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Old August 3rd, 2005, 06:11 PM   #1
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Data Recovery Apps

I had a firewire HD go out on me and I was wondering what data recovery applications people like. The drive shows up in the Disk Utility but won't mount and asks me to initaialize it when I plug it in. I've tried it on different computers and I get the same result. Disk Warrior did no good either. I'm hoping that I might be able to initialize it and then recover the data.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 06:43 PM   #2
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If DiskWarrior didn't help that's a bad sign... The fact that it shows up in Disk Utility also implies that the problem is with the drive itself and not the enclosure. You could try to pull the drive from the enclosure and swap it into another one anyway just in case.

I'd be careful about initalizing it on the hope that would let you recover anything. Are you sure you're using the correct version of DiskWarrior for your version of MacOS?

Norton Utilities used to do this sort of thing, but I haven't used it in several years. If the data is really important you might want to contact DriveSavers and similar companies for an estimate before doing anything which could further corrupt your data.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 08:54 PM   #3
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Been there, done that. Don't choose Initialize!.

Below is a post I made in response to the same topic on the Apple support forums.


"Sorry to hear that. What this means is that you have lost your partition info and Mac OS cannot read the drive. The data is still there but unreadable since the partition info is gone. I'm speaking from experience.

We bought a Seagate 300 gig FW drive to back up video files in order to free up space on our RAID. The next day when I cam into work, the Seagate was doing the exact same thing you noted in your post. We lost 10 years of TV spots, documentaries, etc.

I got on the phone with Seagate and got the runaround for a while but eventually was given the name of the head of their warranty department. He offered to send us a new drive that was a hundred gigs larger so we took him up on it, BUT, that didn't solve our data loss woes. Seagate has a service that will retrieve lost data from a drive but it is expensive, $500 minimum and that's just to find the data. They would not cover the expense of finding or retrieving the data. Being a video production company, it was important to get the data back so I found some software that runs on a PC but is used to recover data from Mac HFS formatted drives. The program costs $200 and it took a couple of weeks to get most of our data back, but the new hard drive Seagate sent us covered the expense.

Our problem was that we had a storm late at night and the power went off longer than our UPS battery backup would last. That seems t obe why we lost the data, however, the G5 that the Seagate was connected to also had 3 other external drives attached and none of the were affected. 2 FW drives from Maxtor and our main editing drive, a Medea SCSI RAID.

I will never trust a Seagate external drive again. As a matter of fact, as I am the IT director at work, I have recommended to all that we use the Seagtes as back up only and unmount and unplug them from the power every day before we leave.

Do a search for Stellar Phoenix if you want to spend $200 and the time it takes to recover your data, or just reinitialize (reformat) the drive and chalk it up to experience."
Dave Perry Cinematographer LLC
Director of Photography Editor Digital Film Production 540.915.2752
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Old August 4th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #4
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Besides the Stellar Phoenix recovery software Dave mentioned, you might also want to look into Spinrite 6 ( You would have to run it on a Windows machine, though.

If you want to use a data recovery service, one you should consider is Gillware LLC (, which was established specifically to provide affordable data recovery to individuals and small businesses.
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Old August 4th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #5
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I went and bought the latest version of Disk Warrior and it fixed things up. I called a local tech shop before that and they wanted $150 just to look at it and $150/hr(estimated at 2-3 hrs) to recover the data. Since this video thing is really just a hobby, it wasn't worth that to me. If I had lost my photos I would be in a catatonic stare right now. I had the good sense to back them up multiple times.

The drive that I was having problems with is a LaCie 400 GB triple interface drive. I've had problems with it before and had to send it back for repair. It seems that it works fine through the firewire 400 port. I'm not sure, but I think that the times that it has given me trouble it was running through the firewire 800 or USB 2 ports on PCI cards. I know that the latest trouble came when I was running it through the USB port. Has anyone had problems with their drives through these ports? I also wonder if the power to the drive might be a problem I have the drive plugged into a power strip with many other devices(not usually running all at the same time).

Anyway, it's working now, and backed up. Thanks for the replies.
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Old August 4th, 2005, 06:52 PM   #6
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Glad to hear you're up and running again! FWIW, I have a copy of Diskwarrior that I bought over 2 years ago. I figured I should get the latest copy, but first I checked their website. To my surprise, they had an updater which brought it to the current version and even burns a bootable standalone disk. Great product!

This is only anecdotal, but it seems there have been a number of threads here in the past couple years where people have had problems with FW800 LaCie drives. I have a bunch of FW400 drives (mostly Maxtor) and they seem to work fine.

I wouldn't think a power strip would be a problem, although a spike from turning something else on and off might hurt. If possible plug your external drives into a UPS. You can get small ones suitable for this very inexpensively these days. I assume your computer is already on a UPS? If not then you should really think about getting one....
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Old August 4th, 2005, 10:20 PM   #7
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It might depend on which generation of the LaCie drive you have. I have a a couple of LaCie 250 Gb drives that I have been running through FW800 for about a year now and I never even had the slightest problem with them at all (knock on wood). When I did my shopping around, I was going to buy a 500 Gig Big Disk from LaCie, but when I hunted around, I discovered numerous complaints with their initial implementation of the RAID striping between the two 250's that are actually in the enclosure. The complaints primarily focused on partition loss and data loss - enough for me to chuck the idea and get a couple of non-RAID 250's as separate units. I understand that later generations of the 500 and Terabyte RAID units overcame the problems - I plan on purchasing another one in the near future and feel confident enough to grab a 500 Gig from LaCie.

Does your 400 have two RAID striped 200 Gig units in it? and would its RAID implementation perhaps be the source of the trouble?

FWIW - I am not a RAID expert and am only paritially savvy, so the information I have posted here is mostly culled from my memory of the complaint issues I read about several months ago in various product reviews and forums.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 03:23 PM   #8
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The Drive does have two 200 GB drives inside it. It was running through my USB 2.0 card when it messed up. I wonder if it might be an issue with running the drive through PCI cards. I don't recall ever having a problem with the native firewire 400 ports, just the firewire 800 and USB cards.

I can't remember exactly what was wrong with the drive when I sent it back to LaCie, but it had something to do with the controller in the drive getting interupted while writing to the disk. It should have been fixed. I don't know if it's the same problem or a new one. Other than being kind of loud, my other LaCie drive(120 GB) has never given me a problem. It only runs through the native firewire port though.
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