Why is my WD external HDD not showing contents after being moved from old Mac to new Mac?

Darcee Smith April 28, 2013
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I recently purchased a 2012 iMac with Mountain Lion, I was previously using an older Mac 10.6.8 with Snow Leopard.

Not thinking about compatibility, I plugged my WD external backup drive into new computer. When doing so, it said that I have approximately 1.2 TB free space out of 2TB. I started to do a backup on new computer, but stopped it immediately because of the amount of time it was going to require.

When trying to connect the external drive today, it would not and said 100% free space! Have all the files I had backed up on it from my old commuter been wiped out? I then reinserted that same external drive back into my old computer and received an error message that it does not recognize that drive.

Any suggestions? Could I have somehow wiped that drive when plugging it into new computer. I did not reformat.

  1. Scott Kupferman
    June 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Do you have a possible permissions issue? I guess I'm asking if you can see the files as root?

  2. Darcee Smith
    May 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you, I will look into the different recovery methods suggested. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    • ha14
      May 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      let us know if everything went fine with you.

  3. Oron Joffe
    April 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    It sounds like you interrupted the disc in the process of being prepared as a backup disc and the file system became corrupt. It's not clear to me whether the files on that disc are really critical (if you still have your old computer, can you not transfer the files from it directly on the new Mac and reformat the WD drive to use it again?). However, if those files are critical, try using a recovery utility. My favourite is Disk Warrior, but there are other ones listed at
    and they all work!

    • Darcee Smith
      May 2, 2013 at 2:38 am

      Thank you for your reply. I am not sure if I interupted the process. The file are almost all photographs. I do not have them on old computer. A majority of them are on additonal wireless backup drive but not all. I will have to try a recovery. Thank you

    • null
      May 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      OK, a couple of notes. First, I doubt that the "EaseUS Mac Undelete" would work as you didn't delete the files as such. Instead, it looks like the file system got damaged. EaseUS have another product called "EaseUS Mac Data Recovery Wizard 5.6.1" which may help here.
      Although not the cheapest, DiskWarrior is an awsome product which recoveres discs very quickly. In terms of thoroughness, I believe Drive Genius (and other Prosoft Engineering products) is the best, but it is very slow.

  4. ha14
    April 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    try to scan with EaseUS Mac Undelete and see if there are files to be recovered
    EaseUS Mac Undelete

    • Darcee Smith
      May 2, 2013 at 2:32 am

      Thank you for your reply. I'm guessing I would plug the external into new computer and scan with EaseUS Mac undelete?

    • ha14
      May 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

      yap plug it to the mac that recognize it and do the scan to see if the files are there as hidden at least so that to recover them.

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