It’s happened to the majority of the Mac users: deleting a file, folder or entire disk, then realising that you’ve made a mistake. You reach for your backup – and you don’t have a backup. What now?
To solve such type of data loss problem, there are plenty of utilities to help recover deleted files under Mac OS X. Although, your chance of success depend on how the files were deleted from the system and what you’ve done since then. Unfortunately, you will also lose some of your original filenames, though some reconstruction is possible.
All Undelete utilities require the use of a separate recovery disk to which are copying the recovered files. The recovery disk needs adequate free space for the expected amount of data. A hard drive, flash drive, another Mac in Target Disk Mode, or even an iPod, can be used to store recovered files.
There are some utilities available for this task, the two I’ve relied upon are Mac Data Recovery Software and TestDisk. Both are often worth having around in crisis situations; sometimes a few files will be found by one but not the other.