Repairing External Drive after initialising with Windows

Posted on 2013-07-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-06-07
I have a Lacie firewire external drive which was used for backing up an old silver G4 running System 9.2.2.
We are dispensing with the Mac but would like to transfer the files onto a PC for storage.
I attached the EHD to a Windows 8 machine and stupidly initialised it under Disk Management. I understand this action will not have deleted any content but I need to run a repair procedure. I do have a copy of OS X v10.1
So how can I repair the files and with what?
Question by:chrismk
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Expert Comment

ID: 39292714
First you could try to use the HFSExplorer...
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 39292747
Why don't you just copy the files from the MAC to the external drive again? Before starting just make sure you use a file-system on the drive that can be used by both OS's. exFat should be work, but if not, then fat32 (but fat32 has a file-size limit of 4GB). After that copy them to your normal PC.

Author Comment

ID: 39292807
Rindi - the G4 has 2 hard drives and someone reinstalled the System onto the wrong one and zapped a large partition in the process! Pretty stupid really but I suppose no more than me initialising the EHD! (Incidentally Microsoft, where was the warning message?)
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Expert Comment

ID: 39292852
Normally you can recover m$ file-systems with the appropriate tools, but with those used by MAC's and other systems I'm not aware of tools, and if there are, they probably are rather expensive and you risk doing more harm than good. If the data was important I'd send the disk to a professional recovery agency, they'll give you a quote on how much you'll have to pay them if they are successful at recovery:


If you prefer trying it yourself you can try booting the PC to which you have attached the drive using the the PartedMagic LiveCD, and then using testdisk and / or photorec to scan the drive for data. If the data is seen you can then copy the data from the drive to some other location. But neither testdisk or photorec are easy to use, and usually you get the files all jumbled up without your original directory structure, and the file-names of the recovered files can also be different from the original, so after the recovery you'll probably need a lot of time sorting through the files renaming and reorganizing them.


Author Comment

ID: 39292854
HFSExplorer doesn't work - Invalid HFS type - presumably because having initialised the drive it no longer is thought to be a HFS drive?

Author Comment

ID: 39292921
Surely there must be a MAC utility out there?
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 39295204
Data Rescue is the Mac utility you are looking for, but I don't know if you can still get an older version to run on OS10.0


The current version requires at least OS 10.4.11

Not sure if you can still get DataRescue II

Author Comment

ID: 39296069
OK, thanks for that. I'll check it out. I can always connect the EHD to a later model!
I have scanned the drive from a Windows machine using iCare Data Recovery software and all the files are intact but their names are not!

Accepted Solution

chrismk earned 0 total points
ID: 39329569
I downloaded a demo of iCare Data Recovery for Windows and that identified that the files were intact but they were in a raw state so had lost their names!
I contacted the publishers of Data Rescue and they confirmed the names will have been lost through the simple action of initialising the drive under Disk Management - thanks Microsoft for the warning!
Fortunately I understand there is unlikely to be a need to retrieve any of the data but if we have to then the Windows program will suffice. They are mostly graphics so thumbprints will be handy!

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