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When to Do It:

  • If you cannot mount a volume and cannot fix the problem via a disk repair utility—and you have files on the drive that are not backed up and you want to recover.

  • If you accidentally erase a hard disk with the Finder's Erase Disk command.

  • If you accidentally (or intentionally) erased a file that you now want back.

  • Whenever launching an application consistently results in a system crash, freeze, or other serious malfunction.

  • Whenever a program's feature that worked correctly on previous occasions now causes problems or simply does not work.

  • Whenever opening a document consistently results in a system crash, freeze, or other serious malfunction.

  • Whenever a document opens but displays only part of its contents or displays unintelligible gibberish rather than its expected data.

  • Whenever specific documents will not print but other similar documents print without a problem.

  • Whenever the error message "Unable to read from disk" appears when you try to open a file.

  • Whenever you cannot successfully copy a file, especially when attempts to do so result in an error message such as "File could not be read (or written or verified) and was skipped." These messages indicate bad blocks (media damage) on at least one of the disks involved in the copy operation.

  • If you are using a floppy disk (or other removable disk media), a bad block is also indicated by a distinctive and uncharacteristic whining or clicking sound that emanates from the drive as it attempts to read from the defective area of the disk.

Be aware that several of these problems have other causes besides damaged disks or files. See Chapter 6 for a more general discussion of file problems.


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