Drive recovery on a Mac

Today I assisted a customer that needed drive recovery help after reinstalling Mac OS X on her MacBook.  She wasn’t aware that the process of reinstalling the OS on her MacBook would completely erase all the files on her hard drive.  She was very upset to see that her pictures and documents were gone.  She found our Data Rescue 3 data recovery software after searching the internet for drive recovery software.

Steps to recover after reinstall

I calmed and reassured her, that I would do everything possible to help guide her through the steps to using Data Rescue 3 to recover her data.  First, I had her download and run Data Rescue 3’s free demo from an external hard drive, then she started a Deep Scan on her internal drive. When the scan finished she was able to go through the Reconstructed Files folder of the scan results to see what was found.  After she was relieved to see her files that were still recoverable.  She then purchased Data Rescue 3 and recovered the files to an external drive.  She sifted through the scan results and was able to find almost all of the files that she had lost from the process of reinstalling Mac OS X.

Recovery after reinstall of OS.

This customer was amazed that she was still able to recover her files. The reason that recovery is still possible after she reinstalled her operating system is because that install process only requires a quick erase of the volume. The quick erase will erase the file directory but does not write any data to the drive, so the original data would not have been overwritten. The installation of OS X does write some data to the drive, so it is possible that some files may be overwritten and not recoverable due to this.
For the best possible drive recovery results, it is best to minimize the data written to the drive after it has been erased and ideally not write any data to the drive until the files are recovered.

Guide for downloading and launching Data Rescue 3 on an external drive.