Hi, I have no idea if this has happened to you before or not but it just happened to me and I am hoping to God one of you brilliant friendly people can help me. I shut down my mac and when I started it up again all the files I had saved, all my music, all my photo's and numbers and adresses and everything else I have worked on in the last year has just gone. No trace of it. If any of you have any idea how to get it back, I would love to know. Also, all the applications are still there but some of them need to be registered again.

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what version of mac *were* you using?

I was using Firefox version 10.3.5 and now it has reverted back to 10.3.3

Hi Tas,

Yep, in order to help you out, we need to know what OS you were working with, and where these images are stored. It would also be a good idea to locate your backup materials.

Where did you get Firefox as 10.3.5 / 3.3? Firefox is a web browser; OS X is an operating system.

What did you do before you lost the files? How did you access them in the past?


I have to say this really sounds like you've booted into a different startup disk. Either that or someone's come along and done a fresh install on your system :). I can't see any other explanations for the symptoms you describe. ( I'm assuming you meant OS X 10.3.5 rather than firefox)

I agree with both of your theories, Transient. Shutting down an OS X 10.3.5 machine with lots of files and starting up a 10.3.3 machine with a clean slate seems mighty fishy. If there really is corrupt data, I would check out using Disk Warrior, but it seems that Transient's theory sounds right on the money.

Hi, i have had the same problem i am running Mac OS X 10.4 and when i started up my machine msn came up asking to reinstall, so i installed and but i had to restart due to something about keychain, however when i reatared everything was set to default (mouse settings ect) also i had to register all my programs again, but when i went to look for my files they are gone, they are on the HDD still because alot of space has been used, how can i recover these files. Thanks but please HELP!!

Try changing view modes in the Finder window. Often files can be hidden out of view in Icon view, so try Column or List view.

Another thing you may want to try is using the Terminal to list the contents of the directory. Start Terminal from /Applications/Utilities/Terminal, and then try entering something like

# ls ~/Documents

etc., where ~ is your home directory.

Oh and try following the suggestions previously made in this thread, such as checking your startup disk. Make sure there's no CDs in the drive when your computer starts up.

Hope this helps

Did you download anything before you shut-down your computer? You may have downloaded a mac virus (sounds impossible). They can be made! You just take automator and tell it to delete everything except the apps. Hope you solve It!

Hi, I have no idea if this has happened to you before or not but it just happened to me and I am hoping to God one of you brilliant friendly people can help me. I shut down my mac and when I started it up again all the files I had saved, all my music, all my photo's and numbers and adresses and everything else I have worked on in the last year has just gone. No trace of it. If any of you have any idea how to get it back, I would love to know. Also, all the applications are still there but some of them need to be registered again.

Hallo. Have you solved your problem? I had a similar thing happen to me a week ago. My files didn't get deleted, but my itunes library got deleted, and all the settings for all apps, as well as system preference settings. a week ago i just decided to go ahead, and re-install and re-do everything, and i've almost updated everything back to normal, but i'm still curious if there's a way i can get my old settings etc. back. i've saved all my current settings and files onto my external hd, so if i have to revert back to 2 weeks ago my work will be saved and i can just upload everything again. my old os was a os x, and i'm not sure what version. but now my os is os x 10.4. i had another user logon to a user profile, and it thoguht maybe that was why everythign went screwy, but all the user did was change password. but the next morning when i turned it on again, bam everything erased, just like ur incident. i'd like to know how u solved ur problem if u did or if u didn't, maybe we cna work together!

whats weird also is that i did about 8 pages of writing on powerpoint 4 days ago, and now when i checked, all the data is gone. is there some tmp. files database like pc has on mac? any of u genius people know?

wew mac is awsum. but DAMN.

Hello! Hopefully I can shed some light on this issue, because it just happened to an Intel Mac at work.
I'm doing this with hopes that someone may find out what happened, because I really would like to know.

2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 (replaced original RAM with Corsair, 2GB, months ago)
Mac OS X 10.4.9

The Mac experienced most of the same symptoms as everyone else:

The computer had been on and being used all day with nothing unusual happening.
It was near the end of the day that the employee noticed Photoshop brushes, effects and very likely many other things completely disappear from the system. (who know what elso had also disappeared.)
The employee shut down the computer and went home.

The next morning, after turning on the computer, it went to a desktop identical to a freshly installed system user's profile.
All applications were still installed, however they did not need to be registered again (because the operating system version never changed, which apparently reacted like a Windows XP repair install and required registration). Nevertheless, in applications (Photoshop) it showed welcome settings and windows it only shows the first time after installing it.
Other user-created folders in the root directory of the hard drive were still there. The operating system version never changed.

After running Disk Utility from the OS X CD, I tried booting into safe mode (holding down shift at startup), and it gave me the following error:

That error makes it look like the bios became faulty or something...

Next I went back into OS X and looked at the user accounts, because that is obviously the main thing that got mixed up.
Prior to this incident, there was only one user: meeker.
Now, there is still only one user, however the name is: Admin, whose short name is: meeker.

Here's the GREAT news: I was snooping around the hard drive and just noticed a folder in the root directory of the drive called: Previous Systems.
Inside that were the following folders:
- meeker (which contained the missing user profile folders/data)
- Previous Systems 1 (which contained: Applications, Library, private, System, Users and a file called mach.sym - yes there were applications in the apps folder, tons of stuff in the library folder, etc)

I do not know if that Previous Systems folder was there the first time after booting up.

