Need to restore deleted files from an HFS or HFS+ partition on a Mac? Or maybe you’ve lost the whole partition and want to recover it? Regardless of whether you’ve deleted the data from the partition yourself or the data loss occurred because of a virus, there are a couple of methods that you can try to restore your files.
In this article, we’ll cover the most effective data recovery solutions that can help you with HFS recovery.
What is an HFS Partition?
Partition is a logically separated section of a drive. The way drives and partitions store and organize data is called a file system. There are various types of file systems: APFS, HFS, HFS+, NTFS, FAT, EXT3, etc.
HFS/HFS+ (also known as Mac OS Standard and Mac OS Extended) are file system types developed by Apple. HFS file system drives can no longer be written or read on Macs powered by macOS 10.15 or higher. And HFS+ was the primary file system for Macs up until the release of APFS in 2017.
But which one is better, HFS vs APFS? While APFS is best for SSDs and flash drives since it is known to boost their performance, HFS+ still remains a great choice for external HDDs.
How to Recover Data from an HFS Partition on a Mac
Unfortunately, there are no built-in methods that can help you restore data from a partition on your Mac. Which is why, using a specialized data recovery tool would be one of the quickest and easiest ways to conduct an HFS partition recovery.
Our software recommendation is Disk Drill since it supports all major file systems and can be used to restore data from APFS , HFS, HFS+, NTFS/NTFS5, FAT/FAT32/exFAT, and EXT3/EXT4 drives or partitions.
Follow these steps to recover files from an HFS/HFS+ partition on a Mac with Disk Drill:
How to Recover Deleted HFS Partition on a Mac
If you need to recover the whole HFS or HFS+ partition on a Mac, you should try doing it with TestDisk. It is a free open source data recovery application that has the capabilities to restore deleted, lost, or damaged partitions.
However, TestDisk has a text-based user interface. So it might be a bit complicated to navigate this application and recover a lost HFS+ partition for users that don’t have much experience with using such applications.
Before you move forward with the partition recovery process, you need to install TestDisk. The easiest way to do it is with the help of Homebrew via Terminal. Here’s how to install TestDisk on your Mac:
Follow these steps to complete an HFS disk recovery with TestDisk on a Mac:
The Bottom Line
When it comes to restoring HFS/HFS+ partitions or drives, the data recovery results depend greatly on how fast you act and whether the data has already been overwritten or not. Therefore there is no solution that would guarantee a 100% recovery success rate.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst. And the best way to do that is regularly backup your data (for example, with Time Machine) so that in case you delete important files or lose a partition, you’ll have an easy way to bring back the data.