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Copying data from mac hard drive to mac hard drive.... using a windows PC?

Posted on 2012-12-26
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A friend's son uses an macbook air (about a year old). He had a Western Digital 2TB external USB drive 'for mac' but the mini usb connector got damaged.  He got a 2nd wd 2TB external usb drive 'for mac', and I offfered to copy all the data from the old bare drive to the new drive.  But I have windows PCs / much more familiar with windows. My daughter does have a mac if that's the only way, but the question is:

Can I copy from 1 mac formatted drive to another mac formatted drive in windows?  how about bootable linux I have?

In a pinch I could use my daughter's mac, but it could take a while to move 2TB of data over, right?

what app / process would you use if Linux or mac is the only way?
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strung earned 126 total points
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Not without third party software like MacDrive:

http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive

Without third party software, the PC operating system will not recognize the Mac drive  and when you connect it will ask you to reformat it.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Another third-party tool is Paragon HFS for Windows:
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows/

It supports your OS, W7 (also W8), and supports multiple types of hard drives, including what you're looking for - USB (also FireWire, ESATA, SATA, and IDE).

They offer a 10-day trial and you can download the manual:
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows/download.html
Regards, Joe
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
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OK, am running macdrive 9 on a windows PC.  It sees the new external WD folders and files.  When I connect the old bare drive via 2 different SATA to USB adapters that I have, disk manager on win xp with either adapter shows that drive as unallocated.  and then I connected the old bare drive / adapter to a macbook and it says it can't recognize the drive, do I want to initialize it.

a) initializing will screw up existing data, right?
b) what are the odds that a mac formatted drive doesn't work right going through 2 different SATA / USB adapters, but the drive itself is ok?

I am going to try to put the drive into the windows PC running mac drive on one of the internal sata cables and see what happens
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
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the old drive connected to the win xp machine (think XP vs. 7 makes a difference?) via internal sata - disk manager says that physical drive is unallocated, unknown (vs. basic like other drives installed).  And it sees the external new USB drive fine : (

I'm going to try paragon software.  That's a fully functional app for 10 days?!
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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A really interesting EE thread completed yesterday on the topic, "Will initializing a hard disk erase all the data?":
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_27961425.html
I didn't participate in it, but followed it closely, as I found the discussion illuminating. It's worth a read for you, although the fact that your disk is in Mac format rather than Windows format could alter the situation significantly. Regards, Joe
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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I think the 10-day trial is a fully functional version, but I'm not positive.
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
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ok, I just tried the paragon 10 day trial and same thing - it sees the old bare drive as unallocated unknown type.

that thread talked about this issue, but the answers were kinda uncertain.  Initializing will make it look like the data is gone.  I have several of those apps they talk about but they are for windows formats?  

gotta see if there's apple format recovery apps?  Any suggestions?
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Page 4 of the manual (Quick User Guide) confirms that the trial is fully functional:

"Install a 10-day trial version to try our driver for 10 days with no limitations."

Regards, Joe
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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I'm like you - much more familiar with Windows than Mac (I suggested the Paragon product because I had used another Paragon product). So I'm going to drop out now and hope for some Mac experts to jump in, since my suggestions would all be obtainable by Googling "mac data recovery". :)   Regards, Joe
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by:strung
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Initializing will erase the drive. Don't do it.

You need to try to recover the drive from a Mac using disk recovery software like DataRescueIII:  http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue.php
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by:garycase
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The #1 rule of data recovery is STOP !!

Don't do ANYTHING that may write to the drive -- in particular don't initialize it.   As I noted in the thread on drive initialization referenced above, initializing doesn't actually erase the data on the drive -- but it makes it "look" like it's all been erased and makes the recovery process much more difficult.

Reading through this thread and noting what you've tried already, it's fairly clear that the old drive has been damaged in some way ... possibly physically;  but it may very well just have had a write operation go awry and have bad formatting information.     In either event, your best bet for a "do-it-yourself" recovery is to use your daughter's Mac and install the free trial version of Data Rescue [http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue_features.php ].    Attach the drive via a USB adapter; then let Data Rescue analyze the drive and show you what it can recover.   You can recover ONE file of up to 10MB as part of the test, but to actually recover everything else you'll need to buy a license ($99).     The key thing is it will show you what can be recovered for free -- so your friend can make an informed decision r.e. whether the old data is worth the cost.

If that doesn't work, then the best alternative is to send the drive off to a data recovery company IF the data is worth the cost.    Gillware is an excellent and economical (by Data Recovery standards) company.      They start at ~ $400 and have a "no recovery, no fee" policy, so if they can't recover the data there's no fee.     But plan to pay -- they're very good.
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by:garycase
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... by the way, you might gently remind your friend that the #1 rule of computer hard drives is that they WILL fail => the question isn't whether they'll fail; but when.

