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harps
24th March 2010, 06:40 PM
The external hard disk connected to our iMac that we use for TimeMachine backups has stopped mounting on the desktop.
It was working fine until yesterday evening.
I've run Disk Utility first aid on it to find out what is wrong.
It's advising the following:

Verify and Repair volume “Time Machine Backups”
Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
Detected a case-sensitive catalog.
Checking Extents Overflow file.
Checking Catalog file.
Invalid node structure
Volume check failed.

Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed.

This external hard disk not only has our backups, but it is also home to all our downloaded movies and TV shows.

How can I fix this whilst still recovering the saved information?

Brains
24th March 2010, 08:17 PM
About the only utility that has a chance of repairing the directory damage -- assuming it is a locally-connected (USB or FireWire only) HFS Extended volume -- is Alsoft DiskWarrior. You're going to need to buy a copy and let it chug a few hours on your sick external.

There is also a chance that the damage may be too severe, and DiskWarrior will give you an option to mount the sick drive as read-only so you can save what you can onto another drive, so you may want to buy some more storage whilst you're at it.

dangrib
24th March 2010, 09:13 PM
I agree with Brains. DiskWarrior is fantastic.

harps
25th March 2010, 05:34 AM
Bugger!

harryb2448
25th March 2010, 06:41 AM
Use DW and recommend it, alas the US$99.00 price tag makes it almost as dear as a new HDD,

ClockWork
25th March 2010, 06:50 AM
Run Disk Utility by booting the Mac off the Mac OS X Installer DVD it came with. The Installer has its own Disk Utility.
From there, the Repair Disk button won't be grayed out.

Try this before investing in Disk Warrior, and take into account that eventually, all Hard Drives will die, possibly within a decade or just over, in which case investing in a 2 Bay RAID External Drive makes total sense.

See here (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/18/34587-external-drives-dummies.html#post394155) and scroll down to: SOHOTANK ST3620-2S-WABC and SOHORAID SR3610-S2-WBC.

MightyAtom
25th March 2010, 09:22 AM
If you can, remove the drive from the external enclosure and attach it directly to a computer. Try running SMART Utilit (http://www.volitans-software.com/smart_utility.php)y to see if you have any SMART errors or high Reallocated Bad Sector Count. If so the drive is developing bad sectors.

If the problem is bad sectors create a boot disc of HDD Regenerator (http://www.dposoft.net/#b_hddhid). Depending on how badly damaged the drive is it could take several hours to a day to repair. Don't rely on the drive if HDD Regenerator can revive it, just back it up and replace it. I've used this method to salvage four hard drives. I don't recall if HDD Regenerator is bootable on a Mac, you may need to do this on a PC.


Run Disk Utility by booting the Mac off the Mac OS X Installer DVD it came with. The Installer has its own Disk Utility.
From there, the Repair Disk button won't be grayed out.

That shouldn't be necessary, since it's an external drive the button won't be greyed out in OS X.

glacierdave
25th March 2010, 12:20 PM
If the problem is bad sectors create a boot disc of HDD Regenerator (http://www.dposoft.net/#b_hddhid). Depending on how badly damaged the drive is it could take several hours to a day to repair. Don't rely on the drive if HDD Regenerator can revive it, just back it up and replace it. I've used this method to salvage four hard drives. I don't recall if HDD Regenerator is bootable on a Mac, you may need to do this on a PC.

This is pretty good advice. However, be aware that in cases where a hard drive has started to fail, EVERY time you power it up there's a chance you'll make the problem worse. If you're not sure what you're doing, you MAY be better off taking it somewhere that's set up to deal with these issues and understands the considerations.

Of course, if you've got the data backed up somewhere else and you're keen to learn from the experience, then go for it.

lenman74
21st July 2010, 09:41 PM
Hi my external hard disc containing our itunes library and, worst, my collection of installer Cd and DVD .iso's (including my copy of discwarrior) wont show up on the desktop or in disc utility.

Is there anything I can do to try and retrieve data from a disc I can't see.

???

Cheers
Lemn

Currawong
21st July 2010, 09:49 PM
lenman74: With any luck, it's just the case that's dead, and not the disk. You'll have to pull apart or have the external drive pulled apart and the drive itself put in a working case to find out.

lenman74
21st July 2010, 10:02 PM
lenman74: With any luck, it's just the case that's dead, and not the disk. You'll have to pull apart or have the external drive pulled apart and the drive itself put in a working case to find out.

That sounds hopeful!!!

I did notice that it does power up and I can hear it spinning away. Would that count against this hopeful theory? Maybe its just the USB interface?

Going to try a new cable now for what its worth.

Thanks

Len

EDIT: It seems to be the cable!!!!! Just regular old black usb cable that came with the disc I think seems to have been the problem.

Now I need to include the discs volume in time machine backups! lesson learnt!

stewiesno1
22nd July 2010, 09:34 AM
What external enclosures are these hard drives currently installed into harps and lenman74 and are they powered by the USB or FW bus or by a separate AC adapter?

Stewie

soulman
22nd July 2010, 11:33 AM
About the only utility that has a chance of repairing the directory damage -- assuming it is a locally-connected (USB or FireWire only) HFS Extended volume -- is Alsoft DiskWarrior.Somewhat OT but related, I notice that TechToolPro has a directory repair option too now. I've never used it for that - I have both but use DW - but was wondering what your opinion on TTP for disk repair is.

stewiesno1
22nd July 2010, 01:39 PM
I use both ( DW 2 and 3 , TTPro 2, 3 and 4 for OS10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5) but for hard disc problems I still prefer DW. It just seems to be able to fix more HD related problems and mount failing drives ( enough so that you can at least retrieve data ) better than TTP.
I have even had problems where TTPro has actually made the problem worse.
TTPro is very good at most other hardware related problems though and I'm glad I have both ( as are lots of my Mac using friends and family that I have helped over the years)
Drive genius is also another that comes highly recommended ( at least by one of my mates anyway ) for HD problems although I've only used the original version 1 and not the later 2 or 3 which are supposedly much better.
Apple uses a DG lite ( I think that's what it is called ) in their Apple Genius bars as part of their evaluation tests.

Stewie

soulman
22nd July 2010, 01:48 PM
Good info Stewie, thanks! I do like TTP's SMART testing - it's the only one I've seen that tells you (a) what it is testing and (b) how well the drive does with each test. It's just a shame you can't SMART test externals.