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Recovering Lost Data from Apple Computers

The Apple computing platform stands apart from any other, as do its users who are often also Apple enthusiasts: passionate about their machines and the Apple way of working. From the unique aesthetics to its insightfully designed operating system Apple is defined by high quality at every level. It's why we employ Apple technology on our own internal networks here at Data Detect and have Mac Gurus with the same fervor for their computers as they have for the science of data recovery.

Although Apple technology is not nearly as susceptible to virus attack as Microsoft operating systems, we nevertheless keep ahead of the game when it comes to data recovery from viruses as well as disk crashes and hacking attacks. Moreover, we support all hard disk drives found in Apple computers and have a very high success rate for saving lost data.

The Special Case for Apple Data Recovery

Apple uses the Hierarchical File System (HFS) - the standard file system for computers that run a Mac OS. Apple's HFS includes features like Directory Support, UNIX-style security permissions, Local Sockets Support, Extended Attributes, Data Conversion, Absolute and Relative Pathnames and Save and Restore Support. Files are grouped into directories (or folders), which themselves are grouped into directories.

Apple Disk Space Management

HFS divides the total space on a volume into equal-sized chunks called allocation blocks. It uses 16-bit fields to identify a particular allocation block requiring less than 216 (65,536) allocation blocks on the HFS volume. Any non-empty fork must occupy an integral number of allocation blocks, so, as the data increases the amount of allocated but unused space also grows.

HFS Plus or HFS+ is the enhanced generation of HFS, developed to provide the primary file system used on Apple computers. HFS Plus is also referred to as Mac OS Extended. HFS Plus supports larger files from 32-bit block addresses instead of HFS's 16-bit and uses Unicode for naming.

HFS and HFS+ file systems as employed on the Apple operating systems work very differently from Microsoft file systems. Therefore, the approach we take in recovering data from Apple file systems is unique - including the use of proprietary tools developed in-house by Data Detect that comply with Apple's warranty requirements.

Common error messages that can indicate an impending Apple hard disk drive crash include:

  • "Internal file system error"
  • "This disk is unreadable by this computer. Do you want to initialize the disk?"
  • "Cannot access because a disk error occurred"
  • "The disk cannot be accessed because a disk error occurred"
  • "No such volume"
  • "Directory not found"
  • "Not an HFS volume"
  • "Segment Loader Error"
  • "Bad file name"
  • "Not a Macintosh disk"
  • "Bad master directory block"
  • "Drive not installed "
  • "R/W (Read / Write) requested for an off-line drive"

Power Failure

One common cause of data loss is sudden power failure. When data is not buffered the file system structures, directories etc. will be monitored and repaired by the HFS on each mount of a file system. However, a sudden power outage can cause physical damage to the drive and corruption to the critical file system data. In such a situation it is important to stop using the drive immediately and contact us so we can evaluate the unit for you.

Whatever file system or configuration you use, do not be tempted to repair the problem yourself or use any DIY recovery software. You may only have one chance to access the data on the failed drive and you can maximise that chance if you shut down the drive and contact us immediately.

Data Detect supports all versions of Apple Operating System.

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