View Full Version : Recoving data from Mac HDD

03-11-2009, 05:48 PM
Hey there

Just to let you know I have hardly any knowledge on Macs, however I am improving slightly...

My friend's Mac crashed and burned, however data recovery is going to cost them quoted at around.. $700 - $1500 smacks to retrieve and stick on a USB. That's just plain stupid - or isn't it? Recovering data from a PC is easy, with the IDE/Sata to USB cable... so...

I'm guessing the HDD of a Mac is different and isn't IDE/SATA? I doubt it. But when quoted that much.. I'm assuming there is a major procedure or equipment evolved. Lol.

So, are Mac HDD any different than out PCs? Data recovery for a Mac is simply opening it, taking out the HDD, and extracting info like we would a PC?

Cheers in advanced.

03-11-2009, 05:57 PM
Its a MAC and therefore carries a significant price tag to match, its called monopolization yet they don't get penalized like MS do

Speedy Gonzales
03-11-2009, 06:11 PM
Looks like Mac hdds can be IDE / SATA, SCSI, USB2 or firewire. Probably the same as windows. You would have to remove it, to see what kind if hdd it is. Altho, the prob maybe accessing the hdd (if windows doesnt know the format). You may have to install a program that can access it. Then you'll have to find a program, so you can recover the data

03-11-2009, 06:35 PM
remove the HDD from the Mac, put it in an external case and hook it up to another Mac and you should be able to read of that drive just like any other external drive that you connect to a Mac. the only time it wont work if the drive itself is damaged.

03-11-2009, 06:39 PM
Linux will also read Mac drives no trouble (they're generally formatted as HFS or HFS+).

The recovery process is more or less identical to recovering a Windows drive as long as the drive itself isn't damaged; you just can't use Windows to do it (you need a Linux or Mac system).

Speedy Gonzales
03-11-2009, 06:42 PM
Or a program that can read mac formats (they exist for windows). This may work (http://hem.bredband.net/catacombae/hfsx.html)

03-11-2009, 08:32 PM
Excellent guys, very informative. I guess I'll have to see what it is first. I've got a spare PC, so I'm thinking of putting UserOS Extreme 9.04, which is a customized version of Ubuntu 9.04, so I might experiment with that.

Well, I guess when they say Macs break, they break.

Score one for PCs.

I shall return to this topic if I have any more qurries about it.

Thanks all!

03-11-2009, 09:10 PM
but compare how often pcs have troubles compared to macs. It becomes even again

03-11-2009, 09:37 PM
If the HDD is physically faulty then data recovery will cost as much, if not more than, as you have been quoted.

06-11-2009, 03:38 PM
Hi all!

I've got the drive. It's SATA, I've set it up and connected it to my Win7 machine. Unfortunately when I try to access it from My Computer as a drive it gives me the error "The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable."

I both have MacDrive and HSFexplorer installed. I am unable to read it with MacDrive HOWEVER HSFexplorer can read very little - which either means I'm not using that program properly, or I'm not allowed access to the rest of the information, or it's actually damaged.

Help please!


06-11-2009, 03:51 PM
Grab a UBCD and use one of the partition progs (Ranish would be my pick) to clone off an image of the drive.
If this works ok, then that would rule out drive problems and also give you an image to play with rather than the real data.

06-11-2009, 04:41 PM
I wonder if someone who owns a Mac ,on this forum ,is near you as this is all getting a little complicated and hooking the drive up to a system that is guaranteed to be able to read it would be my recommendation.

Saying that , it sounds like the disc has failed to me.

A problem not just experienced by Mac owners.

I'm in Orewa by the way.

06-11-2009, 05:14 PM
If you download and boot this (http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page), I'm happy to take a look at it for you via ssh - if the data is there, I should be able to recover it for you.

06-11-2009, 08:34 PM
"The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable."

Do you have access to another Mac? Hook it to that and see if the data can be read. I came across a similar error when one of my user's macbook pro drive failed and I hooked it up to another mac. Sounds like the drive has failed.

07-11-2009, 10:36 PM
but compare how often pcs have troubles compared to macs. It becomes even again

I love this one, because it's complete rubbish.
Have you looked at your own forums recently? (discussions.apple.com)
I just went to Apple.com > Support > Discussions > MacBook
Lets read the names of the first page of topics shall we?

1) No Firewire
2) MacBook Battery Won't Charge
3) Cant turn on bluetooth.
4) MacBook just randomly shuts down
5) LCD screen freeze
6) Very long waiting for log-in screen
7) can't connect MacBook (Core 2 Duo) to AExpress "N" network
8) HELP - macbook crashed, need to recover data
9) No Bluetooth
10) USB Hard Drive not being recognized
11) Mini-DVI to Video to SD TV, no NTC display setting, fuzzy B&W picture

(That's out of 13 posts)

Yeah.... I really want to buy a Mac now that I see how many problems they don't have...

If you want even more proof, go read about the build quality of Mac motherboards and PSUs on badcaps.net....

08-11-2009, 08:11 AM
Thank you all for your assistance and ideas.

I've tried with numerous programs, some can hardly read the data, others say it's totally corrupt and unreadable - 'format now' lol.

I suppose if I can view some of it, it might indicate that it is still recoverable as they have a lot on their without any backups.

Score one for PCs. :punk

P.S: interesting point Agent, however since Macs are only used by 9% of the world's population, statistically PCs have more problems. - But can be easily fixed, where as with Macs... well, as Gary67 said, it's called monopolization. It can be fixed, but at a price.

Anyway, thank you all once again!

08-11-2009, 09:52 AM
Have you tried Linux to read it?