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  1. #1
    Backing up bad drive
    seanob's Avatar
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    Jun 07, 2011
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    Backing up bad drive
    I have an external drive that disk utility says is bad, and I should back it up. How would I go about backing up the drive if it cannot be mounted?

  2. #2
    Backing up bad drive
    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    How about some specifics? Which external drive do you have - make, model? The reason for the information is that some external drives that "fail" are in fact still OK. The drive itself may be good but the interface (case and electronics) could be defective. Usually removing the drive from the case and using an adapter can bring it back to life.

    To answer your original question... if the drive won't mount, it can not be backed up.

  3. #3
    Backing up bad drive
    caribiner23's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 06, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post

    To answer your original question... if the drive won't mount, it can not be backed up.

    This is not completely true.

    My junior-year-college-aged daughter destroyed her MBP by spilling half a bottle of nail polish remover on the keyboard (you should have seen the logic board afterwards), and since the computer was running at the time, it corrupted the hard drive spectacularly.

    I can laugh about it now, but I digress.

    Anyway, I downloaded Data Rescue 3 and attached her hard drive to my MBP via a USB cable. While the drive's filesystems did not mount, the DR3 software was able to find the drive and recover 99% of the files, which amounted to well over 300 GB of data. When she got her replacement computer I was able to copy all the data back.

    So yes, it can be done.

    Other lessons learned: (a) a $5 keyboard cover from eBay can save your bacon; (b) don't use caustic chemicals anywhere near your computer; (c) backup often. My daughter became a huge fan of Dropbox after this incident.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Backing up bad drive
    seanob's Avatar
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    Jun 07, 2011
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    Backing up bad drive
    I did find a program called Mini tool data recovery. Oddly enough, even though disk utility said that my drive was unfixable, the program, while scanning for files, somehow fixed the drive and it suddenly popped up on my desktop just as good as ever. I don't know whether the program would have saved my files, as I never finished it, nor did I pay 75 for it, as I wanted to wait to see how it did before I bought it. I will, however, take your advice for the future. In the past, I have been charged $300 for data recovery and I don't want to ever have to do it again.

    Much appreciated advice.

    Sean O'Brien

  5. #5
    Backing up bad drive
    caribiner23's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 06, 2005
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    Chicago
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    MacBook Pro Retina 13" • iPhone 6 • iPad Air • and many iPods
    Glad to hear it worked.

    Just a final piece of advice: the symptom your drive showed indicates that it might be failing. Now that you can mount it and see it, back it up and replace it.

  6. #6
    Backing up bad drive
    seanob's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 07, 2011
    Location
    Irvine, CA
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    14
    Will do. Thanks.

    Sean

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