My external drive got unplugged by accident while moving files from the internal SSD to the external drive, resulting in some files getting deleted on the SSD and not getting written on the external drive.

I tried to recover these files on the SSD by using Disk Drill, File Salvage, EaseUS Data Recovery and Techtool Pro 11, unfortunately without success.

(I ran the software immediately after discovering the issue, because I know that if I continued using the Macbook, there would be risk that the OS would overwrite my files.)

Can someone tell me: why is it so difficult to recover the files, and what else can I do to recover the data?

NOTES: (1) I already have the programs installed when I tried to do the recovery. That's because I previously had a similar problem and gave up on recovering the files after those recovery software did not work (2) my SSD is 256GB and after the transfer I had 13GB of space available. (3) I don't have a backup. I wish I did (;-( ;-()

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    From the 4 versions of this question so far, one piece of info we have never seen is how big is your internal drive & how much room is left on it? My machine is showing almost 1TB of writes in under 5 days, so just because you don't think you are writing to the drive, your machine doesn't know you don't want it to. The simplest answer to all of this would have been "get it from your backup". – Tetsujin Jul 17 at 13:35
  • @tetsujin I edited the question to provide the info you required. Also can I ask how did you know your machine was reporting 1TB of writes? Maybe i can check mine, that might give the answer – forgodsakehold Jul 17 at 13:50
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    Activity Monitor [Apps/Utilities]. The chances of it not having overwritten 13GB are tiny. You might have got away with it if you'd shut the machine down immediately & attached the drive to another machine to recover. – Tetsujin Jul 17 at 13:51
  • @Testsujin will it make a difference if I left the machine on but closed the Macbook? – forgodsakehold Jul 17 at 15:19
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    A matter of degrees - of my figures above, almost 400GB was written by system services just going about their daily routines. I figure you probably ought to forget about those files by now & save future worries by making sure you have a sensible & reliable backup strategy in future. Additionally, don't keep your drives so full. You really ought to give any drive & especially SSDs at least 20% breathing room. – Tetsujin Jul 17 at 15:43

You should try Stellar Data Recovery app. I lost data on my internal SSD and this helped me get it back. It sounds from the comments that your data may have been overwritten already, but this app is a free* download and may help you confirm this.

* Download the free trial version to scan & preview all the lost files and folder. Currently the Professional version is $79.99 USD.

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