Okay. So long story short, I was working in Adobe Premiere yesterday and saved a video to my external hard drive and it ended up being over 1GB. I began to drag it to another folder and Finder crashes. I leave it for about 10 minutes and nothing. So I force closed Finder.

Only then, a folder of 15,000 photos (the one I tried dragging the video to) got deleted. At the time I noticed that the Google Photos Uploader app (which is connected to the folder) had it's contents deleted, so the app didn't work. And then I discovered the same thing happened to Adobe Lightroom. So. Everything's gone.

I tried out DiskDrill and nothing really turned up. Currently waiting on its deep search recovery -- so far nothing. I also tried out TestDisk. It seems more promising to produce results...but when I navigated to the right spot to "undelete" files it said there was nothing to undelete.

So. Is there anything I haven't tried or am I as hopeless* as mashed potatoes?

*Note: I actually have everything backed up to Google Photos, so it's not the worst thing in the world. But it took a week to upload and could take just as long to download...

1 Answer 1


Ugh - Do you know specifically if you used Finder to move a folder within one volume or copy the contents to another volume?

If you were copying, boot to recovery and run Disk Utility or power off and run file recovery software like Data Rescue.

If you were moving, then finder can't have caused the issue - force quit or not. Look at backing things up immediately and checking the drive / Disk Utility or hardware test.

Also - you might want to be sure you have Journaling enabled on all the drives in question. That will save you hours of check time when things crash - you might lose a file, but the loss will be quick and then you can move to restore things from the cloud or the backup.

  • No, it wasn't copying. The files were all on the external drive. I tried using the Disk Utility and it get me anywhere. Actually, I even tried repairing the disk and it threw unknown errors. I'm not sure what Journaling is, but I will Google it. However, I did check the console from when it crashed. Still combing through the data, but I haven't seen anything related to when it crashed. Just everything before and after...
    – Perry
    Aug 21, 2015 at 16:07
  • @Perry UGH - so sorry. When I have room, I hold option down to force a copy - but I have learned over time to not use Finder for long running tasks. It doesn't resume well, doesn't handle failures well. I'm much happier with Transmit or rsync
    – bmike
    Aug 21, 2015 at 16:08
  • Someone else told me about Transmit. I think I'm going to start using that. Finder has been crashing a lot lately... Anyway. Thanks for you help! I think I'll just accept my fate and move on with life.
    – Perry
    Aug 21, 2015 at 16:10
  • I hate losing time - can't get it back. Losing files is even worse...
    – bmike
    Aug 21, 2015 at 16:12

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