Previous 1 2 Next 23 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2015 7:58 PM by TerryinToronto
AmyBH Level 1 (0 points)

Once a hard drive goes bad (cannot get into the computer), is there any hope of recovering any data from it?  If so, how?

iMac G5 (17-inch)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (30,460 points)

    Do you mean the hard drive is mechanically broken for sure?  It's not a data corruption issue that is causing a problem with starting up the Mac, but maybe not be a bad mechanism?


    If the drive is definitely broken, there are businesses that specialize in recovering data from bad hard drives.  For example

   (I always saw their booth at MacWorld Expos...)


    The cost of such services is usually high.

    cannot get into the computer

    So that probably means the hard drive in question is the internal drive?  If you don't know for sure that the hard drive is physically broken, you can try starting up using your Mac OS X installation disc.  Insert disc in optical drive and start up with the C key held down.  When you get to Installer's screen, go up to the menu bar and run Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.  Does the internal drive appear in the Disk Utility sidebar?


    Alternately, if you have another Mac (that has FireWire), you can try starting the Mac with the problem in FireWire Target Disk Mode,



    Connect the "target" Mac to the other Mac (running normally) using a FireWire cable.  Run Disk Utility on that Mac.  Does the hard drive of the Mac in FireWire Target Disk Mode appear in the sidebar?


    If you can get the internal drive to appear in Disk Utility, you may be able to run Repair Disk on the First Aid tab.  There are also third-party utilities, such as TechTool Pro (Micromat), Drive Genius (Prosoft), and Disk Warrior (Alsoft), that may be able to fix (or at least recover data from) the hard drive.

  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    Put it into an external case and connect it to your mac, then copy data to a convenient place.

  • ZacharyRoth Level 1 (0 points)

    If your hard drive can be detected and shows up as a drive letter in my computer but you can't access your files,then you can recover your data off it with data recovery software easily.This way is the easiest and the most inexpensive way to recover your data.If you bring it to a computer repair shop that is available for data recovery servise,they will cost you $500-1000 or more.Hmm, a lot of money.

    I managed to recover data from crashed hard drive with Tenorshare Data Recovery.If needed,you can download it and scan your hard drive for free to preview whether your data can be recovered.It will show you thumbnails for recoverable pictures. Get it from

  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    Disk Drill may be a simple and free solution. If this does not work, well, things may turn worse, but he/she may try it first.

  • annafromcapon bridge Level 1 (0 points)

    Tenorshare software didn't work on my niece's iphone to recover accidentally deleted data.  And we have yet to get our money back even though their website says "money back guarantee."


    I took my laptop that wouldn't boot up to a local computer repair guy and he was able to recover all of my data, including my music library, photos, videos, etc.

  • Classobjue Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi AmyBH


    You may want to consider using the data recovery software by Wondershare Engineering



    This may be a cheaper option rather than bringing the HD to a repair service shop, travelling time etc. I've used this one time to recover data from an external HD that stopped functioning. Only hassle is the Data Recovery will rename your recovered files. But I have is the old version. Maybe the new version is better.

  • bensionjohn Level 1 (0 points)

    If you face this type of problem like "how to recover data from bad hard drive", so we simply suggest you try Hard Drive Recovery Software that can easily resolve your all queries in a span of time......

  • Dreovmoze Level 1 (0 points)



    You need to reinstall the operating system and then use Data Recovery software that can restore datas from reinstalled or resized partition like remo recover. Then within a certain time you can able recover all the datas back or remove the hard drive from the mac. connect it with some other mac system and then use the software option.One thing you have to be sure is never install the tool in the same logical drive as it will harm the available datas completely...

  • herrylombert Level 1 (0 points)

    Mac Data Recovery is a professional choice to undelete files on Mac that are lost to a minor software glitch, a disk crash, or a similar disaster. You can fall back to this data recovery tool when you have emptied out the Trash folder and your last line of defense against data loss fails to do the needful. For more information visit :

  • The cragrat Level 1 (0 points)

    Really ? Is this a plug for Windows or am I missing the link?

  • Mike-Mac Level 1 (0 points)

    Just to clear up that FREE label. Disk Drill is not free. It is ransomware like all the others. The free versions shows you the recoverable data but you need to pay to actually recover it. I am not making a judgement on that sales technique but would hate to think of desperate people wasting hours downloading, installing , scanning then finding out it's not free. None that I have found are free.

  • Dakmarurale Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, Mac data loss is actually a hard task for many Mac users 'cause most of them think the Mac OS is a complicated computer operating system (At least I think it is complicated). Here are some tips you need to know after data loss happened.


    1. If you meet the file loss situation, keep calm and stop using your computer to do any read or write operation until you find the way to recover the lost files because any wrong operation.


    2. If you’ve lost a file, time is of the essence. As new files saved to Mac hard drive or storage devices, the original files gets overwritten. So do not use the drive or disk which your deleted files are stored before at all, until you have completed the scanning and recovery process.


    3. The system crashed or the files loss situation happens occasionally, so remember build a backup for the files periodically is strongly needed.


    4. If you meet the file loss situation again, stop using the Mac or storage device right now, use another computer to process the files recovery.


    5. Remember this, no matter at the normal time or after files recovery, build a backup for the files periodically is the best method to protect your files from data loss situation.

  • claudiacardenas Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, you can recover the data. But you need to take your Mac hard drive (I do believe you are using Mac, if not, you will not ask question here) to the repair shop to fix.

    When the hard drive is fixed, you will find that you got a "new" hard drive-all the files are not in the hard drive anymore. But this doesn't mean you cannot recover files. I always consider that fix the hard drive like formatting the hard drive. The operating system will not really delete the files. It just delete the catalog and free up the space of the files so that there is enough space for you to store the new files. But if you put new files into this drive, the new files will occupy the the space which is belonging to the "deleted files", this is the so called data overwritten situation. Once this happens, you will lose the chance to get back your files.

    You can check this article: for more technical support. Sorry for the poor English and hope my answer can help more users who want to get back deleted data.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,700 points)

    Dear Claudia,


    Did you notice that AmyBH's post is nearly three years old? Starting last year sometime, the forum software no longer archives and locks out-of-date threads, so we all have to be on the lookout for the original posting dates. Another "PITA" of this version of the forum software.

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