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Jintan September 16th, 2019 11:44 AM

Imac data
I need to get the data from a hard drive I took from an Imac, but I only have Windows systems to connect to. When I connect it to a computer using an adapter, the drive itself doesn't show in Explorer, and in AOMEI instead of NTFS it just says "Other". Any help is welcome.

Buzz September 16th, 2019 05:22 PM

It is possible :)

Mac drives are formatted HFS+ in most instances. By default Windows won't read them (as you've discovered). This is the same way in reverse too.. Macs don't, by default read NTFS formatted drives.

There are a number of utilities for Windows which will allow you to read HFS formatted drives.

Check this link:

I can't endorse anything specifically because I use Mac systems and therefore have never directly needed a translator for Windows.

Jintan September 17th, 2019 01:08 PM

Thanks Buzz. Unfortunately HFSExplorer is not seeing any HFS+ no matter what I have tried. And trying to put the Imac back together, but have yet to figure out how to get the screws past the darn magnetized sides. Every time I approach a screw hole the screw gets grabbed by the magnet.

Weird enough I had to use a puller to take the front screen off.

MishY September 17th, 2019 06:55 PM

Try an Ubuntu live cd?

Jintan September 18th, 2019 01:03 PM

Thanks Mishy, I'll give that a try. No success, I'm going to pull the plug on this adventure. Still haven't figured out how to get the screws back in when they are surrounded by magnets.

MishY September 19th, 2019 06:15 PM

Is it IDE or SATA? Does the bios recognise it?

Jintan September 20th, 2019 11:02 AM

Sata. It shows in Device Manager, and I even rebooted with it connected. I dug out an old Mac Mini I had in my junk, but it has a file system problem (question mark on bootup) and I just don't want to fix it as well.

MishY September 20th, 2019 06:35 PM

Dunno if this worth a shot

Jintan September 21st, 2019 11:39 AM

This honestly needs to be done by someone with more Apple knowledge and an Apple pc. I tried the trial version of Paragon's HFS+:

It only sees some Recovery partition. I assume, based on my Windows knowing, that maybe the actual 500 GB drive file system is corrupted. Either way I don't want to chance messing things up.

MishY September 21st, 2019 07:43 PM

Don't take my word for it, but I think I read on their site you could rebuild the GPT. Probably not on free version though ...

Buzz September 22nd, 2019 06:56 PM

Actually... I've never encountered an HDD that was "rebuildable" without destroying some data. So it really depends on WHAT data you want.

If it's stuff like email or user data, rebuilding anything will most likely destroy that.

If it's files, such as Word docs, photos, etc.. rebuilding typically won't harm those. IF it's done correctly. Of course, wiping the drive to reinstall an OS will destroy everything.

BUT.. being "bootable" and being a viable drive are two entirely separate things on the Mac. Just because a drive is not bootable does not automatically mean the drive is in need of repair. A drive with no OS on it won't be bootable.. but if it's just a data drive, it could still be a good drive. The fact that there IS "recovery Partition" would indicate it has some flavor of OS 10 on the drive.

Since you see the Recovery Partition.. boot to it.....

Hold down the R key when booting up the Mac. It should boot to the Recovery partition and then you can use Disk Utility to try and repair the file structure of the primary partition. (Sometimes you need to hold Command+R .. depends upon the model and keyboard.)

You can also hold down the Option/Alt key when booting.. this will show you all available boot drives/partitions... use teh arrow keys to move to a drive/partitiona dn hit Enter/Return to boot to that drive/partition.

Also.. the "?" could mean something as simple as the OS which is on the drive is not compatible with the firmware of the Mac you are trying to use. i.e. drive has OS 10.4 on it, but the Mac requires OS 10.5 to boot.. or the mac is not capable of supporting OS 10.

In many instances you can reinstall the same OS over the existing OS... i.e. install 10.4.3 over 10.4.3 -- there will generally repair the OS file structure and retain as much as possible.

If you have an old mac around, I'd boot that Mac normally and connect the drive as an external, via USB, a Dock, or something. THAT will tell you far more than anything else. Even if the OS is incompatible, if the drive is good, it'll mount -- and you cna then pull data from it.

I can't really venture into how to salvage anything using a 'Doze/'nix system. it's never been my thing.

On my Macs I've had great success with Stellar Phoenix. I don't know if they offer a free trial or not, I think they might.. at least to scan and see what may recoverable. Be aware, depending upon drive size the scan can take days.. 500GB isn't that bad though. It's when you hit 3+TB that it's sloooooooow.

There are things you can do with a Mac and the drive connected externally if that's a possibility. I don't want to go into all of that if it's simply not an option.

Jintan January 11th, 2020 04:56 PM

Well, I guess I now own this Imac. The owner never did return to do anything further. So now I have to decide what I want to do with it. It works, but I assume it has a dated Apple OS available.

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