NO important data should be on only one drive.    I tell everyone to assume their hard drive will always fail at midnight ... so be sure anything they don't want to lose is stored in at least two places; so when the drive fails they can simply copy the data back from their backup.

A very popular (and excellent) option these days is Carbonite => $59/yr (less if you pay for 3 years at a time, which most folks I know do).    Think of it as an external drive that never fails ... and is very easy to recover data from, no matter where you are at the moment (as long as you have internet access).     Highly recommended -- and it works for both PC's and Macs.   [It costs a bit more if you want to include external drives in the backup.]
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Yes, the way I've heard it cutely phrased is that there are two types of hard drives...those that have failed and those that will fail.
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by:schaps
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I believe that drive has a 2 yr warranty and should still probably be covered. If so, a call to WD would be next on my list. If it's not under warranty, and it's the external USB connector on the drive which is damaged, the actual drive inside may be just fine, and I would look into the feasibility of cracking it open and putting the drive into one of those inexpensive USB-SATA drive docks.
The meat of your question is how to copy the data, though, and I would NOT mess around with trying to use a PC with special software to read the disks. At this point, I'd see if the drive is visible on your daughter's Mac.
I am confused, though, because you are concerned how long the data would take to copy on on your daughter's Mac, but it would likely be no faster on your PC, especially running MacDrive.
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
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schaps: I don't want to tie up my daughter's mac if I can avoid it.  I have several win PCs and can dedicate 1 machine to the copy.  She'll be wanting to use her machine : )

but it looks like I have to try that app that gary recommended.
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by:strung
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If you think the problem may be the mini-usb connector, just take the drive out of the USB case and put it into another one and see if the drive is then readable on the MacBook Air. If it is, you can copy it over using the Air.
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
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strug - way beyond that.  Tried 2 different USB / sata adapters on windows and mac.  none show the drive as being formatted / not readable.  I have easeus data recovery wizard running now on windows.  1/2 hour left and it says it found 100 or so files.  but it talkes about fat and ntfs only (not HFS) so those are likely the seperate partition with the utilities on it.

after that I am going to try http://www.ufsexplorer.com/rdr_hfsp.php  raise data recovery for hfs+ on windows.  

(part of not wanting to use daughter's mac is that I don't want to clutter it with trials of several apps, besides 'are you done yet with my laptop' questions : )

That app is $30.  if that comes up empty, then I'll try gary's data rescue.

GARY:  you mention carbonite.This could turn into a pro / con discussion of cloud services, but what are your thoughts on these things:

1) you lose control of the data - who at carbonite or hacker of carbonite can get to your data? Sure, most people don't have nuclear missle launch codes.

2) getting the data back takes time - you upload gigs of data and it will take a while to get it back (or do they offer sending a hard drive to you?).

3) you say it's like a hard drive that never fails.... a) who is carbonite and are they going to be there months / years down the road?)  b) are they backing up my data? how can I really be sure? sure, the chance their copy of my data AND my copy of my data being deleted / lost at the same time is rare.  But do you expect they are backing up everyone's data they have stored?

4) Is an all you can eat business sustainable?  Yeah, drive prices keep dropping, most people don't backup the world for that $60, etc.  As much as I can't commit to long term typically - jobs, cell phone contracts (took a while to be willing to sign a 2 year agreement), etc., the fact that carbonite or any other vendor might not be around in a few years bothers me.  Rather than a 'enjoy it while it's hear now' thinking.

5) and yeah, IF they folded, how can you be sure all that data on all those drives will be wiped / destroyed?

6) all that said, I DO TOTALLY agree with your insistence to backup. data doesn't exist if it's not in 2 places.  and being in an external hard drive next to the PC doesn't protect from fire or theft.  

and yes - Joe's 2 type of drives quote - I've heard that before and totally agree.
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by:strung
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By the way, why do you feel you need to use your daughter's computer to copy the data? Why not use the MacBook Air? It has two USB ports. Recover the data using Data Rescue III (as per my earlier post) from the one WD to the other via the Air.
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by:marsilies
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Another option not yet mentioned is to simply to do a sector-by-sector copy of the drive. The clone-drive option on the free Acronis True Image WD Edition should work:
http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119

Wikipedia lists a lot of freeware HFS+ readers for Windows. The wouldn't be able to write to HFS+ on the new drive though, but you could format the new drive as exFAT, which is cross compatible with OS X and Windows:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HFS_Plus#Windows
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT


As for online backups:
1) Many online backup services allow the user to provide their own encryption key. This would mean that they have zero access to it. Of course, this also means that they can't recover the data for you if you lose the key.

2) Some services do offer mailing a harddrive with the data back to you.

3) Most backup services offer some sort of redundancy on their side, whether across multiple drives, multiple servers, or even multiple data centers. Services that use Amazon's S3 service store at least 3 copies of your data. You are correct, though, that there is a risk of losing service unexpectedly. Online backup could be used in conjunction with a regular onsite backup though.

