Please help me recover treasured memories!

Hello, I’m begging for your help with recovering files from my external hard drive, which contains very treasured memories from my childhood up to college and travels as an adult.

Here’s the gist: 

  • I have a Western Digital My Book that I bought several years ago. It was originally used with a Windows laptop.

  • Then I switched over to a MacBook Pro and the HD worked just fine. I was able to open files and even load new ones into it.

  • At some point I believe I may have unplugged it without properly ejecting it.

  • I’m still able to access the HD when I connect it to my MacBook. However, there are several “shell” files inside that appear to be in a ghost-like state. For example, I can see the file names of mp3s but they won’t play. Same for photos - but won’t open. When I click on more info, it says the file size is “Zero KB on disk.”

  • More importantly, a folder that contained all of the photos from my childhood still appears in the list of folders, but all the contents inside are completely gone. When I click into it, there’s nothing inside.

Mac OS X: 10.6.8

The drive says:  p/n: wd 10000N1U-00

How can I go about regaining access to these files?

My Mac’s Disk Utility application gives me an option to “repair disk” but I fear it’ll wipe out my files instead of helping me recover them.

Thanks so much!

Hi explainlikeim5, welcome to the Community. Have you tried using the Disk Utility app to repair the drive? Since your example seems related to a data corruption problem, you can also try using a data recovery program, using Google you should be able to find several examples. 

How to test a drive for defects or problems on a Mac