Mac OSX data recovery
March 13, 2006 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a good undelete tool for Mac OS X (10.4.x) that can recover AVI files from an external (FAT32) drive?

I've accidentally (obviously!) managed to delete a bundle of AVI movie files from my external data drive - prior to having it backed up, of course.
The deletion process was, in effect, a manual "move" of about 600 files from one location to another, one half at a time (due to space constraints) - an import into iTunes.

I didn't realise until I'd moved/deleted everything that the destination only included mpeg files, and that all the AVIs have become toast. Argh. Re-acquiring them is not an option, and although they're not essential to my continued existence on this planet they are something I'd like back.

Some potential issues spring to mind:
1) I suspect that there are only about 20-30 deleted files out of the 600 that are actually missing, but I have no way of finding out how many.
2) I don't know the filenames of any of them.
3) They're all in the region of 30-40 MB in size.

So far, I've had a go with FileSalvage - which although it decognises the disk, doesn't appear to do anything (I've left it scanning the 250GB drive for 48h with no further progress...)
Also, I tried Data Rescue II which scanned OK (for ages) - but when I got to the results I discovered that it wouldn't recover AVI files! Argh! (Still naively living in my Amiga bubble where the undelete program will show you everything that has been deleted and can be recovered, no questions about filetype compatibility!)
Additionally, I tried MediaRecover which contrary to my interpretation of the product description, only works for memory card type devices, not removable hard disks.
The final program I've tried is Virtual Lab - which occasionally seemed to cause a major system crash when it's run (although this may be a cruel coincidence), and in any case, does not appear to support a FAT32 formatted disk.


As far as I'm aware, nothing else has been written to, or removed from, the drive since the incident so my understanding is that they should all still be intact.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation, and found the perfect piece of software? I have no objection to buying something (providing the price seems reasonable) but professional data recovery services are out of the question.

There's been a couple of other similar questions, but nothing where software tools have been suggested - and, typically enough, the Apple discussion forums are currently unavailable (which they seem to be every single time I have a Mac problem and want to check there... they're probably fine for the other 99% of the time!)

Help me AskMefi - you're my only hope! ;-)
posted by Chunder to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(random idea) FAT32 is more of a Windows than a Mac format. Do you have any possibility to hook the drive up to a Windows system & work on it that way? (No idea what those tools would be however...)
posted by omnidrew at 11:46 AM on March 13, 2006

Since it's FAT32 you might be better off trying to recover from a PC. FAT32 isn't a native format on Apple computers.
posted by substrate at 11:48 AM on March 13, 2006

Try this. It's a cross platform application that will restore disks or files on a variety of filesystems including FAT32 and will run on MacOS X.
posted by substrate at 7:53 AM on March 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

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