The bastard Tiger ate my music


Because I'm a complete idiot, last night while installing my new OSX Tiger and tiring of the error messages telling me it wasn't having any of it, I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to install the bloody thing over my previous and existing operating system (10.2.8). this in itself is not that big a deal but, with Tiger finally successfully installed and all set to go, I plugged in my iPod and got a message saying that my iPod was linked to another operating system and would I like to transfer Tiger's iTunes on to my iPod? With the missus shouting in the background about taking out the rubbish and the dog getting wound up about not having been let out for a slash, I opted for "yes" to this question. Bye bye 3,300 songs in what was, I must say, about three seconds. So, my question to you fine fellows is; have I really, honestly, been so stupid that all those years of downloaded songs (legally, of course) are lost forever? Despite all the evidence supporting the fact that yes, they're gone and I'm hooped, I continue to refuse to believe it. I won't even ask whether or not all the years of holiday snaps in iPhoto are lost forever too (I'm still hoping they're hiding in the same place as all those wonderful songs).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I find myself greatly distracted at work today due to this playing on my mind.

And I'm a surgeon.

Well, the songs are gone. If you did a clean install, which means reformatting the Hard-Drive, then everything is gone. If you did a archive install, a folder should be on the system, and saved itunes songs, and photos. It depends on the install process you used.
If you re-formatted the iPod, then yes, all songs are indeed gone for good. If not, there might be a chance with some tools out there that allow you to browse the content of the iPod, and copy the songs back from the iPod to the Mac.

If the songs are lost, that's really bad and sorry to hear that. 3,300 is quite a collection.

Is there some utility like the old Norton UnErase, which could resurrect files from trash that had been empied - as long as the disk hadn't been overwritten? OS X could use that if it doesn't exist already.

dude, you gotta learn to backup valuable files, especially an ipod, you could drop it or anything could happen. You got 3 or 4 DVD-Rs of data there, not that expensive to keep track of.
Thank you all for your kind words though suffice it to say I'm still absolutely gutted. The missus has very kindly offered me the contents of her iPod mini but, quite frankly, 330 songs by Westlife, Elton bloody John, and Blue do not in any way redress the woeful imbalance I am currently suffering from.

I have, however, received this helpful e-mail from a source:

I'd say the chances are they're gone, but to do it in 3 secs seems fast. Might still be on there but not accessible cause it may have just written over the FAT(File Allocatation Table) with a new one which only knows of the new songs. That would mean they are there, but without some tool for retrieving the data independent of the FAT you're f*&^£d !!

I doubt I need mention given today's story that, when it comes to my Apple I'm a rather impressive philistine, but have any of you fine chaps any idea what he's talking about or whether or not this FAT business is even a viable option?

At the minute I'm clutching at straws and any hope is better than no hope and Bob hope.


Hm. Your Mac - and probably the iPod, too - are not FAT, they're HFS+ (volume format). But yes, basically the files could still be there until overwritten. You just have no way of finding that out without the right tools. I strongly advise NOT to use anything Norton on both your machine and the iPod. I can't say this clearly enough, I think: Do NOT use anything Norton/Symantec. Those tools are KNOWN to kill. We've been discussing them on and off this board for years, and nothing good has ever come out of Norton/Symantec for the Mac.

But: If you've "installed over 10.2.8" as you said, were your old files really deleted? Did you finally end up _erasing_ your main drive or did you just 'upgrade'? If you've upgraded, your music files still should be _somewhere_ on the harddrive, although possibly iTunes doesn't know about them...
Sorry not to have been clearer and, once again, thank you for taking the time to help. For reasons unknown to me, installer wouldn't allow me to upgrade and kept spitting back an error message. So, instead of taking out the rubbish and walking the wife or whatever it was I was meant to be doing, I opted for the replacing my existing operating system with Tiger option. Then, once that had worked, I popped my iPod into its' cradle and got the message telling me that the iPod was hooked into another O/S and would I like Tiger to transfer its songs onto my iPod for me? This is where my life began to fall apart as the thieving, lying Tiger scum neglected to tell me that it didn't actually have any music at all. Not even Elton John and, in three seconds, my entire library was kaput.

I refuse to believe there isn't something/someone/somewhere who can retireve my choons for me? Even the Sigue Sigue Sputnik stuff no one knew I had.......


The filesystem on the iPod is HFS when it's connected to a Mac. So with the mkfs command, an empty 20 GB filesystem can be written quite quickly. But three seconds looks a bit too fast to me.

There are some tools out to explore the contents of the iPod. Try one of those and see if the music is there.
Your first paragraph may as well have been written in Swahili with its inpenetrable acronyms but I take it the gist is that you feel three seconds was too fast for my 20+GB iPod to be erased. That fills me with hope, thank you.

