View Full Version : huge hard drive data recovery issues

09-10-2009, 10:15 AM
Hello all,

The hard drive on my MacBook (late 2008 unibody, less than a year old, don't get me started) has gone to hell, and I am trying desperately to get the data off of it before I get a replacement. Got it out of the laptop and into an enclosure, it shows up fine, but when I try to transfer, I keep getting code 36 errors, so it does look like some of the files are messed up.

So yesterday I bought Disk Warrior, hoping against all hopes that this would help, and I rebuilt the hard drive, but I continue to get the same errors. So then I tried Restore in Disk Utility, no dice. I have Carbon Copy Cloner running right now (I'm out for the day), but given that it got through 200-something MBs of a drive with about 150 GB of data in four hours or so last night, I'm not all that hopeful. I think my last resort is to use ChronoSync to just make it skip the bad files, I mean, I can live with losing them, but it's just driving me crazy that it stops it every time, there's no way I can sit there and keep restarting the copy after every error (I mean, it's literally like every 10-15 files).

The one thing I am really worried about though is my pictures. The iPhoto library is just one big file, right? So I tried to copy that, same problem. Any thoughts on that specifically? Is it actually multiple files within the library file, so maybe ChronoSync would work for that too?

I guess my main questions are:

1) Any suggestions on possible ways to recover this data, as DiskWarrior seems to have failed?
2) Barring possibility of recovering data, any way to make it keep copying and skip bad files other than ChronoSync?

Any thoughts would be MUCH appreciated. I am about to go insane here. Thanks so much!!

09-10-2009, 10:23 AM
have read in other forums that there are 2 options for u
echTool Deluxe.

You can also purchase TechTool Pro (which does more than TechTool Deluxe).

Another possibility if you have a PC that you can put your HD in, is Spin Rite by Gibson Research.

09-10-2009, 12:16 PM
Diskwarrior only fixes the directory so no miracle cure for broken drive as such.
error 36, i think is a hardware IO error.

Trying to bloack level clone the drive is a good idea but if CCC reaches a damaged part of drive (bad blocks, or the head cannot read further) it will bum out.
You can try an incremental copy with CCC if need be.

The iphoto library is a package folder. So you can right click on it > show package contents and try and drag and drop folders out a few at a time. As a last resort you may stil be able to get some of the data back.

As such and i hate to be a bore. Having at least one backup of your data is a bare minimum unless you don't care about losing data.

09-10-2009, 12:43 PM
Does the error only happen after an extended period of time? If so heat or clogged fans could be an issue. Memory test would not hurt either.

09-10-2009, 01:14 PM
Thanks for the replies. Will try TechToolDeluxe when I get home. Unfortunately no PC available.

Thanks for the tips on CCC and iPhoto - that's good to know. I do have a backup, it is just a few months old (although I was away for much of the summer, so it's not a terrible amount of information), but there are a few recent things that I really want to get off there, and some pictures that I recently put added are the most important. That's what's so annoying about iPhoto. But there is no way to figure out where specific pictures are, is that right? It just organizes them through random numbers and folders, yeah?

The error does not take a while to happen, it happens almost immediately, so I'm pretty sure it's something with the drive itself. How do you test the memory?

Thanks again.

09-10-2009, 02:00 PM
How do you test the memory?

Actually I have not had to do that for a while but Apple did supply a 'hardware test' for there macs. I have a copy on DVD but I would hope there is a download.

Did you look on the DVD that came with the Apple for hardware test apps?

09-10-2009, 04:57 PM
The Apple Hardware Test is a trivial test of memory. If memory fails that AHT memory test, you know that it's in REALLY bad shape. For a good thorough memory test, I recommend only Memtest OS X (http://www.memtestosx.org/joomla/index.php) run from single user mode, continuously overnight.


09-10-2009, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the replies. Will try TechToolDeluxe when I get home.

I have never seen TechTool Pro able to fix a single thing related to hard drives that DiskWarrior was unable to fix. On the other hand, I have seen DiskWarrior retrieve data from hard drives that TechTool Pro couldn't touch. As you've already tried DiskWarrior, I can't image how TechTool Pro (or even more so TechTool Deluxe, which is stripped down from TechTool Pro) could hope to do anything useful related to your hard drive.


09-10-2009, 05:55 PM
but there are a few recent things that I really want to get off there, and some pictures that I recently put added are the most important

These photos are perhaps still in the camera? Even if you've erased the camera's card, you may be able to recover recently taken photos with EXIF Untrasher, http://www.bluem.net/en/mac/exif-untrasher/ or a similar tool. Of course, you'll need a functioning Mac . . . .