party recovery specialists that will have more advanced equipment to attempt recovery.

    Once you've got the data recovered (optimistic!) you will need to run through it all to make sure there are no errors. This will mean watching the footage you've shot to make sure it's still playable.

    Then make a backup onto another medium (Blu-Ray or another HDD or whatever) and have that stored securely offsite. You may also want to look at DropBox or other services that offer offsite storage/cloud storage services as another backup method.
  17. Trexznl macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
    The Netherlands
    I've had the same issue happening, I was about to buy a new drive. I didn't have anything of huge importance on it, anyway. However, it turned out to be the enclosure: it was faulty in some way.

    The drive itself is still working fine in a new enclosure. Saved me data loss and some $.

    Bottom line: put the drives in a new enclosure.

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