I was having some issues with my Mac so I booted into recovery mode and made an image of my internal SSD drive to a .dmg compressed format and then saved it to my external SSD.
Then I erased the Mac and did a clean install of Mac OS.

The issue is now when I'm opening up the Mac dmg backup I can't find any of my files even though it says it is 112gb disk image. Is the 112gb just empty space?
When I mount the .dmg It opens three folders; VM, recovery and preboot and these are only have around 1gb of data in each.

Where are the other 100 GB worth of files? Maybe I have done something wrong. I just want to know what is going on.

EDIT - I have managed to find my files the drive was in APFS format so I downloaded EaseUs data recovery, after trying loads of software this one deals with APFS. Thanks goodness I didn't delete my files.

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    Did you not visually verify the contents of the DMG before erasing the drive? – user3439894 Aug 16 '20 at 16:49
  • I couldn't because I only have one Macbook, and the SSD is formatted to work on apple PC's. I have no idea what files are in there if any. Is it possible it's 112gb of nothing? I mean I thought it must have my files in it because that's how much GBs my files were taking up. – Sam Aug 16 '20 at 16:53
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    This doesn‘t seem to be a DMG but rather a full disk image, so your data may still be in there somewhere. How exactly did you create it? – nohillside Aug 16 '20 at 16:54
  • Basically I went into recovery mode holding down command and R when booting then I went into disk utility and the file and then new image from and chose my SSD. It took around 1 hour (which I thought was pretty short tbh) then I reinstalled my Mac. then I couldn't find my files when loading the DMG, perhaps its some sort of empty space but I'm not sure if that's possible. I have bought a new USB stick 128gbs and now I'm trying to convert the file to read and write on my usb, but i'm not sure if that will do anything at all. – Sam Aug 16 '20 at 16:59
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    If you have thoroughly examined the contents of the DMG and it does not contain your files then it's of no use, but without seeing it I'm not going to tell you to delete it, especially if that's the only backup you have. – user3439894 Aug 16 '20 at 17:34

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