How do I recover deleted HFS+ partitions in Windows 7?


I believe my 2tb external USB 3.0 hard drive has been corrupted (just the filesystem) and after trying to create a backup of my 200gb Steam games collection, the computer crashed halfway through. The culprit is the dying drive my games were on (hence my attempt to move them to the external for backup). I rebooted to only find that my hard drive was corrupt. The partitions were fine except it read as RAW not HFS+ (running Windows 7 64-bit and Macdrive).

I attempted to recover data using gparted live cd and testdisk. Unfortunately I'm now left with no partitions and a "bare" drive according to Windows. I have not written any data ontop of the drive other than attempting to recover the partition map. I assume my files are intact.

I have 1.2tb worth of data stored on the drive and this is important because one of the files contains every single file from my iMac before i wiped it and sold it. This file is a direct file copy (.dmg compressed) of that computer. Planning to restore to a new mac once I buy one.

Included is all of my photography work, music, movies, and other various precious files that make up my digital life. most of it irreplaceable.

Is it possible to restore the partition map from Windows or bootable disc?
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  1. Do you have a backup of the partition table? If not Im afraid I'm not aware of any software that can generate a new one for you.

    The only thing I can suggest that I have had experiance with myself is attempting to recover the files from the RAW partitions. There are some software solutions capable of this, Ontrack Data Recovery being one I have used and can recommend.
  2. Well I wouldn't know. I'm currently running an extended search (cylinder by cylinder) in testdisk, attempting to find remnants of my old partition.

    As far as I've experienced, I've been able to recover partitions I've wiped before without making a manual backup. I'm just at a loss here because this is a volatile (to Windows that is) HFS+ partition and not NTFS or FAT.

    Anyways I would like to know if I'm near 100% correct in that even if I were to create a new RAW partition from within Windows, I would be able to recover all of my files (another issue because I don't have a spare 1.2tb)? If there's any hope to automatically or even semi-manually recover the partition table, I would like to know. Otherwise I would like to continue to data recovery. For which I would also have the same questions of how.
  3. I have had a look into it and found that if you can get the partition information from testdisk then you may be able to recreate the partition table on a mac using pdisk.

    This is a bit out of my area of expertise but this link may be useful.
  4. is there a pdisk function in windows? if not, it will be a while before I can get ahold of a Mac that will work for this. Thank you for the link as I think it is 100% relevant and will help me greatly. This is promising!
  5. The closest I have found is

    This may actually be easier to use than pdisk.
  6. I'm puzzled. You were trying to use a HFS+ partition from a Windows installation? Windows won't even recognize the partitions on a Mac partitioned drive, let alone read the filesystem. Try connecting the drive to a Mac - it's probably fine (although if you have used any Windows partition or file recovery utilities on it it's probably corrupted now).
  7. ijack, as I mentioned in my first post;

    I am using Macdrive to read and write to HSF+ partitions as a means to access my data while I only had a Windows computer available to me. I have used this program for almost 2 years now and have never had any problem. I only encounter this issue now because I was writing to the drive when the computer locked up and was forced to restart the computer by cutting the power. (a last resort, mind you).
  8. Sorry, I missed that bit. I suppose you could try MacDrive Disk Manager, to see if it can repair the disk, but I prefer to use native tools for this sort of recovery work. I have an inherent distrust of these cross-platform utilities.

    Whatever you do, don't try to use native Windows utilities to try to repair this damage; that will almost certainly make the situation worse. You really need to use a Mac for this repair IMO.
  9. Could a virtualized OS X environment be a valid solution? I won't have a real mac system for some time (months!)

    Connect the USB drive virtually to the OS X environment and work on it from there?
  10. Yes, the link I posted above was using a OSX server VM.

    However getting OSX to run in VM can be a little bit painful.
  11. Leopard runs OK in VMWare.
  12. Ok so quick update with the next pitfall in my quest for file salvation.

    I have successfully installed my retail disc of OS X snow leopard and updated and installed all necessary drivers. The next speed bump is getting the USB drive recognized within the virtualbox machine.

    I cannot figure out how to add the USB enclosure. The drive is currently "unallocated" according to windows but is online, and connected and listed as a GPT disk as it should be.

    I need to add the USB device into the settings of the VM because it won't automatically recognize it. Can I use windows to find all the needed info?

    Below is the info needed:
    Vendor ID
    Product ID
    Serial NO

    Is there a way to list all this? Properties of the drive from disk manager didn't reveal anything usefull other than VID and PID. The port won't work as it isn't listed properly (I think).

    The issue is it's a Rosewill USB 3.0 external enclosure with a 2tb hard drive I bought to put in it. And it comes up as "Generic USB 3". I have it running in USB 2 right now btw. If that helps.
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