Please recommend good, reliable, cheap Mac OS X data recovery software.
March 3, 2004 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Oh dear. Mac data recovery question. One of my coursemates accidentally deleted her final year degree coursework when trying to free up some disk space on her G4. [More Inside]

She's been doing intensive work in Final Cut, so the files were mainly Quicktime format. We're looking at data recovery software, but I've only ever done this on a PC. Google pulled up Disk Warrior, but we're trying with BinaryBiz Virtual Lab. Does anyone have any experience of good, reliable (preferably cheap - we're students) Mac OS X data recovery software?
posted by armoured-ant to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
No, but first things first: you should probably find an external firewire drive and, before mucking about with anything else, make an exact copy of the drive using Carbon Copy Cloner, installed on the external drive rather than the disk you're trying to recover. The idea is to avoid overwriting any of the disk space containing her data - disk space which OS X now regards as available.
posted by stonerose at 6:44 AM on March 3, 2004

after mucking up my partitions with fdisk on my mac i ended up losing about a hundred pictures that i had just taken on a recent vacation. (make backups always!) any way, i was actually able to recover all of them with this software, a bit of time, some screaming and yelling, and a little luck.

the software works great and does well finding old stuff laying around on your hard drive. i know it is a bit expensive, but they even have a trial version you can use that is a bit stripped down to see if it will even work for you. i am betting that if i can get my pictures back even after killing my partition table and then reinstalling os x, this thing will do the trick for you.

also, what stonerose said about not overwriting the file is very valid. that is the only way that i got my pictures back was making sure that i did not touch the section of the disk where i assumed the pictures would be.
posted by chrisroberts at 6:57 AM on March 3, 2004

Don't even touch the disk at all. Until you're ready to start the recovery process, turn off the computer and leave it off. No web surfing, no email, nothing. Once the file is deleted, it's open season on those data sectors.
posted by mkultra at 7:05 AM on March 3, 2004

DiskWarrior won't get the files back. It's a directory rebuilding program. Running DiskWarrior will likely produce new, optimized directories -- that don't have the files you want. Worse, it will remove the entries for the missing files from the rebuilt directory, making them harder to recover with other programs.

VirtualLab Data Recovery and Prosoft Data Rescue are probably the best for really mucked-up disks, but plain old Norton Utilities may do the trick if you haven't used the drive too much. It works fairly well for accidental deletions even if you don't have the FileSaver component installed.
posted by kindall at 9:44 AM on March 3, 2004

I second Norton Utilities. It's all I've ever needed in terms of file recovery. Good luck.
posted by me3dia at 12:17 PM on March 3, 2004

I third Norton Utilities. Boot from the CD (hold down C, or Apple+C or D - I forget) and you can undelete without installing anything and hence potentially overwriting the deleted files...

Then, get a backup system in place so it doesn't happen again.
posted by cogat at 4:31 PM on March 3, 2004

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