So this story has a pretty good ending... thanks to some great software.
This all started when my quad-core Mac Pro was getting a little slower. Always the case when the hard drive is getting a little full and no elbow room for virtual memory to do it's thing. So I have four hard drive in the machine; one is the main operating system drive, two others for client files, and one just for misc. stuff.
So went down to Best Buy to get a new Seagate 2G drive. Got home, I shut down my machine, inserted the new drive and booted the computer back up again. When everything came back online it had a warning. One of your drives was not readable by the operating system... (paraphrasing). Hadn't seen that before but I just figured it maybe was something new with the new OS upgrade and was notifying me of the newly inserted hard drive. When direct to DISK UTILITIES to format the new drive. When the dialog box opened there was a drive highlighted in red and without really thinking I figured that must be the new drive I just installed. Clicked ERASE and the next dialog box asked for the name of the new disk. For some reason it already had a name, "MacPro HD31", of one of my other drives, in the prompted box. Weird... I thought! Maybe it just remembered the last name I typed in several months before... hum? Smart computer I thought... So I typed in new name, MacPro HD32 and hit ERASE! It quickly did it's thing and returned back to the previous dialog box. Kind of sat there for a minute and started looking at the other drive in the selection window. "What the heck is this other drive named "UNTITLED" for??? I felt all the blood in my head leave and my heart sank! What the heck did I just do!! I erased my most current drive that I hadn't backed up in a couple of months. I wanted to cry! Sitting there in utter shock, I could not believe I, Steve Mackley, computer guru, Master Photographer, live and breathe computers, just formatted a FULL, not so backed-up, hard drive.
I clicked around for a little while longer to confirm my current nightmare and it was so true. I knew I could do anything now and had already had a pretty eventful day so I just pushed myself away for my desk and thought I's just deal with it in the morning.
Next day I sat back down to see the damage I had created the night before. I know because if my workflow I still had all my RAW shooting files from all my clients.
In my regular workflow I will transfer RAW shooting files from the compact flash card to my main drive. Then before importing them into LIGHTROOM, I copy them onto a working drive, (the one I formatted the night before.) So I was confident I hadn't lost super important files. Just working, retouched files. I know... I know... I've already been lectured by three friends. All telling me what they do to back up all their files... bluh, bluh, bluh. I know their just trying to help but it's something you don't what to listen to when you know you've wrong.
I yet to rescue a formatted drive so I decided to call my friend Greg and EXPERCOM and see his recommendation. I have two programs that might work in this situation, DISK WARRIOR and Data Rescue II. Greg informed me that DATA RESCUE was the best one for this application. Open the program and ran the "QUICK SCAN" as per Greg first and got really worried when it didn't find anything. Decided to run the THOROUGH SCAN and four hours later it pick up allot more. The recovered information wasn't in their original folders that I had saved them in. They were in folders listed by the type of files, JPEGs, PSDs, TIFFs, DOCs, MP3s, MOVIE, etc.
Thanks to DATA RESUCE II and a little luck and I'm almost back to computer guru wannabe. Happy Hard Drives!