Mac Hard Drive Recovery with Bonus Time Machine Drive

A lot of the recoveries I get locally are referrals from computer repair shops around Kansas. Many people don’t know what the problem is with their computer until a repair shop takes a look and lets them know it is the hard drive inside the computer and that they will need data recovery if they don’t have a backup of any important data.

Mac Hard Drive Recovery

These two drives came from a customer in McPherson that was recommended to me by a local computer repair shop. The repair shop had diagnosed their 2010 Mac mini as having a bad drive. It had stopped booting fully and instead would just get stuck on the spinning wheel during startup.

The customer had used Time Machine to both back up their computer every once in a while, and also to archive old files that they no longer needed to store on the computer itself. Side note here, I don’t recommend using Time Machine as an archiving utility, it is strictly for back up as it prunes archived data over time.

Failed Time Machine Drive

The repair shop quoted for a hard drive replacement for the Mac Mini, and they planned on moving the most recent backup over to see how much data was lost between the last backup completed and the time the drive failed. But when they checked the Time Machine backup drive, the repair shop found it was not working properly as well! This meant the client needed both drives recovered, the HGST drive from inside their Mac Mini, as well as their Time Machine Hitachi drive with the archived data on it.

Hitachi HTS545050B9SA02 Data Recovery Process

The MacMini drive was a Hitachi HTS545050B9SA02 that could not be accessed by the shop when they attempted to mount the drive for data recovery. The drive would respond, but could not be mounted and when they ran recovery software on the drive they did not get back any usable data. I found the main problem with this drive was sectors not responding in the catalog file area as well as the firmware area of the drive. Once I cleared the firmware issues I was able to image the drive and get back 99.9999% of the sectors.

Once the imaging was complete, running data recovery software brought back all the folder structure and the recovered data was moved over to the new external drive.

HGST HTS545050A7E362 Data Recovery

The drive the customer had been using for Time Machine was an HGST HTS545050A7E362 model drive. This one also had bad sectors as the main problem! Because it is a Time Machine drive, recovering the data fully so that Time Machine can continue to be used is a little trickier. I cover the process in a bit more detail in this blog post about a Seagate Time Machine drive that was making a buzzing sound, but basically, it is important to image the drive, then use a program like Disk Warrior to mount the volume, then use a program like SuperDuper to clone the data to a new external drive.

In this case, I was able to get all the data imaged, and the DiskWarrior + SuperDuper combination did the trick of getting all the data transferred to the new drive in a Time Machine usable form.

Get your Mac hard drive recovery completed by a pro

I worked in a Mac shop for a time many years ago, so I am very confident working with Mac drives. If you have a Time Machine backup drive or a Mac that you need the data recovered from, please fill out my recovery quote form and I will get back to you right away on how I can help.

Drive 1 info: HGST HDD: Z5K500-500, HTS545050A7E362, C P/N: H2T5001654S7, P/N 0J38755, MLC: DA5754, 655-1730D, JAGB7, 500GB 2.5inch AT 7mm, JUN-13, MADE IN THAILAND

Drive 2 info: HITACHI HDD: 5K500 B-500, HTS545050B9SA02, MADE IN THAILAND, NOV-09, P/N 0A78005, MLC: DA3031, 655-1540D PTBFS

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