3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 5, 2009 10:13 AM by Kappy
stickooo Level 1 Level 1

I saved all my 2 years working files in DMG (disk image) and today I accidentally deleted it, and could not find anything in the trash. I guess the trash bin didnt keep it first because the file wash more than 5GB. I was stupid to not have a backup installed.

Anyway I can restore it ?

Please help.


Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    Basics of File Recovery

    Files in Trash

    If you simply put files in the Trash you can restore them by opening the Trash (left-click on the Trash icon) and drag the files from the Trash to your Desktop or other desired location. OS X also provides a short-cut to undo the last item moved to the Trash -press COMMAND-Z.

    If you empty the Trash the files are gone. If a program does an immediate delete rather than moving files to the Trash, then the files are gone. Recovery is possible but you must not allow any additional writes to the hard drive - shut it down. When files are deleted only the directory entries, not the files themselves, is modified. The space occupied by the files has been returned to the system as available for storage, but the files are still on the drive. Writing to the drive will then eventually overwrite the space once occupied by the deleted files in which case the files are lost permanently. Also if you save a file over an existing file of the same name, then the old file is overwritten and cannot be recovered.

    General File Recovery

    If you stop using the drive it's possible to recover deleted files that have not been overwritten with recovery software such as Data Rescue II, File Salvage or TechTool Pro. Each of the preceding come on bootable CDs to enable usage without risk of writing more data to the hard drive.

    The longer the hard drive remains in use and data are written to it, the greater the risk your deleted files will be overwritten.

    Also visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on Data Recovery.
  • stickooo Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for your help. I tried to use Data Rescue II. Using Thorough Scan, I be able to find many files that I deleted long time ago. But, I can't seems to find the image file (DMG) that I just deleted. Inside the Image file, I have thousands of files, that can't be found as well.

    Is it because it's an Image File, so any files inside it can't show up ? Is it because the files has a very large capacity (~5-8GB) so that the system wont be able to find it again ?

    Since, I deleted the files..I haven't write anything on the disk (saving, modifying, etc). Thus, I am pretty sure the partition is still intact.

    Any comments/tips ?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    If the disc image cannot be found then I suspect it's been overwritten already. Even though you haven't saved a file, the OS is writing to the drive all the time. You might try one of the other tools. Sometimes different tools produce different results.

    Recovery software won't find the individual files on the disc image. The only file involved is the disc image.

    I know this doesn't help, but for the future you should institute a backup strategy. The loss of your files would have been prevented had you a backup. See the following;

    Basic Backup

    Get an external Firewire drive at least equal in size to the internal hard drive and make (and maintain) a bootable clone/backup. You can make a bootable clone using the Restore option of Disk Utility. You can also make and maintain clones with good backup software. My personal recommendations are (order is not significant):

    1. Retrospect Desktop (Commercial - not yet universal binary)
    2. Synchronize! Pro X (Commercial)
    3. Synk (Backup, Standard, or Pro)
    4. Deja Vu (Shareware)
    5. Carbon Copy Cloner (Donationware)
    6. SuperDuper! (Commercial)
    7. Intego Personal Backup (Commercial)
    8. Data Backup (Commercial)
    9. SilverKeeper 2.0 (Freeware)
    10. MimMac (Commercial)
    11. Tri-Backup (Commercial)
    12. Time Drawer (Commercial - similar to Time Machine)

    The following utilities can also be used for backup, but cannot create bootable clones:

    1. Backup (requires a .Mac account with Apple both to get the software and to use it.)
    2. Toast
    3. Impression
    4. arRSync

    Apple's Backup is a full backup tool capable of also backing up across multiple media such as CD/DVD. However, it cannot create bootable backups. It is primarily an "archiving" utility.

    Impression and Toast are disk image based backups, only. Particularly useful if you need to backup to CD/DVD across multiple media.

    Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on backup and restore. Also read How to Back Up and Restore Your Files.

    Although you can buy a complete FireWire drive system, you can also put one together if you are so inclined. It's relatively easy and only requires a Phillips head screwdriver (typically.) You can purchase hard drives separately. This gives you an opportunity to shop for the best prices on a hard drive of your choice. Reliable brands include Seagate, Hitachi, Western Digital, Toshiba, and Fujitsu. You can find reviews and benchmarks on many drives at Storage Review.

    Enclosures for FireWire and USB are readily available. You can find only FireWire enclosures, only USB enclosures, and enclosures that feature multiple ports. I would stress getting enclosures that use the Oxford chipsets (911, 921, 922, for example.) You can find enclosures at places such as;

    Cool Drives
    Firewire Direct
    California Drives

    All you need do is remove a case cover, mount the hard drive in the enclosure and connect the cables, then re-attach the case cover. Usually the only tool required is a small or medium Phillips screwdriver.