Rescue data from a Mac that won't start anymore
My wifes macbook didn't start anymore, it tried but went into the same error again and again. This is how I got the data from the old hard drive.
- Get yourself a drive to rescue the files to (we will call it
LIFEBOAT). Connect it to the mac.
- Enter Recovery mode by pressing
- Get yourself a terminal (in the upper menu under "Utilities").
- Make sure
LIFEBOATcan be found under
- Make sure your userdata is in
- Copy the files you need to the
LIFEBOATwith a simple
- Close the Terminal (
CMD-Q) and shut down the Mac.
The critical step is clearly step 5. If the data is not there, I have no idea what to do.
The mac I used was running an old version of OSX (Mavericks) and I think in the newer ones the files might be encrypted.
I did have two backup plans:
- Try to find whatever is left from the files with TestDisk, perhaps after copying the drive to make sure I don't destroy anything by excident. This was a recommendation of Pascal and David.
- Pay someone to rescue as much data as possible. There are companies for this.
In the end I was very glad to get everything back.