Has anyone successfully recovered stuff off a dead hard drive? - The Thread!


nice one. ill have a read through @stickboy’s link but im not going to do owt tonight anyway


I’d be wary of any reformatting that leaves the data intact. The only safe option is to copy the data off the HDD and then reformat the entire disk.

What you need to know.

Microsoft has two formats : FAT32 and NTFS.
Apple has two formats : HFS+ and the new APFS.

I expect your Apple disks are HFS+ as APFS has only been around since 2017 (according to Wikipedia)

You can do the following wihout installing any special tools or drivers
FAT32 disks : read/write on Windows OS and Apple OS.
NTFS disks : read/write on Windows. read only on Apple.
HFS+ disks : cannot read/write on Windows. read/write on Apple.

As you want to copy data from a HFS+ HDD onto a Windows PC, you will have to install Apple drivers or the HFSExporer on your PC to read the disk (no writing allowed, but not an issue for you), This just so happens to be the top two options in @stickboy’s link. I’ve never tried the driver option, but I have installed HFSExplorer and it was easy to use with no problems.

Hope that helps. Finally, I have a permanent portable drive formatted as FAT32 so I can transfer files between Apple and Windows PCs. The only constraint is that FAT32 has a file size limit of 4GB.


Yeah this hard drive is waaaay older than 2017, so that’ll be it. Much appreciated, I’ll give this a bash, wish me luck!


There is a 3rd option that I alluded to. You can buy a portable hard drive and format to FAT32. Then use an Apple PC to transfer data from the old drives to the new drive. Copy from new drive to Windows PC. Rinse and repeat.


If both the USB ports worked on my old MacBook I might do this but there we go :grinning:


hello again

this has worked perfectly for one of my external hard drives but not the other. its giving me the error message

so im assuming its FAT32? but then i should be able to read/write on my windows machine innit. hmmmmmm

maybe the best way is just to borrow someone elses mac and stick it all on wetransfer or summat. idk


There’s no harm in plugging in that drive to the laptop. Give it a go.


oh aye i have, nothing doing. ill have another fiddle tomorrow, see what i can see