I have accidentally deleted some files on my Mac OS X Mavericks. Actually, I was trying to burn an .img file to my flash drive which was located at /dev/disk1 (at the same time I had connected a NTFS External Hard disk to my Mac). So I used dd command to flash these files and don't know how, but the flash drive was now located at /dev/disk2 and at disk1 the hard disk was mounted. So I accidentally flashed that .img file to my hard disk and lost around 100gb of data.

Now I scanned my hard disk with Disk Drill v1 Enterprise and found some lost partitions (there are around 5 partitions around 10mb each). When I deep scan the hard disk with Disk Drill, It displays all the files but with lost file name and directory structure. But I badly need that.

So guys please help me to recover these files properly based on its file structure (Like Recuva do in Windows). Also recommend me some kind of utility (free preferred) that can recover my files while keeping original directory structure.

  • 1
    You are asking for a lot and IMHO too much. You gotta try Data Rescue and ask yourself if those 100 GB are worth $100.
    – Andrew U.
    Jan 3, 2014 at 8:20
  • @Daman Hi, How did the files recover from the NTFS partition?
    – joseluisbz
    Jan 19, 2020 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


You'll want to decide to use a Mac based program like Data Rescue which offers a free preview to see if your data is retrievable:

Alternatively, you could take the external drive and connect it to Windows based software and use that OS and tool to try to effect a recovery:

Worst case, you can seek professional help from various services, but since you asked for free that will limit severely the quality of the software as well as potentially the experience of the assistance available to you.

If you know the exact dd command, that will inform you as to how much of the NTFS data was overwritten and whether or not some tools will be better suited to help recover files from the unwritten portion of the drive. I would say you might have better luck with tools designed for NTFS as opposed to the Mac software as the erasing OS has less to do with recovery than the OS that created the files and filesystem in the first place.


I just lost 4 years of computer code when copying from my 2018 MacBook Pro to my 4TB SSD.

I think I pulled the plug mid-operation, and several folders were lost.

I downloaded DiskDrill onto the SSD, executed the .dmg, dragged the .app not into my Applications folder but onto the SSD, executed it from there, and followed the prompts to allow it access to my system.

Then I ran a scan on my MacBook's drive.

After the scan was completed it prompted me to allow SIP to perform a deeper scan, but I didn't need this. I simply went to "Inspect results" and could see my deleted folders.

I select them, click "Restore", and select my 4TB external SSD. I should have clicked "Select folder" and created a recovered_files/ folder, as it restored them to the root of the SSD.

Anyway, it took about 20 mins to recover some 35GB, and worked a charm. I'm looking through the recovered files, mostly .cpp, .py, .sh, etc., and it's all there!

I was expecting some paywall, but no, it just did it for free. I will investigate whether I can offer a donation.

If this sounds like a product endorsement, I suppose it is! I've got my files back. +1 to the Disk Drill people.

PS I am shocked that drag-dropping a folder from one drive to another resulted in apparent data loss. I've just tested off my new MacBook Pro, and it copies the files. So I don't know how macOS was able to lose these folders.

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