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Freelance Technician
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've had a series of problems resulting in my internal hard drive not mounting. I've since removed it and installed it into an external enclosure so I can attempt to restore the (very crucial) data while still having a functioning computer.

Here is the course of events:

Upon discovering a frozen screensaver I forced a hard shutdown which resulted in a "no" symbol upon reboot.

An attempted Disk Utility repair reported an Invalid B-Tree Node that it could not fix. The partition couldn't be mounted to recover the data.

After some research online I decided a DiskWarrior rebuild was in order. I left it run for almost a full week stuck on Step 5 with no progress.

Based on some further Googling I was under the impression this process could only be stopped with a force-quit as the application was unresponsive and this would not result in further damage as DW rebuilds a new index on the side before editing the actual contents of the index. This was apparently not the case.

Not only did it cause further problems with my old hard drive, but it caused my perfectly fine installation to become corrupted (reporting "still waiting for root device" on boot), which required a fresh re-install.

After this re-install I attempted to mount the damaged hard drive and Disk Utility simply recognizes the presence of an external device named after the controller manufacturer (G-Tech) with a capacity of 0 bytes and no partition scheme.

It's crucial I recover this data, a very desperate situation. I would like to exhaust any and all possible solutions before I officially send it off to a lab and shell out large amounts of money.

Thank you in advance!

:clap:
 

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Premium Member
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data rescue 3 or something else *might* help (i have in the past recovered 100% of the data from a drive in a similar condition) OR you could hoop it even further and make it so that even the pros can't get whats on there.

it all comes down to just how irreplaceable the data is and what your $ situation is like. if you *need* that data and have the money i would send it off now. if the $ is a hardship or the data can be risked try buying data rescue and seeing what you get..

and next time, for the love of god, backup
 

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If DiskWarrior froze on the drive, it's likely completely fried. Data Rescue generally won't be of much use with a failed drive - it's more useful for undeleting files, or when the drive is partially functional

If you need your data, then you'll have to take it to a proper data recovery company.
 

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....

and next time, for the love of god, backup
Echo! Echo! Echo!

Crucial Data that is not backed up is an oxymoron.
 

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Freelance Technician
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the replies.

I understand the importance of a backup, this is not my hard drive, therefore I could not of personally prevented this issue.

I'd like to know what exactly would cause the hard drive to now read 0 bytes, and if it's possible to address the issue by rebuilding the partition scheme without losing any data. If that's not the case, what other steps can I perform to diagnose the issue further? Is it possible to get the hard drive mounted again to allocate bad blocks or assess the damage at all?

Also, how does one go about stopping a DiskWarrior rebuild, anyway? All of the suggestions to force quit lead to more problems.

Thanks
 

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If I remember DiskWarrior's process, it does not write the new volume map to the drive until about step 9 - AFTER it has displayed a virtual (cached in RAM) rebuild for your approval and you have the opportunity to back up the files from the rebuilt map. I think you have the causality reversed - I siuspect Diskwarrior froze because the drive data structure or physical structure was too badly damaged, not the other way around.
 

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If DiskWarrior froze on the drive, it's likely completely fried. Data Rescue generally won't be of much use with a failed drive - it's more useful for undeleting files, or when the drive is partially functional

If you need your data, then you'll have to take it to a proper data recovery company.
in my experience as long as the drive is visible to the machine (even if there is no partition visible and it has a size of 0 bytes) data rescue often has a good chance of getting at least some stuff back.
 

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If I remember DiskWarrior's process, it does not write the new volume map to the drive until about step 9 - AFTER it has displayed a virtual (cached in RAM) rebuild for your approval and you have the opportunity to back up the files from the rebuilt map. I think you have the causality reversed - I siuspect Diskwarrior froze because the drive data structure or physical structure was too badly damaged, not the other way around.
Been a long time since I used DW but this is also how I remember it working. I agree the drive sounds hooped. Professional recovery is very expensive and will prove an excellent test as to just how crucial the owner of the drive considers that data to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you have the causality reversed - I siuspect Diskwarrior froze because the drive data structure or physical structure was too badly damaged, not the other way around.
A new error arose relating to the volume headers or partition map (as far as I can tell) after stopping DW mid-rebuild. It also corrupted the internal volume on a perfectly fine machine. I'm now just trying to get it back to invalid node sizes in the b-tree, that was easy.

I'm still wondering how I was supposed to stop DW mid-rebuild. There was no way of interacting with the application and it had already been one full week.

in my experience as long as the drive is visible to the machine (even if there is no partition visible and it has a size of 0 bytes) data rescue often has a good chance of getting at least some stuff back.
Data Rescue 3 is unable to work on the drive at all. Each tool it offers fails at the start. What would you suggest I do to get the drive showing up again, let alone one day maybe mounting?

As for the comments about the need for a backup of crucial data: the content I'm attempting to recover are photos of the first 11-months of the client's baby, his 12th month being Christmas eve, trying to fix it before then. Obviously, the files are of great importance, but for one reason or another they weren't backed up and that's that, it happens.
 

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A new error arose relating to the volume headers or partition map (as far as I can tell) after stopping DW mid-rebuild. It also corrupted the internal volume on a perfectly fine machine. I'm now just trying to get it back to invalid node sizes in the b-tree, that was easy.

I'm still wondering how I was supposed to stop DW mid-rebuild. There was no way of interacting with the application and it had already been one full week.



Data Rescue 3 is unable to work on the drive at all. Each tool it offers fails at the start. What would you suggest I do to get the drive showing up again, let alone one day maybe mounting?

As for the comments about the need for a backup of crucial data: the content I'm attempting to recover are photos of the first 11-months of the client's baby, his 12th month being Christmas eve, trying to fix it before then. Obviously, the files are of great importance, but for one reason or another they weren't backed up and that's that, it happens.
Drive is toast. Take it to a professional.
 

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A new error arose relating to the volume headers or partition map (as far as I can tell) after stopping DW mid-rebuild. It also corrupted the internal volume on a perfectly fine machine. I'm now just trying to get it back to invalid node sizes in the b-tree, that was easy.

I'm still wondering how I was supposed to stop DW mid-rebuild. There was no way of interacting with the application and it had already been one full week.
What I am saying is that as I understand DW's methodology, it does not make ANY changes on the drive until a 'ghost' copy of the directory is first rebuilt in RAM. I agree that a new error came up and that DW froze. I disagree with the conclusion that DW caused the error.

Why Use DiskWarrior First?
 

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You likely have corruption / bad sectors on the first 8% of the drive.

On a PC using a newer version of Symantec Ghost you can copy ("ghost") the whole drive to another. It will at some point prompt you saying it has "encountered bad blocks, ignore subsequent bad blocks?" and you say yes.

Make sure you use the -ir option to do raw mode.

Obviously using a PC and getting another hard drive, etc. is a hassle. If you can get access to one or a local PC shop then it can be cheaper than a recovery specialist..
 

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As I told the OP at the Apple Discussion Boards, I've had success in mounting similar drives using OS9.1 and running disk utility from there. That was years ago when B-Tree headers seemed to be a more common occurrence, but still may be worth a shot.
 
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