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How to recover data from an erased external hard drive on Mac OS?

Hi, I have an external USB hard drive that was initially formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). It was accidentally erased (using Disk utility) and then again re-formatted to HFS. The hard drive has not been used since (other than to try and recover the data using various tools), so no new data was been written to it.

Can anybody suggest any methods or software that could be used to recover the data from my external HD?

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This is what I use: ProSoft - Data Rescue you'll want at least the 16 GB version so you don't need to create your own recovery drive. If you have a big drive you'll want the larger recovery drive as the files are copied to the rescue drive.

I'm not sure if any recovery tools can recover your data. Its possible the way you reformat the drive might have scrubbed the drive to a point you can't recover your files. I wish you luck!

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Go for Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery software to recover formatted (re-formatted) external hard drive data. Being an external disk you will not require a boot CD to recover data. It will be a just a go. However, was your external hard drive a backup media (such as Time Machine) or do you have password enabled on it? The mentioned software suppoerts Time Machine hard drives and encrypted media as well.

Remember to use another media to save the recovered data perhaps you can save all the data on Macintosh HD itself from the external drive and later move it back to external HDD.


After several years (I mean from 1988) dealing with Mac support, I can say there are two software jewels that help with HD issues:

- Diskwarrior: ---> This one makes your Mac FAST again. It successfully repairs the HD directory making data access faster. Only caveat is that you only can repair a HD by starting a Mac as Target Disk Mode (T at startup) and using either FireWire, Thunderbolt or USB-C to repair from other computer.

and, to answer your question,

- DataRescue: ---> Has been VERY effective recovering either damaged directories, erratic hardware and erased disks.

You have done well not to overwrite your HD. With DataRescue you can recover (there's even an option for this: Recover Erased Disk) all your files with their original names and hierarchy.




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