How To Recover a Deleted Partition On Mac OS X

If you no longer see your familiar volumes in Finder, and newly existing ones appear to be empty or cleared, you might have lost your partitions. While this may lead to the complete data erasure, if you act fast Disk Drill may be able to help you recover lost partitions on your Mac.

If a partition cannot be accessed, Disk Drill will attempt to locate and rebuild it using several powerful tools. The first is Universal Partition Search, which can recover deleted partitions on Mac HFS+ volumes - plus FAT and NTFS volumes - and will create a virtual partition for any that are found. The second is Scan for Lost HFS+ Partition, which finds and rebuilds HFS+ partitions on your Mac, if they have been reformatted. And finally, there is Rebuild HFS+ Catalog File, which can rebuild the catalog of an HFS+ partition that won't mount correctly. These features combine for unparalleled support of partition recovery for Mac OS X.

Once you have located or rebuilt the catalog of the lost partition, you can proceed with data recovery. While you won't be able to recover your partitions exactly as they were, you may still get your valuable data back. Below is an overview of the steps you can take with our OS X partition recovery software. For detailed tutorials, see How to Install Disk Drill and How to Recover Lost Files with Disk Drill Basic in our Knowledgebase.

#1 Install Disk Drill

Once you have downloaded Disk Drill partition recovery software by CleverFiles, you can add it to the dock right from your Applications menu. This will let you launch Disk Drill quickly whenever you need to recover your data or change your settings.

#2 Connect External Drive

If you are recovering a lost partition from an external drive (USB drive, smart card, etc.), go ahead and connect it now. Even if you are recover a lost partition from your Mac's internal hard drive, you may still want to have an external drive to save data to. Then launch the Disk Drill app.

#3 Select the Disk to Recover Lost Partitions

Once Disk Drill opens, you will be shown the list of available disks. Select the disk you wish to recover a lost partition from. Click the "Recover" (or it may say "Rebuild") button next to the main disk name, rather than selecting any individual partitions below it.

#4 Alternatively: Select Unpartitioned Space

Sometimes you will want to recover data only in an unpartitioned disk space. This may happen when not all partitions are lost or erroneously formatted. First, click and select the disk as you did in step #3. Then click and select the newly appeared unpartitioned space (it will be shown as a separate partition titled "Unallocated" or "Not partitioned"). This means that Disk Drill will only scan and search for lost data in disk space which is not partitioned. The actual data is probably still there untouched and recoverable, but that depends on many factors.

#5 Scan and Relax

Make sure you have selected the whole disk or unpartitioned space. Now click Recover (or Rebuild). The scanning may take some time. Just sit back and relax until it completes. Partitions that are found will immediately be scanned for lost files and folders.

#6 Review & Recover Found Data

Everything Disk Drill finds after scanning will be displayed in the resulting dialog. You must preview the files by clicking the "eye" icon next to the name in order to determine if the file is fully recoverable or if it is corrupt. In case of deep scanning, the original file names are most probably lost, so you might need to go through the whole list of found items to locate the ones you need. Once you have identifies the files you want, check the box next to their name, select the destination folder and click "Recover" to complete Mac recovery of your partition.

#7 Prevent Partition Loss with Recovery Vault

If you enable Recovery Vault to protect your drives in Disk Drill, your files will be recovered much faster and with much higher accuracy. If you ever need to perform OS X partition recovery on your hard drive, the Recovery Vault database will be found during scanning and you will be able to recover your files using our award-winning unique Mac recovery partition software.

That's it! You now know how to perform partition recovery for Mac OS X. Why not download the free Disk Drill Basic today and give it a try? Also, download Disk Drill free data recovery software for Windows PC.

I'm so glad with Disk Drill I can recover my files now! I'm losing/deleting things all the time :P Try it :) - James Thornton-Mason