Thank God!! Because on the employee's desktop was THOUSANDS of dollars worth of data that hadn't been backed up yet. (yes, I scolded the employee)

Another symptom being experienced long BEFORE any of this that might be noteworthy:
Frequently when turning on the computer in the morning, instead of showing the Apple logo and loading logo it shows a Globe and just sits there. Unplugging the network cable and restarting always fixes the problem.

Hope this helps figure out the problem, because at this point I don't feel safe having the employee going back to work on that computer.


hi all, the same thing happenned to me. I have been able to locate all my old files but I don't know how to get my preferences back and (most importantly) my entourage profile with all, I have just finished getting my projects and categories all setup and now it's all gone. How do I find my old entourage pst and restore it? Is there a 'system restore' type thing in MAC similar to windows. Please help, I am a MAC newbie. Cheers,

Are you on the right account that freaked me out once

Same thing happened to me and I know the F@#$ing stress that your going through. I did some research and I ended up using AppleXSoft File Recovery program it basically does a scan of all the deleted files on your hard drive. So you can try that, it might work for you too. there are lots of different programs out there for recovering deleted files. It does cost money for the programs but if you don't care about downloading illegally get a bit torrent and download the program that way. Peace out and good luck.

Stuff missing in my account and/or all my stuff missing. The common thread seems to be that you are booting off of the wrong disk, especially DiFFeReNT.The globe points to a network boot and if unavailable, it will wait. Unplugging the network cable will have it boot to the system drive. Guess what, your files are not there because you are not there! It sounds like you have a big enough shop to have tech support. Did you call them?
Tas, do you have an external drive hooked up to the system and/or several bootable partitions? OSX will not startup from a previous system folder. The previous system folder is created when you do an archive and install option. Check the date of the file and you know when and probably who installed the new system. You are going to have to run software update to get you system up to the latest version.
The archive and install option will not wipe out your user file. Simply do a search for your user name and look at the date of your previous system folder. The one you have is wrong, delete the account using the Save the home folder in a disk image and migrate the one from the previous system folder. Do not trying to copy it as it will not work. That should get you back to where you were. If it isn't, delete the user and create it again and it will ask if you want to use the disk image you created before. I still think that it is booted off of the wrong volume.
Another thing that seems to stand out is either there is only one account on the system and it is set to automatic login or someone was mucking around in accounts. People, one admin account and this is not the one you use daily! This will stop a lot of the problems you are experiencing.

I agree with macmad. You might want to try to follow macmad advise. Do you save your files in a external disk or in your mac. Did you erase your mac data?

If your problem is solved can you please mark the thread as solved. You can do that by going to the bottom. Thanks, i appreciate it.

Today, I just lost all my Web-sites (my entire parent-Web folder is gone with all its contents).
Wonderful. Years of work just gone. Popped away in less than a second. I still have the mail server, etc, plus 60GB extra free space, which means the files are totally gone from the harddisk.
No more Mac for me.


Do I understand that you are using you mac to host websites and you do not have a backup plan in place? Not even Timemachine. Listen, it does not matter what system you are running or what OS, BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! Years of work? Please.

I had a simmilar problem a while ago. I lost one event of my iPhoto Library, and I lost 47 tracks from my iTunes Library, and there is an app that has just vanished. I don't know if there are anything else, but these are the stuff I've noticed.

I'm running OSX Lion 10.7.4, and I don't know if there is anything I can do to solve this problem, or even the cause of it.

Dont panic, there are lot of applications available over web to retrieve lost documents and files. Serach for some Mac data recovery software, using that you can easily retrieve your lost data.

go to recovermyfiles.com have a spare hard drive hooked up and restore all lost files

I'm having a similar problem right now! It seems the first song from a large group of my iTunes albums have been deleted, along with random selections from the same albums. Looking in my Music folder in Finder with the 'Date Modified' tab activated, it seems to happen to dozons of albums at the exact same date and time. Parts of my Music collection are being randomly deleted and I have no idea why! Can someone help?? My HD is horrendously full but not run out of space just yet...1.38 GB remaining. Could this be the problem?

I was just reading this and found others have had the exact same problem. I was uploading files on Filezilla for a new website...I walked away for 2 minutes and came back to find nothing on my macbook pro. Something deleted or erased just about everything on my laptop. I have no more apps, files, folders, photos, music, nothing including my entire website root folder. It all got entirely erased. CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP!!!

My computer ran out of battery, and then shut down on me. When I turned it back on the settings had all gone back to default. Now I can't get into Microsoft Word, or any of the other Microsoft documents. I still have all my files, but whenever I try to access them, the Microsoft Office SetUp Assistant comes on, and keeps going to the Get Started page.

Plus, I can't change the settings, such as the Desktop Picture and the Screensaver (they always stay on the defaultone for the system), and when I try to update the Hot Corners, it always reverts back to normal after I shut down the computer (ie. I have to redo it again).

Does anyone have a solution to help, please?

hello all i just baught a macbook pro with retina 256gb , n this is the second time its happening that all my data including iphoto contacts itunes and everything got deleted by itself i dont know what to do and how to recover my lost files , pls help me need some imp papers back . pls if you can mail me onn spm0111@gmail.com , that would be great.thank you

make sur your not in a guest profile

I am using an external drive as a the location for my iphotos ... (movies really) then I take those movies and inport them to Adobe Premier Pro. I also "save" my projects on that same external hard drive. The other day I turned of my iMac and when I tried to open projects in Adobe Premier, they weren't there. I went to look at my external hard drive and all of my Adobe Premier Projects were gone as well as my entire iPhoto library. I also did some work using Logic Pro 9 and saved those projects to the externl drive that week and those are still there! Help!

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