How to create a data recovery external drive

We’ve all had that sinking feeling when we realize we might just have lost all our precious data.

I knew something was wrong when I booted my 2012 MacBook Pro, walked away to get coffee and returned to find the computer had turned off. When I booted again, the grey screen appeared and the MacBook Pro booted part way before powering down. An attempt to boot into Safe Mode revealed that the CPU was halting, killing the processes, then shutting down.

Next came booting into Recovery Mode and attempting to fix the disk. After several minutes, the kiss of death was issued: the drive was corrupted, and I needed to erase and reinstall OS X. No big deal. I went to the bookcase for the external drive where I kept my Time Machine back-up. It was a bit out-of-date because of a few weeks of traveling, I thought as I plugged it in, but I would have no issue restoring from it. Right?

The dead external drive said otherwise.

If you own a Mac, there’s certainly a good chance this will happen to you someday. Read the post, and don’t forget to do a backup. Apple really makes it all so very easy.



  • Gerard J

    Time Machine! If you have Time Machine set up properly (you let the OS do it’s thing) then your have all you need: an external backup on a bootable drive. Time Machine drives are bootable to a recovery partition.

    • Dennis Madrid

      You’re right, but I think you missed the part where the writer mentioned his Time Machine drive was also dead. It’s always a good idea to have more than one backup, and to periodically test both to make sure they’re still working. (Nothing worse than discovering a backup is bad when you actually need it).

      • Gerard J

        So I did. ADD… didn’t read the last line. :)