Author Topic: Disaster...Everything's Gone  (Read 2865 times)

Offline amk285nyu

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Disaster...Everything's Gone
« on: February 02, 2004, 12:26:31 AM »
http://www.techsurvivors.net/forums/index....t=ST&f=1&t=4480
The above is another thread where I was receiving help before disaster struck, and provides some background info to my problem.

Basically, for whatever reason, my computer created an invisible folder on my laptop hard drive called "Volumes" and was downloading everything with my filesharing program (Poison) to that folder instead of where I'd set it to download: to my external hard drive.

With the help of Thomas, I was able to locate this invisible folder and move all the files that were clogging up my laptop hard drive; however, foolishly, I deleted what appeared to be aliases of my external hard drive partitions that were in this folder. My grandfather called right as I was doing this, and with my mind occupied, I unthinkingly emptied everything from my trash.

It turns out I deleted everything that was on my external hard drive: about 30-35 GB of movies, music, backed up files, etc. The absolute worst you could imagine.

I'm incredibly angry not only at myself, but at my computer. I mentioned in the other thread that I did not create this invisible folder. I also do not understand why deleting files from this folder would delete them from my external hard drive. Is this "Volumes" folder automatically added (and kept invisible) when you add an external hard drive? I'm assuming it must be, and that it's invisible to protect stupid users like myself from doing what I did.

But I'm rambling, and this is all beside the point. Is there any way possible to retrieve these files? I don't care how difficult, and I'm willing to do it even if it's quite costly (there were a lot of rare music files on there that took me years to find: that aren't available to buy).

Please, please, please, please, please, please tell me I'm not screwed.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2004, 07:34:37 AM by amk285nyu »

Offline krissel

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Disaster...Everything's Gone
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2004, 01:32:59 AM »
I'm not a X expert and one of them will come along but maybe not til morning, but if all you had were aliases of those drives you did not lose your files by deleting the aliases. The actual folders should still be there. Problem is they may not be visible to your system at this time.

If this were OS 9 I would suggest a bunch of things but X is a different story so I will defer to those who know the Unix commands and can work the terminal properly. In the meantime, don't do anything rash.

 Do you see the hard drive icon for the external drive on the desktop?

 If not can you still see your external hard drive in Disk Utility?

In days past Norton's would have been used to recover data but I wouldn't recommend Norton's today for X. Hang in there, someone with more X knowledge will come by....

 wink.gif


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Offline amk285nyu

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Disaster...Everything's Gone
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2004, 07:41:02 AM »
My external hard drive is partitioned into three drives. All of those drives are still visible; it's that all the files in them are now gone.

Like I said, I was in that invisible folder on my laptop hard drive called "Volumes" where I saw what appeared to be aliases of those external hard drive partitions. I deleted those, emptied my trash without looking while talking to my gramps, and when I went to sort out the files I'd moved, I found everything gone.

There are no invisible files on my external hard drive partitions. Worse, info tells me that there are 99 free GB on my largest partition (where I store my music and media files), and the capacity of that drive when I first partitioned it was just under 100 GB. So those files, as far as I can tell, are totally gone.

Offline kelly

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Disaster...Everything's Gone
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2004, 07:49:11 AM »
Maybe Data Rescue?  huh.gif

http://www.applelinks.com/reviews/data-rescue.shtml

http://www.prosoftengineering.com/index.php

Though the more you use your machine, the less the chance you'll have.
kelly
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Offline Mayo

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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2004, 01:21:35 PM »
As Kelly intimated, the more you use that external drive the greater chance some of the files will be over-written in the process.  And unless you erased the drive, the data is still there; it just isn't accessible at this point.  I would venture to guess that even if you have fiddled with the external drive trying to fix the problem that the vast majority of your files are still intact.

Here is a data recovery app that allows you to run it for free to see what files can be recovered.  If the external drive is where you direct downloaded files, be sure to change the location to your portable Mac.

I can't vouch for the app, never having used it...I found it by doing a Google search for info on how to solve your problem.

Your problem is a good lesson for all of us:  important files should ideally be copied to at least two different locations, with one copy kept off-premises should disaster strike, such as a fire or theft.

I have a firewire enclosure on its way and I am looking forward to having an easy backup system.  But I am going to have to continue burning CDs of my most important files so that I'm not totally screwed should something happen to the external drive.

Let us know how things turn out.

Offline FLASH1296

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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2004, 02:37:52 PM »
Read my Lips.   Data Recovery Applications, and there are quite a few, rarely work, especially under OS X     When they do work, they have been used immediately, before the disk space has been overwritten and the directories modified.

Rarely worth the efoort.

Offline swhitset

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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2004, 03:50:37 PM »
That depends on what it is worth to you to retrieve the files.  If it is VERY important to you, and you are willing to spend a bunch of money.

1.  STOP USING THAT DRIVE!

2.  consider hiring a professional data recovery service.

I'm sure it won't be cheap, but you may do more damage if you don't know exactly what you are doing.  

Hope all goes well.

Steve
« Last Edit: February 02, 2004, 03:51:50 PM by swhitset »

Offline amk285nyu

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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2004, 05:12:26 PM »
Well, the other night, I re-backed up my entire laptop hard drive (with all my schoolwork and everything...I was just too scared after that happened to not have that stuff backed up) onto one of the three partitions of my external hard drive. I did not touch the partition where I kept all my music (the only thing of any real value to me) and media files. I'll repeat that: the partition with the most important files I have left untouched since the incident.

