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Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: November 15, 2021 02:27PM
I just discovered that a particular folder on my Mac Pro is somehow missing... and yes, before anybody asks, I do have backups set up -- a nightly clone and also TM. The problem is that my TM backups apparently don't go far back enough to before when the folder went missing, and the nightly clone, well, it cloned the lack of a folder.

Probably I should have had a second backup where it was set to backup say, every week, instead of nightly... but is there any other way to recover this folder? (I'm still not at all clear on where the folder went -- I certainly didn't intentionally trash it. It is possible I inadvertently wiped it out when I copied/merged from my MBP to the Mac Pro -- that shouldn't have happened though, and if it did, it was a Finder glitch.)

TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: hal
Date: November 15, 2021 02:32PM
this isn't good - if it's been weeks since the folder was erased, I can't imagine it's recoverable. How far do your TM backups go?

Don't assume that it's gone - it may be oddly misplaced and not seen by a spotlight search. Perhaps try a different search tool and different ways of searching for it (by size, creation date or??)

good luck!
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: November 15, 2021 02:51PM
Ouch... been there!

What's happened to me before is, the folder gets dragged inadvertently into another folder.
Hope that helps, because I can't think of any other way it could be recoverable if you deleted it, and it's beyond the reach of TimeMachine.

For future planning, perhaps a significantly larger TimeMachine drive, or a "monthly" rotating clone set, or monthly clone to large NAS/Network volume might help.



Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
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Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: GGD
Date: November 15, 2021 03:00PM
I agree with above, if it looks like it disappeared by itself then there's a good possibility it was just accidentally moved or renamed.

Do a spotlight search for some of the files that would have been in that folder to see if it can be located "somewhere".

This recently happened to my wife, the folder's name was the current selection in the Finder when she asked me to "clean her keyboard". It got renamed to jibberish, but I found it via spotlight.
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: November 15, 2021 03:02PM
Thanks guys.

I will try going folder hunting ... I don't have a good feeling that it's misplaced rather than deleted, but you never know. The TM backup only goes back a few days... something tells me I need to get a larger HD.

I'm also wondering if a utility like Disk Drill might be able to recover it, because the boot drive is an SSD but the clone/backup is a regular HDD... what would be especially helpful, of course, would be if the recovery utility is able to reconstruct the folder and its structure/contents as a tree, rather than just the individually deleted files from that folder. There used to be an OS9 utility that could do that, but I'm not sure about OS X.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2021 04:48PM by PeterB.
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: November 15, 2021 07:25PM
How far back do your clone's archive/safety-net folders go?



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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: modelamac
Date: November 16, 2021 08:54AM
PeterB,

EasyFind is free and does a very thorough search.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: November 16, 2021 04:11PM
Unfortunately, I wasn't using CCC to do the clone, so no archive/safety-net.

And I've tried EasyFind, but it hasn't found the folder filename. Part of the problem is that since the folder is gone, I don't know the names of the files that were in it, and so can't search on that basis.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: November 16, 2021 05:43PM
If they are text files, do a text search.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: GGD
Date: November 16, 2021 05:53PM
What sort of application opens those files and had you opened any of them recently. The app that used them might still have a reference to one of the files in it's "Open Recent" list, and those are usually alias based so if the folder moved it should still find the file. If you can get an app to open any "recent" file from that folder then you should be able to find out the full path to where that file currently is.

And how big was this folder? If it was quite large, then something like Disk Inventory X should help you find it by size.
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: November 17, 2021 06:26AM
What OS are you running on the Mac Pro?



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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: November 17, 2021 08:36AM
Quote
Sarcany
What OS are you running on the Mac Pro?

Mojave.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Gahhh! Any way to recover a missing folder?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: November 17, 2021 06:15PM
Use this command in the Terminal:

tmutil listlocalsnapshots /

If you have any Time Machine snapshots on your boot drive, this will list them.

It may be that one or more pre-dates your earliest Time Machine backup and retains a copy of your folder.

If you have snapshots that you'd like to browse through, the easiest way to do so is to eject/unmount your Time Machine backup drive and then opt to "Enter Time Machine" from the Time Machine menu. Without access to the Time Machine drive, it will allow you to recover from the snapshots in lieu of the backup drive.



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