In less than 2 months, Finder has managed to corrupt 2 external hard drives and make the data inaccessible. First time I gave Apple the benefit of the doubt, but when it happened AGAIN on another drive after Finder became unresponsive when trying to unmount... I blame APPLE on my pain. Anyways, the data is still there as I can see from a data recovery program, but I have to pay to recover all the data.

Here's my question: How can I do this on my own? The data recovery software is able to find my files by scanning the raw data on the disk. If I could figure out what tools or commands it uses, then i'd be able to do it on my own.

Some research suggests booting my machine on kali Linux, then using the DD command to access the data. Anyone familiar with this?

Big Sur 11.0.1 External volume: HDD APFS


1 Answer 1


Here's how to do this:

  1. Create bootable USB Stick for Ubuntu:

    If you have a Mac that has a T2 chip, you must first allow the computer to start from other removable media.

  2. Once you get Ubuntu running, go to "software & updates" and select everything or you will not get the required community-maintained packages when doing "sudo apt update"

  3. Now we install something called APFS-fuse, which allows Ubuntu to mount and read drives that have been formatted with Apple's APFS file system

  4. run sudo apt remove zsys or you will get an error later

  5. run (source: https://linuxnewbieguide.org/how-to-mount-macos-apfs-disk-volumes-in-linux/)

    sudo apt install libicu-dev bzip2 cmake libz-dev libbz2-dev fuse3 libfuse3-3 libfuse3-dev clang git libattr1-dev

    git clone https://github.com/sgan81/apfs-fuse.git

    cd apfs-fuse

    git submodule init

    git submodule update

    mkdir build

    cd build

    cmake ..


    sudo cp apfs-* /usr/local/bin

  6. Run sudo fdisk -l and find the identifier of your disk. Say its "sdb1"

  7. sudo mkdir -p /media/$(stat -f %Su)/macos

  8. Mount the disk:

    sudo apfs-fuse -o allow_other /dev/sdb1 /media/ubuntu/macos

    it will appear in the file viewer and you can see your files. Because you need Ubuntu to see files stored in a filesystem made by Apple...


You must log in to answer this question.