Totally lost!!!!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by fjackson1970, May 26, 2009.

  1. fjackson1970 macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    This is my first post and boy is it a doozy.....

    Long story short.....I had my mac backup to an external USB drive via cabon copy clone. It did this every night at 10pm....And I would check it every so often and data was there....well on Thursday of last week around 7pm, the mac started freezing up....couldn't use the mouse or keyboard...had to power it off....this went on for about 4 or 5 reboots.....on boot number 6, it wouldn't boot....something about missing file....well, I figured it was a bad hard drive or OS needed to be re-installed....I booted from the Installation disk and fired up disk said the main drive was empty....0 bytes I looked at the USB backup said it was empty I connected the USB drive to another mac....same thing...empty....I fired up a demo version of Data Rescue II on the second mac and ran it agains the USB see some of the files (pictures and videos) as recoverable, so data is still there...but it doesn't keep the file structure, so all 13 gigs of pictures will have to be renamed...

    how the heck does the main drive get wiped and the backup drive get wiped, from just a few was working fine until it started freezing up.....

    What should I try to see if I can rebuild the file structure on the drive(s)? Or what would you guys suggest?

  2. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    DiskWarrior comes to mind. It can (hopefully) rebuild the directory structure while keeping the data intact. It's normally $100, but even if it doesn't help here, it's still worth the price.
  3. fjackson1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    Thanks for the quick reply....I will check and see if they have a demo version....if it works, it is well worth 100 bucks....I get the feeling I will be a dead man if I can't get the pictures wife will see to that.....felt very comfortable with the CCC backup every night....guess I need to do more....
  4. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    wow, that really sucks. I really don't have any suggestions as to how to get the directory back, but I'm curious what settings you had Carbon Copy Cloner on. Did you have it 'erase items no longer located on the source drive'? Maybe it inadvertently launched and 'backed up' when the computer was going screwy.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    That's the problem with using a "clone" type software for backups. If your files are screwed up then so will your backup.

    You should NEVER overwrite your only good backup with another backup. Making an exact "clone" of your disk is conceptually much simpler than doing an incremental backup and physically less work then rotating backup drives but it's really a poor backup plan.

    Time Machine is pretty good in that it will try hard not to overwrite an older backup, until it needs to re-use the disk space. But it only makes one copy. TM by itself is much better than CCC but still not good enough.

    OK, now how to fix it. First off do NOT write to the disk, don't try and re-install software. If the data is really impotent and you don't have another copy take the system to a professional data recovery outfit and pay their price. If the data is not worth their price then try and do the recovery yourself using either of several data recovery software you can buy. This software will come on a bootable CD drive.

    What has happened, we hope, is that only the index structure (patition table, or root directory) is broken and the data it self is still on the disk. Technically folders are just files that contain a list of file names in them. if one of those files is deleted then you can not list out the files in the folder but just maybe it's only the folder, not the content of the folder that is gone. So there is a good chance.

    Backup plans should follow these two rules
    1) Data should exist on at least three different physical media. Even while the backup operation is in progress (many backup programs delete the old backup before starting so you may need four copies.
    2) Data should exist in at least two different greographical locations. Theft of equipment is a leading cause of data loss, as is fire and the like.

    I'd add to the above that any copies need to be safely stored. That means not left connected to a computer but locked away some place. I have on external drive that I let Time Machine use every hour. Three other external drives are rotated between a fire safe in the house and my office.
  6. fjackson1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    yes I had it set to remove files not on original drive....that could be the case, but it wasn't supposed to start for 3 more hours :) :)
  7. fjackson1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    Thanks ChrisA, that is some very good advice.....Any suggestions on a program or anything that will rebuild the file structure....just incase I am lucky enough for it to only be a screwed up table or such?

  8. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    First, you should realize that you have two disks to work with, so try a different method with each one. Disk Warror is a specialist type of application, it only works on the directory, which makes it seem perfect for this case. Go down to a computer store and buy it, you need the boot-up disk in the package and they do not have a demo (AFAIK). If DW doesn't do the job try a different approach on the other disk. With all that directory corruption, DW may take a very long time to do its work. At a company I once worked on, we had to let it run overnight trying to get back the data on an old iMac, finally worked and everything was recovered. Hope your case has the same results, it is not always the case.
  9. fjackson1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    picked up a copy of DW.....ran it and it said directories were corrupt and it ran for about 8 minutes....said it fixed it......I was all smiles.....All this was done on my Macbook with the damaged drive connected via USB.....after it had finished....I opened up the USB drive.....NOTHING!!!!! still not seeing any folders or files.....CRAP!!!!!!

    I will keep chugging at it....sure hope something works.....
  10. fjackson1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    Figured I would give an update....I purchased a copy of Data Rescue II (AWSOME PROGRAM!!!!) retrieved about 98% of all of my wife's pictures also got Videos and documents I had forgotten about.....took 2 days for process to run, but well worth the wait.....

    Thanks to all who suggested resolutions....

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