4) It's possible the "Unlimited data" plans are unsustainable. However, the company is far more likely to migrate to "tiered" plans rather than simply going out of business. Mozy already made this transition.

5) See my answer to 1 for how to ensure nobody can access the data.
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by:strung
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I googled some reviews of Carbonite. The consensus seems to be that it is fine for up to 30GB. After that, Carbonite imposes severe throttling on uploads and downloads. Backing up a larger drive can take weeks.

Apple's iCloud provides provides minimal free off-site backup: http://www.apple.com/ca/icloud/

In addition, OS X comes with Time Machine backup software included, ( http://www.apple.com/ca/findouthow/mac/#timemachinebasics ) which automatically makes frequent incremental backups, either to an external drive, or to an Apple TimeCapsule ( http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/ ).

Time Machine and TimeCapsule solve the problem of a broken hard drive, but obviously do not give you the comfort of off-site backup.
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by:strung
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The user comments on Data Rescue here make interesting reading:

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10259/data-rescue
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by:strung
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by:marsilies
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@strung

iCloud provides 5GB free online-storage. Any addition storage requires an annual fee:
http://gigaom.com/apple/apple-icloud-pricing/

Time Machine is good for backing up the internal drive to an external. However, backing up an external drive requires a second external drive to backup to (as well as additional configuration, as Time Machine automatically excludes backing up externals):
http://www.onedigitallife.com/2007/10/30/does-time-machine-backup-external-drives/
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by:strung
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I agree. There is no perfect solution.

The nicest thing about Time Machine is the Back-in-Time feature which lets you view or recover previous versions of documents, much like Windows Server Shadow Copies.
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by:garycase
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Raise Data Recovery should be fine -- and has the advantage of running on Windows, so you don't need to tie up one of the Macs you have access to.    My key point was to NOT do anything that may write to the drive;  and that most Windows tools that others were suggesting were simply installable file system drivers -- NOT recovery tools.

As long as the recovery software is "data safe" (i.e. does NOT write to the drive), and is designed for the file system you're attempting to recover, it doesn't matter what host system it runs on.   Raise Data Recovery meets both of these criteria.

As for backups ... the key isn't HOW you backup, but that you DO have a consistent backup strategy.     I, for example, don't use Carbonite ... but I have a VERY paranoid backup scheme that makes it VERY unlikely I'll ever lose anything.    The short version is that all of my data is on 4 different hard drives on 3 different systems PLUS on a fault-tolerant backup server that wouldn't lose anything even if a drive failed.    In addition, I have monthly-updated backups on a set of external hard drives that are stored in a data-safe fireproof safe.    And these systems are located in different areas of our home, so the likelihood of losing them all in a fire is exceptionally small.    I WOULD also use Carbonite, except I have several TB's of data, which is unrealistic for a Carbonite backup.

As for your concerns r.e. Carbonite => agree that any business can go under (think GM).    But Carbonite has enough "presence" that if it fails, it will almost certainly be acquired by another IT company that will preserve the backups and accounts.    The COST may raise in such a situation, but I have no concerns about the data.     As for the safety of the data -- I don't have any personal insight as to just how they store it;  but I do know it's all encrypted (so safety/hacking is not a concern);  and I'm sure it's all maintained in a VERY safety oriented setup ... multiple RAID arrays (likely clustered) with off-site replication, etc.    When backup is your business you certainly can't afford to ever lose so much as a byte of data -- and I'm confident there storage philosophy reflects this.    Large corporations that store important data (think financial service companies and banks) have a long history of extremely redundant backups => remember that NO data was lost on 9/11 by any of the financial companies in the World Trade Center.

As for just how much you can backup with Carbonite => the more signficant issue isn't how much you backup;  but how much of that is static.    I've set it up for folks with seveal hundred GB of data;  but almost all of that data was static.    It DID take a couple weeks before all the files were "green" (the little dots that Carbonite uses to show status);  but afterwards the backup are almost always current, as only a couple GB of data changes with any regularity.    For MOST people, with no more than a few GB of data, it works VERY well.    It's true that it will take a while if you ever need to recover everything from the backup => but remember that download speeds on modern broadband connections are FAR faster than the upload speeds.
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by:marsilies
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For TBs of data online backup, Crashplan has both drive delivery and pickup options:
http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/feature/seed_service

Amazon has also added AWS Import/Export for sending a drive for online backup. You can use it for their S3 storage or their new lower cost Glacier storage:
http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/
http://aws.amazon.com/importexport/
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
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I won't bore you with my experiences with Crashplan and how much they are idiots.  

I'm ending this question - it's getting too long and morphed into other topics : )

I made another question with the issue at hand - getting any data off of the bare drive from the external hard drive.  I'd appreciate anyone's advice there (and more points to give out : )

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Apple/Operating_Systems/OS_X/Q_27980984.html
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