Trying to recover MacOS partition on Seagate HD from 2011 MacBook Pro

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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cloud0126
Posts: 2
Joined: 08 Sep 2019, 18:47

Trying to recover MacOS partition on Seagate HD from 2011 MacBook Pro

#1 Post by cloud0126 » 08 Sep 2019, 19:59

Hi all,

This is going to be a long story, but please bear with me...

I'm trying to recover a MacOS X partition that got lost on my Seagate HD. I also had a partition on this HD that I made with BootCamp on which I installed Windows 10. I originally had Linux on this HD too, but eventually deleted it and used BootCamp to put on the Windows 10 install. (This is all on a late 2011 MacBook Pro). I was actually trying to migrate everything over to a solid state drive by using SuperDuper and Winclone, but something went wrong in the whole process, and all of a sudden I couldn't boot into the MacOS operating system any longer (the computer froze when trying to clone the Mac partitions. I restarted the computer, and it wouldn't boot any longer). To make things worse, the system couldn't actually find the MacOS partition to boot from either.

So I used Apple's internet recovery to at least get a bootable MacOS X going on my SSD and put that into the MacBook Pro. I then put the Seagate HD into a Sabrent external USB adaptor so I could see what was going on. After booting into MacOS and running terminal, I see this:

diskutil list

/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: GUID_partition_scheme *500.1 GB disk0
1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS Macintosh SSD 499.2 GB disk0s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3

/dev/disk1 (external, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: GUID_partition_scheme *500.1 GB disk1
1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1
2: Apple_CoreStorage Macintosh HD 336.8 GB disk1s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk1s3
4: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 110.0 GB disk1s4

/dev/disk2 (external, virtual):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: Apple_HFS +336.5 GB disk2
Logical Volume on disk1s2
0F8A5999-AA3A-42E3-AB53-260295D99FA1
Unencrypted

So you can see that it knows the MacOS partition is there (disk1s2), but it won't mount, DiskUtility has no idea what is on the disk (it's greyed out), and I obviously can't browse into it to get any files. I don't know why it lists an external virtual volume as well, but this seems to be the MacOS partition too - i.e. it looks like disk2 is the same as disk1s2. I ran First Aid on it through DiskUtility, but got:

File system check exit code is 8.
Restoring the original state found as unmounted.
File system verify or repair failed.

If you try and run DiskUtility through Recovery on the entire drive, it says something's wrong and that it may be corrupt. This led me to TestDisk.

In TestDisk, I chose to proceed with /dev/rdisk1 and chose EFI GPT from the next menu when it asks to select the partition table type. I then selected Analyse. I got the following output:

TestDisk 7.1, Data Recovery Utility, July 2019
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
https://www.cgsecurity.org

Disk /dev/rdisk1 - 500 GB / 465 GiB - 976773168 sectors
Current partition structure:
Partition Start End Size in sectors

1 P EFI System 40 409639 409600 [EFI system partition]
2 P Unknown 409640 658300951 657891312 [Macintosh HD]
3 P Mac Boot 658300952 659570487 1269536 [Recovery HD]
Warning: number of heads/cylinder mismatches 255 (NTFS) != 1 (HD)
Warning: number of sectors per track mismatches 63 (NTFS) != 1 (HD)
4 P MS Data 659570688 874414079 214843392 [BOOTCAMP] [BOOTCAMP
]

So it seems like DiskUtility knows it's an Apple_HFS partition, but can't read anything on it, and TestDisk doesn't know what kind of partition it is...odd. It also has a few warnings that don't make a bunch of sense to me, but they don't sound good.

I then selected the Quick Search option. It then goes to the next screen, but it's been sitting there for a few hours and seems to be stuck:

TestDisk 7.1, Data Recovery Utility, July 2019
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
https://www.cgsecurity.org

Disk /dev/rdisk1 - 500 GB / 465 GiB - 976773168 sectors



check_FAT: Unusual media descriptor (0xf0!=0xf8)
Warning: number of heads/cylinder mismatches 255 (FAT) != 1 (HD)
Warning: number of sectors per track mismatches 63 (FAT) != 1 (HD)
EFI System 40 409639 409600 [EFI System Partition] [EFI]

So in all, I think I have a partition table issue, but I'm not sure if I'm taking the right steps to fix it or to get my data from the MacOS X partition. Any help is much appreciated!

Dave

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Re: Trying to recover MacOS partition on Seagate HD from 2011 MacBook Pro

#2 Post by cgrenier » 10 Sep 2019, 05:59

The partition table looks OK.
It looks like a filesystem corruption and there are maybe bad sectors. Bad sectors can explain why the disk cloning failed and why TestDisk Quick Search is stuck (or very very slow).
You can try to clone the disk using ddrescue ( https://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.pdf for details ), remove the original disk and use DiskUtility to repair the filesystem on the clone and if it failed, use photorec on the clone
If you want to avoid the cloning step, you can run PhotoRec on the damaged disk but the previous method remains recommended.

cloud0126
Posts: 2
Joined: 08 Sep 2019, 18:47

Re: Trying to recover MacOS partition on Seagate HD from 2011 MacBook Pro

#3 Post by cloud0126 » 12 Sep 2019, 17:27

Yeah, I eventually had someone help me out and we found out that the disk is physically bad. I was able to use DiskWarrior to get back my data on the SSD, and all was good. Until this morning when I tried to boot up the Mac, and it's stuck on the apple logo with the status bar filled to about 75% with a perpetual spinning gear. I just can't win. I’ve tried every recommendation to no avail - removing all peripherals, safe mode (which it does the same thing when loading with the spinning gear, so I never actually get into safe mode), single user mode, resetting NVRAM, resetting SMC, replacing RAM cards in the two RAM slots, booting into Recovery and running first aid (which it says the disk is perfectly fine), and running reinstall of OS X (which it eventually gets stuck in the same spot with the spinning gear).


I’m at a loss. Is there anything else I can try short of throwing another SDD in there and starting from scratch again? Is this even a software problem?

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