How to recover deleted HFS+ partition

The main task of Disk Drill is the recovery of deleted data. To do this, the software scans all internal or external drives, flash drives (if connected), memory cards, iOS or Android devices, searching and displaying a visual list of files available for recovery. Disk Drill supports HFS/HFS+, FAT, NTFS, and other file systems, so it’s actually “omnivorous.” There is no guarantee that an image, audio/video file, any other document, or entire folder will be found. However, if the missing data were deleted recently, the chances for recovery are quite high.

If you delete files on HFS+ drives, all their metadata is lost, i.e. name, location, size, and other parameters. Fortunately, these files are, actually, still on the hard drive (as ones and zeros), so they can still be recovered. The only condition that prevents recovery, in some cases, is that this space on the disk must not be overwritten. This is where Recovery Vault may be useful – when it’s activated, the program starts saving metadata of all files, deleted on your computer.

Recovery Vault

If your hard drive is protected with Recovery Vault technology, Disk Drill will track the changes and save metadata of the HFS file system. So if you ever accidentally delete your favorite video game’s file, Recovery Vault will provide you with a much more reliable and faster way, before it’s too late. Sounds cool, right? However, there are still some cases when file recovery is impossible, but with Recovery Vault, you have much better chances to succeed.

Now, if you accidentally delete any information from your Mac, your chances of recovering it will be much higher. Recovery Vault does not take up extra space on your hard drive, neither does it affect your computer’s performance – it’s just a preventive measure to avoid losing important data.

However, you do not have to use Recovery Vault at all – you can recover your data from any file system, including HFS+, FAT, and NTFS, such as external HDDs, USB drives, memory cards, iPod classic, etc. For this, simply enter the Recover Data mode, select a disk, and specify the recovery method.

Disk Drill Modes and Modules

So, how to recover deleted HFS+ partition? There are several modes to choose from, including Quick Scan and Deep Scan, search for lost partitions, HFS+ directory recovery. And when the required object is found, you just tick it, click “Recover,” and enjoy your happiness (promising yourself to think twice the next time you delete something).

Disk Drill is packed with 3 SSD recovery modules, designed specifically for HFS+ partitions:

  • Directory rebuilding for HFS+;
  • Remote HFS+ partition search;
  • HFS+ extraction.

Everything works fast and efficiently, bringing Mac OS X to its normal condition.

How to Restore HFS+ Data with Disk Drill

  1. First of all, be careful not to accidentally format your disk. Windows will most likely offer to format any connected Mac drive – in this case, click “Cancel” in the pop-up window. Disk Drill can recover HFS files and canceling the formatting will significantly increase your chances to recover your files.

Usually, Windows will display a formatting dialog box for any partition that the system can’t read. Disk Drill will not start automatically – you will have to close the message from Windows and manually open the HFS recovery application.

  1. After you cancel the formatting, Windows will warn you that the system can’t read the disk. But don’t worry – this way, the system just confirms what we already know. The point is that you need a special driver to read Mac drives and recover HFS files in Windows. But Disk Drill already has built-in HFS, HFS +, and HFS-Plus drivers, thus you can safely ignore the warning.

  2. In addition, Disk Drill has one important free option that has everything you need to recover Windows HFS files. This application offers advanced data recovery features that work with any HFS+ system – you just open the utility and choose one of two simple options to recover HFS data. By default, Disk Drill performs universal recovery of everything to recover as many files as possible. You can also customize the program to perform “Universal Partition Search,” in case you need customized data recovery.

Disk Drill scans your HFS, HFS+, or HFS-Plus drive to recover deleted files wherever they are and provides a list of everything on it. After that, you can check the list and choose certain HFS files you want to recover. Moreover, you can use special filters to remove unwanted system files from the list.

An important feature of Disk Drill is the ability to create a copy of whole disks or damaged partitions in DMG format for further search of necessary files.

Before recovering a file with Disk Drill, you can do a quick preview using the native Quick Look command. Additional filters will help you detect certain types of files with specific attributes.

The utility allows you to pause Deep Scan at any time and continue its work when you need it. Finally, the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring tools warn you about the possible pre-emergency state of your hard drive.

In fact, this is just a couple of features from the entire arsenal of Disk Drill features. For example, you have an old IDE disk at home, and you want to connect it to your Mac to see your old files. If the disk file system is NTFS, and you also formatted it, Disk Drill will engage data recovery anyway. The most wonderful thing is that you will most likely be able to look at your old files. It’s true that some of them will be distorted or unreadable but the fact that they can be recovered is still pleasant. Disk Drill is a very “talented” utility.


About the Author

Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.