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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2011
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    5
    Thumbs down Oops, I wiped my External HDD!
    Howdy Folks

    I'm Bob Smith, new to the forum, amateur to Mac!
    I've done a silly thing... I've got a 1TB external drive which I use for all of my Media storage (pics, music, films, etc) and whilst creating a partition I clicked - instead of + in disk utility!

    It would appear that I've lost all of my files!
    However, after the event I unplugged straight away, and now I keep getting asked to initialize the unit.
    So I'm wondering, since I've not actually done anything to it yet, can I retrieve my lost data? When I plugged it into my other computer its still asking to Initialize, so I'm really hoping the data's still there!

    In all honesty, I can get the music & such back, but there's about 8 years worth of photos that I'll cry if I lose.
    I'd like to avoid taking it to a recovery service if I can do it myself first.

    Cheers
    Bob

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Dec 22, 2006
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    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Cheers, I'm checking out the free open source one, however I'm not really up on this sort of thing. My computers usually just a tool to me, & for everything else (i.e.: music recording backups for my work) I've got in at least 3 places.
    I"I think I'll be spending the morning doing a little reading!

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts
    5
    TestDisk is really confusing

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    I haven't looked at that one, and since it's terminal based, probably never will. (Knock on wood, have never needed data recovery - at least not since I quit allowing anyone to log onto one of my computers with admin privileges back around '93.)

    I'd probably go with his suggestion in the 4th post of Data Rescue 3.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Well I'm trying Mac Keeper (trial version). The problem is the HD wants to initialize when I plug it in.
    I'm correct in assuming that'll ruin everything and completely format the HD? Is that right? Because Mac Keeper will only see it that way.
    Complete NooB!

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Stay away from MacKeeper, it's junkware and can do more harm than good. Go with the suggestion that bobtomay gave you about using Data Rescue 3. If you haven't used the external drive since accidentally removing the partition, Data Rescue 3 should be effective in getting back all your data.

    I know it's not inexpensive, so you're going to have to decide if your lost data is worth $99 or not.

  8. #8

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
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    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Another vote for Data Rescue 3. It should recover it all. Just do not do anything with the drive till you run it.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jun 26, 2011
    Location
    City of Angels
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    Specs:
    Mac Pro "Harpertown" - 2x 3Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon - 12gb RAM-
    Quote Originally Posted by bobsmith85 View Post
    TestDisk is really confusing
    I haven't used it on a Mac drive but did use it to successfully recover EVERYTHING from an external 500gb drive that was no longer mounting in Windows, it too kept saying I needed to initialize it. And my drive had "gone bad". I since re-formatted it but it keeps having read/write errors but had no problem reading from it using testdisk.

    There are step by step instructions so if you can get past the initmidation of it all being dos/terminal based it does work great and it is free. It even showed all the recoverable files that had previously been purposely deleted. I recovered some of those just to check it out and voila!

  10. #10

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB Flash Storage, 3.3Ghz, 16GB memory, OS X.11.5.
    Go into Disk Utility and see if the external appears when connected. If any luck, highlight it and run Repair Disk and see what is reported. If it is not appearing or greyed out time for another hard drive.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

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