Sparse Disk Image... Eugh.

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I use an iMac G4, The Dome Base and an iMac with 2 gigs and 2.16MHZ. But that has nothing to do with the problem at my hands.

I store most of my info in sparse disk images, and my Macs are acting Quite Strange about them.

Now, I create a Sparse Disk image, and Create a Password. It works Great, Until A few Months Later... One Sparse Image Just Randomly won't mount! Now, I know that nothing is random in computing, but this is something I cannot apply my vague knowledge of computers too. Now, My mac says it's mounted, but I can't see it on the desktop, or get the files!

First, Can i get my info back?

Second, How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

If you guy would help, it would be greatly appreciated.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    This is one problem I wish Apple would address. If a disk image becomes corrupted, there is no way to do a data recovery. Of course yours is encrypted so it doesn't matter here.

    I think your best shot is to work with Disk utility as that has the most tools you will be able to use. Disk images are great, but they are prone to failure like my 500GB image that I never recovered. (OUCH!)
  • Reply 2 of 4
    not a solution as such, but may I suggest you have a look at Knox. I used to use regular sparse disk images myself, but have switched to Know. It's basically a gui-program with a few extra's, but well worth it if you use several different disk images.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,172moderator
    It doesn't sound like it's corrupted from your description. If it comes up with an error saying could not mount then it is but you're saying the Mac says it's mounted and you just can't see it.

    Does it show up in Disk Utility in the sidebar? If so, and the partition is greyed out, try selecting it and hit mount. If it's not greyed out, try going to /Volumes by using the Finder Go menu and Go To Folder. If there are folders there with the same name as your images, check there's nothing you need in them and delete those folders.

    Don't use sparse images though. Sparse images are far more easily corrupted than fixed images. I tested them twice and after a random crash, the images couldn't be mounted again. This was after two weeks of use. I've since been using fixed images for well over 2 years through crashes and what not and I've never had a single problem.

    Also don't make the images too big as Ebby has done. I'd suggest a maximum of 4.2GB per image so that they can be backed up to DVD without writing in less reliable parts of the disc. They can be more easily backed up to hard drives as well as you only have to copy the image that has changed. You can of course copy the contents by mounting both but it has to encrypt and re-encrypt the data so it takes longer than a normal copy.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    Wow! I didn't expect such a Quick or Thorough repsonse! Though I haven't recovered the data, I now can prevent it in the future. Thanks a Bunch!
Sign In or Register to comment.