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OSXpert
OSXpert, Mac Software Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 226
Experience:  2 years as a geek squad computer technician, 5 years as a software engineer and unix systems admin
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I just inserted a harddrive and the computer gave me a message

Resolved Question:

I just inserted a harddrive and the computer gave me a message of "the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" This is a HUGE problem as I have a terabyte of info on this hardrive that I use everyday...please help
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  OSXpert replied 4 years ago.

OSXpert :

Hi, my name is Britton. What computer did you use to put the data onto the hard drive initially?

Customer :

A Mac os X Dual 2 GHz Power PC G5

OSXpert :

And are you reading the data back using the same computer?

Customer :

yes

Customer :

what happened was...

Customer :

I am a video editor

Customer :

I am working on a project right now with a friend who uses a PC

Customer :

I gave the hardrive to him to put his info for the propject onto the same harddrive

Customer :

so I would have everything in one place for final cut

Customer :

the hardrive did not work for him and

Customer :

when I put it back onto my MAC i got the message "disk insertion error" yada yada

OSXpert :

hmmm, interesting. So to recap, the drive worked fine for you, then you loaned it out, you got it back and now it's giving you the error?

Customer :

yes

Customer :

correct

OSXpert :

hmm, have you tried repairing the disk using disk utility?

Customer :

no

Customer :

well, I guess yes, but the
repair option was not available

OSXpert :

open up disk utility

Customer :

like it was there on disk utility but would not let me click on it

Customer :

ok

Customer :

OK ive got it open

OSXpert :

click on the entry for the disk itself (not the partition, the partition is indented)

Customer :

what do you mean?

OSXpert :

In the left-hand pane of disk utility, it should have an entry for the external hard drive, correct?

Customer :

like click on "1000GB Lacie" in the left hand corner?

OSXpert :

yes

Customer :

yes ok

Customer :

clicked on it

OSXpert :

at the bottom, what does it say for S.M.A.R.T status and Write Status?

Customer :

smart status is "not supportted" and write status is read/write

OSXpert :

are repair/verify disk available?

Customer :

no

OSXpert :

hmm, they're both greyed out?

Customer :

yes

OSXpert :

okay, now, underneath where it says 1000GB lacie, click on the partition -- it's directly underneath 1000GB lacie in the left hand pane


Customer :

there is no partition for this drive

Customer :

I have 2 other drives and I see their partions in the left hand corner but not the one I am trying to fix with you it has no p[artiton

OSXpert :

wow -- that's bad

Customer :

great

OSXpert :

it sounds like it has been formatted -- did your buddy format the drive by any chance?

Customer :

He says he did not, he says he just put the drive in, it automatically said installing drivers, he opened up my computer and didnt see it there, and then he opened up disk manager and it said that the disk was unallocated and then he unplugged it and gave it back to me

OSXpert :

hmmm, well, it sounds like there is no file system on the disk. In order for the disk to contain data, it needs to have a file system present. It sounds like your does not have one. This also may have been because of damage -- was it dropped or anything like that?

Customer :

no

Customer :

never dropped

Customer :

it has worked perfectly inlcuding today for 2 years

Customer :

until I connect ed it to this PC and then this hapened

OSXpert :

This just happened today?

Customer :

yes

Customer :

15 minutes ago

OSXpert :

hmm, let me see if I have some other tricks we can try

OSXpert :

Let's try some terminal commands -- this might get a little nasty, but it will tell us for sure if there is a file system on the drive...

OSXpert :

go to Finder->Applications-Utilities->Terminal

Customer :

k

OSXpert :

type in "diskutil list" (without the quotes) and hit <return>

OSXpert :

also, which browser are you using?

Customer :

This is what comes up for the disk we are discussion from the terminal command

Customer :

/dev/disk1
#: type name size identifier
0: *931.5 GB disk1

Customer :

firefox is the browser im using

OSXpert :

k -- next type "diskutil info /dev/disk1" <return>

OSXpert :

paste the results in here

Customer :

Device Node: /dev/disk1
Device Identifier: disk1
Mount Point:
Volume Name:

Partition Type:
Bootable: Not bootable
Media Type: Generic
Protocol: FireWire
SMART Status: Not Supported

Total Size: 931.5 GB
Free Space: 0.0 B

Read Only: No
Ejectable: Yes
OS 9 Drivers: No
Low Level Format: Not Supported

OSXpert :

Wow -- I hate to be the one to tell you this -- but there isn't a partition on that disc. You may want to ask your buddy what "really" happened -- partitions don't delete themselves...

Customer :

OK, that aside, what can I do bro? I need this info...it has all of my clients film projects for the past 3 months, I need solutions...

OSXpert :

Well, it can get brutal man -- data recovery is an option, but it can get horrendously expensive quickly. If it was a quick format, then it should only have formatted the first and last 1000 sectors of the drive -- meaning most of the data is still there, you just can get to it. Likewise, if the partition map was clobbered (first few hundred bytes of the drive), then ALL of the data is probably there and creating a partition will likely enable you to grab your data.

The worst case is if the drive was completely formatted -- I doubt this is the case since it would have taken a long time to complete and unless the guy you loaned it to is really unsavy with computers, he hopefully would have realized it and stopped the process. However, if it was completely formatted, the data can still be recovered but the cost is usually prohibitive and requires a lot of expertise and equipment...

OSXpert :

My recommendation --

OSXpert :

Find a data recovery center in your area -- it might be a simple process for them to create a partition map and get you your data back -- let me see if there is anything practical that you can do in the mean time...

Customer :

Can I create a partition?

OSXpert :

Trouble is, you'll want to be very careful about what you do at this point -- mostly so you don't inadvertently lose more or all of the data on the drive

Customer :

ok

Customer :

I understand

OSXpert :

Before going to a data recovery center, try an off the shelf software package for data recovery, I'll get you a link...hang on

Customer :

ok, thanks

OSXpert :

Here we go...

OSXpert :

going to cost you $100, but it's probably worth it, considering a typical data recovery house will probably charge you 3x that amount just to take a look at the drive

Customer :

OK, thanks man.

Customer :

I just hit accept, or is there more you can share?

OSXpert :

before accepting, go to disk utility, want to take a quick look at something

Customer :

ok

Customer :

Im there

OSXpert :

click the drive, then click "Partition" on the right-hand side

Customer :

ok

Customer :

did that

OSXpert :

What does it say next to name, format, and size

Customer :

nothing listed in any of those categories

Customer :

nothing

OSXpert :

Sorry, what do you mean?

OSXpert :

Did you see my last chat message?

Customer :

You asked what does it say next to name format and size etc, and they are all blank. In other words : Name: ______

Customer :

You see what I mean?

OSXpert :

yes, I wrote back after that, here...

OSXpert :

okay -- the partition was definitely clobbered somewhere along the line...proceed with Data Rescue -- it's worth it and, assuming there wasn't too much damage to the drive, it will likely be able to recover a fair amount of data from the drive -- maybe even all of it. But I can't make any promises, data recovery is such a touchy area, it might work completely or not at all. Sorry man, wish I had some more positive news for you.

OSXpert :

sometimes the chat system at justanswer has issues

OSXpert :

Yes, I understand. I just wanted you too look at those fields to confirm what we discovered using terminal

OSXpert :

Are you still with me?

OSXpert :

Did you receive my last few chats?

OSXpert, Mac Software Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 226
Experience: 2 years as a geek squad computer technician, 5 years as a software engineer and unix systems admin
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