2

I have an external 2TB hard drive with one HFS+ partition, and accidentally dd'ed over the first ~500 MB of it. I have carelessly placed some new partitions in an attempt to repair it, because I had an online backup in case things went south. The backup fell through, though, and I have to recover the data from this drive now. The readable data in the partition table is most likely unusable or misleading.

I have tried running Testdisk and placing the partition using pdisk and this guide, without success. I don't know anything about the partitioning before the accidental dd except that I selected the standard options for HFS+ from Disk Utility for it and used all the space on the drive.

Is there a way to simply format the drive as a single HFS+ partition again, without losing all the data? How does HFS+ store its files and metadata, and will it be possible to recover the data this way?

Here is the log of what happened from the shell log:

$ diskutil list
[...]
/dev/disk2
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *2.0 TB     disk2
   1:                  Apple_HFS WD-40                   2.0 TB     disk2s1

$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
Unmount of all volumes on disk2 was successful

$ sudo dd if=/Users/Felix/Downloads/xubuntu-12.04.3-alternate-i386.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m
^C503+0 records in
502+0 records out
526385152 bytes transferred in 16.409358 secs (32078351 bytes/sec)
$ diskutil list
[...]
/dev/disk2
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *2.0 TB     disk2
   1:                       0x17                         715.1 MB   disk2s1

And the log from the Testdisk scan (Deeper Search), which I aborted at around 40% progress because the drive is so large:

[...]
LVM magic value at 31676/178/3

LVM magic value at 31685/19/35
Search for partition aborted

Results
     MS Data                354087269  354093442       6174
     NTFS found using backup sector, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
     MS Data                354093442  354099615       6174 [Boot]
     NTFS, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
   P MS Data                354099734  354120472      20739 [NO NAME]
     FAT12, blocksize=4096, 10 MB / 10 MiB
     MS Data                358938549  358944722       6174
     NTFS found using backup sector, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
     MS Data                358944722  358950895       6174 [Boot]
     NTFS, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
   P MS Data                358951010  358971748      20739 [NO NAME]
     FAT12, blocksize=4096, 10 MB / 10 MiB
     MS Data                363749573  363755746       6174
     NTFS found using backup sector, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
     MS Data                363755746  363761919       6174 [Boot]
     NTFS, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
   P MS Data                363762034  363782772      20739 [NO NAME]
     FAT12, blocksize=4096, 10 MB / 10 MiB
   P MS Data                371716138  371719017       2880 [EFISECTOR]
     FAT12, blocksize=512, 1474 KB / 1440 KiB
     MS Data                371720053  371726226       6174
     NTFS found using backup sector, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
     MS Data                371726226  371732399       6174 [Boot]
     NTFS, blocksize=512, 3161 KB / 3087 KiB
   P MS Data                377878122  377881001       2880 [EFISECTOR]
     FAT12, blocksize=512, 1474 KB / 1440 KiB
   P MS Data                377881002  377883881       2880 [EFISECTOR]
     FAT12, blocksize=512, 1474 KB / 1440 KiB
   P MS Data                421662274  421665153       2880 [EFISECTOR]
     FAT12, blocksize=512, 1474 KB / 1440 KiB
     MS Data                421674913
1

Since the table has most likely been written over, scanning for the files and backing them up that way is probably the only option. DataRescue is one of the more popular ones.

1

Don't write any more data to that filesystem or drive. You might try if DiskWarrior can scavenge some of the HFS filesystem metadata, but a program like Data Rescue is your best bet for recovering all of the files that are still intact without needing any filesystem metadata.

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