I accidentally formatted an exFAT partition to OS X journaled on MacBook Pro and lost data, how to recover?

  • 1
    Restore from backup. Or use a data rescue tool and hope for the best – nohillside Mar 18 '18 at 19:01
  • There are so many questions on here about "I partitioned x y z and lost my data" Could clicking on the "partition" button first bring up a dialogue box with "Have you backed up before you do this???" – Solar Mike Mar 18 '18 at 21:01

If you haven't done anything else to the disk besides reformatting it, if you haven't copied any other data to the drive, then you will likely be able to get most if not all of the data back using a data recovery tool.

However, because the drive's original format was a PC format, you'll want to use a PC data recovery tool, not a Mac one. Something that can recover deleted files. You may get a messy jumble of pervious versions of saved files too, that's just the nature of recovering deleted files.

On the Mac, something like DataRescue works very well. But you need to do this on a PC to read the PC formatted drive.

  • You said, "But you need to do this on a PC to read the PC formatted drive.", well the drive has been reformatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) so it is no longer a "PC formatted drive"! – user3439894 Mar 18 '18 at 23:52
  • Correct but the data that he is seeking is still from the FAT formatting. So a deleted file scan on a PC should be able to find more data than trying to use a Mac utility that is made to look for HFS files on HFS volumes. – l008com Mar 19 '18 at 7:38
  • ExFAT uses a single file allocation table which gets completely overwritten when reformatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), so with the right recovery software (e.g. Ontrack® EasyRecovery™ Professional) it's not going to matter what OS it's recovered under as in all likelihood RAW Recovery will probably have to be used anyway. So IMO your statement "But you need to do this on a PC to read the PC formatted drive." is not true! – user3439894 Mar 22 '18 at 11:09

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