Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Usman
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Joined: 24 Aug 2018, 11:45

Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

#1 Post by Usman » 28 Aug 2018, 13:44

While trying to backup macOS, I accidentally clicked on Yes when asked if I want to format my external HDD :x .

I had important data in the HDD and I would like to recover it.

I have tried recovering the partition using TestDisk but I'm unable to actually understand how to use it.

I have also tried to read the documents on Wiki, but I'm still clueless.

Any help or advice is very much appreciated. Many thanks!

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cgrenier
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Re: Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

#2 Post by cgrenier » 29 Aug 2018, 06:18

You can also read https://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.pdf
If you are really unable to understand how to use testdisk or if it doesn't work, you can try photorec instead but you will need enough free space on another disk to store the recovered data.

Usman
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Re: Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

#3 Post by Usman » 29 Aug 2018, 13:45

I have read the PDF and tried to recover partition using TestDisk, but in the end I end up with a single partition of 10MB.
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cgrenier
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Re: Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

#4 Post by cgrenier » 30 Aug 2018, 05:57

How many partitions do you had on this disk, what filesystem (FAT32, exfat, NTFS, HFS+...) were each of them using ?

Usman
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Re: Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

#5 Post by Usman » 30 Aug 2018, 14:58

From what I can remember I only had one exfat partition.

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cgrenier
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Re: Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

#6 Post by cgrenier » 31 Aug 2018, 06:11

Unfortunately there is no trace of an exFAT partition.
Run PhotoRec, enable the Expert mode in the Options menu, start a Search, use a blocksize of 512 bytes, use the default values otherwise.
It should recover your data without the original filenames.

Usman
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Re: Accidental format while trying to backup macOS

#7 Post by Usman » 01 Sep 2018, 03:59

cgrenier wrote:
31 Aug 2018, 06:11
I am trying that now
I am trying that now.

But after starting a Search, I don't see the option to choose a blocksize.

However I do get asked Try to unformat a FAT filesystem as per the screenshots below.

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What option should I choose?

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