Need help in recovering files from failing external HD

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Hi all

I have an external WD hard drive (500GB, its quite old, a big one) that has stopped functioning properly. I have a lot of important data on it so a reformat is not an option until I have recovered the files. Basically now when I plug it in a dialog box comes up that says:

MAC OS X can't repair the disk

You can still open or copy files on the disk, but you can't save changes to files on the disk. Back up the disk and reformat it as soon as you can.


It mounts, and it displays the root folders but when opening them there's nothing inside. Also, I cant copy the folders onto my internal HD. It's weird though, if I do "get info" on the failing disk it says that there are 64GB left, which I hope means that the data is still there and theres a directory issue or something else.

I have tried DiskWarrior and it has offered me to rebuild the directory but it also said that some files may be lost. That's the case if I check the preview disk that it shows me: nearly all folders and files are missing (some appear, but thousands dont). Therefore I havent gone ahead and rebuilt it.

Disk Utility is also no good.

Can anyone help me recover this data or fix the disk? Let me know if you need any other details. Again I must repeat that reformat is not an option, I need to recover the files.

By the way, I have OS 10.8.5 on a late 2008 MBP.

Thanks already in advance.
 
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From your description, that drive is almost kaput and a lot of the directory already is.

I'd backup as best you can and then use DiskWarrior and recover all that you can at this point, and be thankful that you even have DiskWarrior available.

After recovering all that you can with DiskWarrior, your next step would be to try Data Rescue, but recovery may be dubious.
 

chscag

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I would try Data Rescue 4 (new version) first before messing with Disk Warrior. Once Disk Warrior (no trial version available) starts to build the directory information, you may lose data that Data Rescue will not be able to recover. Data Rescue does have a trial version you can try first before buying. Also, Data Rescue 4 is currently on sale as part of a package sale. ($49.95)
 
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I was thinking of them using DislWarrior to use it's recovery option first, and before using any of its directory rebuilding.

That might be used AFTER all recovery attempts have been done and completed, and might get any missing bits back. It's amazing what it can do. ;)
 

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