A local customer from Leyland recently asked about our Data Recovery & Protection service, for help in recovering his Mac Book Pro from a failed upgrade to OS-X Capitan. The Mac was unable to boot beyond a screen giving an error “File System Verify or Repair failed”.

He had an older backup taken some months ago using Time Machine, but was concerned for some sentimental photos that had been taken over the last 3 months that hadn’t been backed up.

Here are the steps I took to first recover his important data and then to get the Mac back up and running with all of his data intact.

Step one – make a backup of existing data using the Disk Utility

Boot the Mac into Recovery mode

Using the Disk Utility, Create an Image from Users Folder (as we are only worried about pics etc) rather than the entire disk contents.

This creates an Apple Image file (DMG file) that can be mounted by a Mac as a drive. There are various options to convert this DMG file to an ISO or IMG file for accessing the files through a device other than a Mac. With some Linux Distro’s it’s possible to mount the DMG file.

Step 2 – make sure the Image works!

I then verified the Image file by opening it up and checking some pictures on another Mac or convert the DMG file as mentioned above.

Step 3 – restore the Mac from the Time Machine Backup

From Recovery mode, I restored the Mac using a Time Machine Backup from 3 months earlier. Once this had completed, I then plugged in the USB Drive containing the Image taken of the User files and opened the DMG file.

Opening the DMG file mounts it as a drive allowing you to browse the files.

I then copied the Documents, Photos, Movies etc back onto the newly restored Mac Book.

Step 4 – take a fresh backup!

Finally, once happy that all the customers data had been copied back, I created a fresh Time machine backup.