Snow Leopard deleted all photos on macbook air

in macOS edited January 2014
Hey guys, bad, bad day.

Backed up my macbook air using time machine to my time capsule. Then went into iphoto and backed up pictures just to make sure. (They are all the pictures of my 6 and 2 year old since birth, very important to me)

Opened time machine to make sure that my pictures had backed up, they were there and I figure everything is good.

I install Snow Leopard and after rebooting all pictures are gone. My iphoto library is gone. I went from 49.68 gig of used storage space on my hard drive pre-Snow Leopard to 17.92 gig of used storage space on my hard drive after installing Snow Leopard.

I get kind of hacked off but figure there is no big deal since I know that my photos are in my Time Capsule. I go into time machine and there are 0 jpegs, 0 iphoto libraries and no pictures of any kind other than icons.

I freak the heck out and just plain don't understand. I call Apple 2 hours on the phone yesterday and 2.5 hours on the phone today and I am told that it is a problem being passed onto the engineering department and that they will get back to me but most likely the photos are gone and they are sorry. 3500 photos of my children's lives eaten by the dang Snow Leopard.

This is unacceptable, I did everything right in this instance, backing up my things, even spent the extra money to buy the time capsule, from apple, to make sure my backups went flawlessly.

Got an appointment with the Genius Bar at the local retail store for Sunday but I was told today that they will more than likely not be able to help and will just add to the notes on my "Case" with apple.

Looked over the apple discussion forums and there are 4-5 threads from people that are having the same problem. Sorry this is so wordy but I am desperate for any type of help that you guys could possibly offer.

Thanks in advance.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    Has Time Machine written anything to your Time Capsule since the data disappeared?

    If not, if the photos really mean a lot to you, firstly turn off your Time Capsule immediately. Then, you could either: get an external HDD case, remove the HDD from Time Capsule, put it in the external case, connect it to your Mac and run Data Rescue II. Alternatively, you could send the Time Capsule to a data recovery company (but this will cost more than buying an external case and Data Rescue II).

    Basically, it's highly unlikely that the data on the HDD has actually been over-written. Data recovery can read the data off the disk even though the file system thinks it isn't there any more.

    Alternatively, you could try data recovery from the MacBook Air HDD. This would involve purchasing an external HDD, installing Snow Leopard and Data Rescue II on the external HDD (preferably using a different Mac), booting from the external HDD, and running Data Rescue II. In the meantime, the MacBook Air shouldn't be used.
  • Reply 2 of 3

    I have already unplugged time capsule and shut down my macbook air. That is the problem I am faced with. I would like the Genius Bar to take a look at it but just turning on the computer could be over-writing photos on my hard drive.

    I did run Data Rescue II, the demo version, and it found a lot of jpegs. The tech support staff at Apple does not want me to run a data recovery until they dig into the problem a little bit and see if they can come up with a solution. They actually think that the photos are still on the time capsule and for some reason Snow Leopard will not recognize or display them.

    I am tempted to run the Data Rescue, get all of my files back, back them up to an external hard drive, and then reformat the macbook air and start over with installing Leopard and trying to restore my files from time machine. I have no clue if this will work.

    99.9% of the time, I trust apple and their capable staff but I am concerned with this that by the time they get done fooling with my computer, I will not be able to run the data rescue and get back my files since many of them will be written over.

    I was hoping someone here has a solution.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Might be a dumb question but do you have another Mac that's not associated with that Time Machine backup to hook up to the Time Capsule?
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