I have a late 2014 15.6" Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt 2, on which I accidentally wiped the entire partition table, including Recovery HD (yeah, I was stupid). There's some data on it that I kind of want (nothing super important though). I haven't had any luck recovering the data with freely available tools (I tried a few things on Linux live USBs, and I also tried the Disk Drill MacOS USB, which saw nothing), so I was trying to demo the R-Studio data recovery software to see if it could find the lost partitions and files. However, the USB wouldn't boot on the old laptop, and the tech support guy at R-Studio said the only way I could do it was to run R-Studio on another Mac and read the drive using Target Disk Mode.

If I buy a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter and a Thunderbolt 2 cable, would I be able to use Target Disk Mode from my 2017 15" Thunderbolt-3-equipped work laptop? And would this in fact give the level of hardware access needed for lost partition/lost file recovery?

I feel like the data has to still be there in some form, because I haven't written anything to the disk since I borked it up.

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    Can you make a recovery USB disk from your working Mac, and then use that to boot into recovery mode on the non-working Mac? I am interested in seeing what Mac Disk Utility has to say about your situation Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 0:54
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    From what I was able to find on a quick Google search, third-parties claim this is possible mbsdirect.com/mbs-blog/… Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 0:57
  • Disk utility sees nothing useful, and isn't able to repair what I did. What I did was omit "sN" after "disk0" while trying to make a container. So I just made a container that contained the entire drive, deleting all the partitions that were there previously. I can boot into recovery mode using Internet Recovery Mode, which I did, but Disk Utility wasn't much use. It says that there is one container with no partitions in it. But that doesn't help me recover what I had before.
    – Zorgoth
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


Yes, that should work. I recall that working for me with a similar situation in the past.

Here's a couple links that might help.



  • I ordered the cables. Fingers crossed... (I'm more worried about whether R-Studio will find anything than whether target disk mode will work at this point)
    – Zorgoth
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 5:17

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