The Data Rescue program is $90. Considering I haven't tampered with my drive, is this a guarantee to get back all my files? If it isn't, I still have iTunes with all my song names, so I can just do my best with my filesharing program and persistence. It'll take a long time, but I'm sure I can rebuild almost all of my music library without any monetary cost. It's a trade-off, but mostly, I'm just scared after Flash's post that I'll pay $90 for nothing.

Offline swhitset

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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2004, 05:22:24 PM »
There are no guarantees.
  However, I am not entirely certain that you are safe just by not using the single partition in question.  I do not know everything the OS does behind the scenes, but I do know that your Mac currently sees that partition as empty.  As such, even though there is actually data written on it, the Mac OS has no reason not to overwrite it.  I am not certain that just because you do not write to that partition that it is "safe" when mounted.  As I said before, I would stop using that drive COMPLETELY, unless you have decided to sacrifice all the potential data on it.

Steve

Offline Gary S

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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2004, 05:54:45 PM »
Do you own DiskWarrior 3?

You can scavenge for files with it. You press the option key and the rebuild directory button turns to Scavange. I've recovered files with it on OSX.2.8
Gary S

Offline Mayo

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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2004, 08:00:07 PM »
Data Rescue may not do the job for you.  A careful reading of the info at their website turned up this little nugget:

"It cannot recover recently deleted files from Mac® OS X."

I don't know why it won't recover the files, but that is a glaring deficiency since many "lost" files are files that were trashed by mistake.  Otherwise, Data Rescue gets good reviews...

Data Rescue 10.3 gets good reviews that you can read at the provided link, although at least one writer thinks that $89 is too much to pay.  I guess it all depends on how much your data is worth to you...

MacAddict also reviews the 10.2 version.  Data Rescue successfully recovered files from a drive that the other tested utilities could not even see.

The demo allows you to view a list of all recoverable files and recover one file up to 500k in size.  You don't have to register Data Rescue until you know whether it will recover the files or not, which seems like a deal to me.  The app does not modify the volume, so you lose nothing by testing it.

If it were me I would try it anyway...nothing ventured, nothing gained.  If it indeed will not recover the files, then I would continue looking for an app that does recover trashed files in OS X.

The trashed file wrinkle has got me to wondering if OS X treats trashed files differently than earlier OS versions?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2004, 08:20:25 PM by Mayo »

Offline RHPConsult

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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2004, 10:04:14 PM »
This may not be much help, but what the heck, I'll take a stab at making a suggestion from far San Francisco.

It may take either Magpie or Paddy - - as I recall one or both have mentioned in some TS  threads this fellow's technical reputation - - to help identify a guy I "met" years ago on CompuServe's MAUG forums. He owns/owned a Mac shop in Manhattan, called I think something like TekServe, or something similar. His name was Dave__?___. He was one smart Mac technician . . . far beyond what you'd ever find at a megastore, or, perhaps, in an Apple Store.

See if you can find him in your phone book.

When reading of your agony, he was the first person I thought of as a nearby and reliable source of really practical advice on what may be (or not be) possible with your dirve.

Sorry I can't be more precise or definitive, but maybe this will stimulate someone in NYC to help out.

Let's hope he's still in the business.

PS:

Whoops!!!! Found it. No Senior Moment here, tonight at least. laugh.gif

I just found a reference to the gentleman in the dusty corners of my Handspring:

Dave Lerner
and it IS called TekServe
163 West 23d St (at Park Ave)
212-929-3645


His CompuServe address (a 1000 years ago) was . . .72456.246@Compuserve .  . . but I don't even know if CompuServe is still in business, since it had the "misfortune" to be purchased by AOL.

Good Luck amk
« Last Edit: February 02, 2004, 10:17:40 PM by RHPConsult »

Offline Mayo

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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2004, 03:03:42 AM »
I thought that I had offered all the (mis)information I had, but I was just over at the Arizona Mac Users Group website and happened upon a review of Data Rescue.  The reviewer confirmed that Data Rescue cannot recover recently deleted files, but an application from the same company called Data Recycler can, BUT only if it is installed BEFORE the files are mistakenly trashed.  From the review:

"Data Recycler is the only program I am aware of that can recover data once erased in the unix based Mac OS X environment."

Gulp.   sad.gif     This does not sound good. I hope that someone else has better news.

This is the first time I have ever heard or read anything about there being a difference in how the old and new Mac operating systems handle trashed files. Just another lesson that there are some big underlying differences between OS X and OS 9, and that it is easy to be lulled into complacency by the familiar Mac GUI.

Offline RHPConsult

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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2004, 01:41:40 PM »
Wise words,  Mayo!

Offline Paddy

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Disaster...Everything's Gone
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2004, 02:34:49 PM »
Hi Dick - wasn't me that mentioned TekServe - I've certainly heard of it (it's legendary) but I've never been there. They have a web site:

http://www.tekserve.com

and you might want to update that HandSpring - they've moved to 119 West 23rd. Same phone number. smile.gif

Of course, if you're really serious...there's always DriveSavers. You could join their "Hall of Fame" along with Sean Connery, Sting and Clarence Clemons (sent 'em his Powerbook...) http://www.drivesavers.com/fame/index.html

We're talking serious...as in serious amounts of money, though. Or do you know any Mounties? wink.gif
"If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That'll do them in." ~Author unknown •iMac 5K, 27" 3.6Ghz i9 (2019) • 15" MBP(2019) 2.4Ghz i9 • 9.7" iPad Pro • iPhone 8