It has also been suggested to me by one of the boffins in my work IT that the songs might still be on the harddrive despite the fact the harddrive is telling me it's almost completely empty of data and has near enough 160GB free. I wish I understood what he was on about before he had to nip off as someone's PC had caught fire or something equally catastrophic (though not anywhere near as catastrophic as what happened to my music).

My iPod, however, very clearly states it's empty of any and all data. These tools of which you write, where would I find them and what are they called? I apologise for being such a pain in the arse but short of busting out a spanner and magnifying glass, I haven't a clue where to look for what I've lost.

Thanks again, Fastshow.

What I meant is that it takes I'd say about 10 seconds to format a volume of 20 Gig. So 3 seconds is I think a bit too fast.

Here's one of those tools I am talking about. This one's called iPod browser. It's free and it allows you to browse the iPod contents and then copy it back to a destination of choice.

iPod Browser 1.6
You can do a search for the songs, Apple F, and see if they show up anywhere. Or have iTunes import any songs from your hard drive.

That said, you should always have a backup in mind. I have about 45GB of music and I bit the bullet once and made copies to an external hard drive as well as burning the discs to data DVDs.

Nowadays, it takes a very short time to backup newer music (using smary playlists). I keep the discs at work and the external at home.

That's not going to help you but it is something to think about in the future.

If you do try for data recovery, it will cost. And stop using your hard drive immediately.
As others have said, the data for your files probably still exists on your HD, your iPod, or both. But it's "in limbo", so to speak — if you use the disk, it'll be overwritten, because the OS doesn't consider it "live" data.

So, my advice is to try a data recovery program ASAP. Data Rescue has saved my butt on several occasions, and the free demo version will let you see exactly what it can do (the limitation of the demo is that it can only recover 1 file at a time).

I've never used an iPod, so I'm not sure exactly how that would go. You'd need to mount your iPod as an external hard disk. If that doesn't happen automatically...well, hopefully someone with more iPod experience can help you.
When I upgraded to Tiger (Archive and Install), I ended up with a new user file with absolutely NOTHING in it. Nothing to be found at all! I checked everywhere I could think of including the Previous System folder.

I carted the iMac to the Apple Store and the non-genius person just started aimlessly wondering around in finder until she discovered a mysterious folder called "Lost & Found" or "Lost+Found" with hundreds of numbered file folders. In opening all the folders, I discovered all my pictures in one, my music in another, photos etc. I got it all back.

Hope this helps
Again, thank you all for your suggestions. I got in last night to an empty house and all the time in the world to concentrate on this continuing problem.

First off the chicken and egg scenario of needing t'internet to further investigate Date Rescue and, predictably, my BT Broadband connection not working with Tiger. After speaking to 8,346 divisions of BT and a number of incomprehensible Indian women who shouted a number of things to help me, nothing of which was any kind of English I've ever heard and long story short, BT reckon I need a new modem as the one they provided me doesn't support Tiger. Brilliant. So, having only upgraded from Panther to Tiger in order to be able to use DVD Studio Pro, I have now forked out hundreds of pounds and all I've managed to do with any degree of success is lose all my music and photos!

I'm going to the new Apple Shop on Regents Street tonight and I'm not leaving the damn place until someone speaks to me in a language I can understand.

Thanks for your advice, RB, I look forward to seeing if that works, pleased to hear it did for you.


i lost everything in my "compilations" folder by overwriting it in the same level of *not concentrating* with another, empty, compilations folder. all of my individual tracks (ie not albums i have on cd) that i've downloaded over about 5 years gone without even stopping at the trash for £200.

14.5 GB

i went through all the stages of genuine grief
Now that's a kick in the toys. Have you replaced them all? I've been making myself come out in hives by trying to imagine how I can possibly remember even a small percentage of the obscure racket I had in my collection should it come to that.

What my admittedly technophobe mind simply refuses to understand is that surely nothing can ever be completely "deleted" from a computer? I read all the time about forensic scientists, modern day Quincey MD's if you like, getting hold of a computer and proving the Archbishop of Scunthorpe had been looking at the Cheeky Girls website and should therefore not be trusted with hosting church fêtes (which is fair enough, really).

There has been some very good advice on this thread and, again, I'm most grateful, but surely in an age in which we can take photos and video with our mobile phones and even the Russians continue to try to send sail boats into space we can also take greater steps to protect people like me from ourselves?


firstly, my ipod (40gb) does delete at a phenomenal rate (a previous loss of music, exactly the same as yours, except i managed to have a backup then. the backup is now erased, and being used elsewhere. grr)

my jaw dropped when that one hit me.

secondly, yes, you can get data recovery. i also looked into this. (the eclecticism of that 14.4gb was immense, and i want them back)

it starts at about £200 and goes all the way up to 5 figures.... fortunately with mine, the files were deleted, so i made sure i kept the itunes library complete, with all the dead links intact. i have a record of what was there, but not the actual songs. it';s going to take years to get it all back.

i felt like crying at the time