How I Recovered a Dead iMac Hard Disk

Ugh! I finished work one night and it was time to do my nightly Time Machine backup. I started it up and walked away. When I returned a half hour later, I saw the bad news.

The Mac OS had detected “SMART” errors on my hard disk. It told me in no uncertain terms that I must save the contents of the failed drive to a backup and replace it! It gave me no other options. Moreover, it had helpfully disabled Time Machine, so I could’t use it to do the backup!

The story has a happy ending, but the road to recovery is what is interesting. It required three hard disk utility programs on two platforms. The winning combo was:

  • Super Duper (Macintosh)
  • DiskWarrior (Macintosh)
  • Spinrite (DOS; Wayback Machine required)

Here’s the story...

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