Monday, November 5, 2012

Mac OS X Directory Corruption: The Main Culprit for Data Loss

There are a plethora of things that can corrupt data on your hard drive, such as power outages, disgraceful shutdowns, hardware problems, bad programming, and more. When such events take place on a Mac, you are left with a corrupt hard drive directory that has serious implications for your system. A corrupt directory can potentially damage your files by overwriting them with new data. It can cause some of your files to go missing or being moved to a different location on the drive.

Every item on the OS X drive is represented by catalog records. These records are organized in a B-Tree structure called catalog B-Tree. The information in the directory is built by scanning and searching the catalog B-Tree. If this B-Tree structure gets damaged or the catalog records become corrupt, you will be unable to locate and access files stored on your hard drive.

Directory corruption can be a pain in the neck, especially when it leads to data loss (cases of overlapped files and extents). This implies not all instances of directory corruption will make you lose your precious files. File system journaling is a technological advancement that has reduced the risk of directory corruption in modern Macs. However, it is not always effective or infallible. As a consequence, you need to follow some strategies for avoiding directory corruption on your Mac:

  • To should perform routine backups of all data stored on the hard drive to prepare you against big data disasters. Backups make recovery simple, affordable, and less time-consuming.  
  • Maintenance is necessary for optimising Mac and correcting a range of drive-related issues. Maintenance tasks include cache cleaning, defragmenting hard drives, repairing permissions, installing software updates, and more.
  • Use an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) to rule out unnecessary power failures. Power surges are the most common reason for directory corruption. If you manage to keep them at bay, you can significantly reduce the potential for data loss.
  • If you have a habit of installing every piece of software on your system (such as shareware, freeware, or beta code), you should give it a second thought.

Above mentioned are some of the preventative measures to drive away all your directory corruption woes. If you still come across a corrupt OS X directory, use Disk Utility to fix directory errors. In case the problem persists, you should take help of professional Mac data recovery software. These utilities comprehensively scan your OS X drive to recover all the lost or formatted data absolutely intact.


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