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macOS hard drive recovery

Posted on 2016-10-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-19
Hi,

I am trying to to get some help recovering data from somebody whose Apple Mac OS X hard drive have crashed - so I have some general questions as I am have a windows background:) So please bear with me.

I did install the latest version of Microsoft office Mac on this machine with all the default options so here are my questions.

I am told the hard drive has crashed and the cannot access it. If they take the machine into an Apple Store with the Genius Bar - can they help?

By default does MacOS backup files to iCloud automatically by default or does it need to be configured?

In a similar fashion how is OneDrive configured to backup by default.

I have read about time machine but it does not look like it backs up to the cloud?

Can I recover an OSX drive with a PC or is that impossible?

Sorry I don't have more specific details on the crash I am overseas from the end user at the moment - so I can understand if the advise that comes back to me from the forum is of a general nature. So looking for a starting point here.

My feeling at the moment might be to advise them on the specialist data recovery service. If the have no online backup available.

Thanks,

Ward
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Question by:whorsfall
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6 Comments
 
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by:
strung earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41852322
The Mac does not back up anything automatically. A prudent user would back up to an external hard drive or Time Capsule using Time Machine, but I am guessing the user did not do this.

It is hard to say what has happened from a bare description that the "hard drive may have crashed".

Most Macs, unless they are very old, have a built-in recovery partition from which you can diagnose and perhaps repair the drive.

The very first thing to do is to try to access the recovery partition by booting while holding down the Command-R key combination. Unless the drive is physically dead, this should boot you into the recovery partition and one of the options will be Disk Utility. Once in Disk Utility, you will see two lines in the top left. One will be the physical hard drive, which will show the name of the drive manufacturer, and the second will be the boot partition, typically named "Macintosh HD". Click on the line for the physical hard drive and select either "first aid" or "repair disk" (depending on which version of the OS you are using). Disk Utility will attempt to do a repair of the disk.

Assuming the repair is successful, the click on MacIntosh HD and again run either First Aid or Repair Disk. Disk Utility will attempt to do a repair of the partition.

Make sure you click on the option to show full information.

If Disk Utility is able to repair the disk, try rebooting normally.

If it can't repair the disk, or you can't reboot normally, report back here with full details and we can tell you what to do next. Under no circumstances try to repair the disk or do recovery from you PC as you are likely to do more damage.
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by:whorsfall
ID: 41852351
Hi strung,

Thanks for the great advice as I am overseas from the user it might be hard for me to help them personally with this.

Therefore getting more specific details is a bit hard for a while until I get back

The options you have suggested sound very good.

Do you know if an Apple Store - say the Genius Bar can assist with this? And do you know if they would charge to do this?

Do you have any opinion on the specialist data recovery services to get back OSX data back?

Thanks,

Ward
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by:strung
strung earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41852406
If the drive cannot be repaired, there is a good chance that you could retrieve the data using DataRescue: https://www.prosofteng.com/data-rescue-recovery-software/

I really don't know what a genius bar would do or charge.
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by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 500 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41852415
My experience with the Genius bar is, that if it's under warranty or Apple Care, they would at least look at it. They may be able to help you with moving data off if the drive is still workable. Not sure they'd do any deep dive on data recovery.  If they won't or if it has no warranty coverage, you can take it to an Apple authorized store in your area.  What they would do would most likely vary by store and they would charge you.
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by:davidanders
davidanders earned 500 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41854526
I do a fair amount of data recovery. The lack of specifics (mac model, osx version, crash means what) makes advice difficult to offer.
A shut down and restart.  
Boot in Safe Mode (SHIFT key down)
Boot recovery partition (COMMAND + R) if it exists.
Connect to another Mac with Target Mode (T key down) and copy data off
Search YELP for data recovery may be useful.

Randy Singer on Mac-L digest mail list has recommended 300dollardatarecovery.com
They have 500 glowing reviews on YELP.  A client with a WD passport drive that I could not help, tried them with good results.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 41894056
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

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