Most Mac users completed the upgrade with few or no glitches. However, some have had major upgrade complications, some to the point of installation or system failure. The situation, often exacerbated by the mode of delivery and upgrade prerequisites, caused several problems that included potential data loss.
Because Apple distributes Lion exclusively as a download through the App Store, installers could not rely on a physical installation disk. The App Store distribution method also requires that the computer has the Mac OS X 10.6.7 Snow Leopard operating system. If that system is not installed, the Mac must be upgraded to Snow Leopard before the Lion installation.
Anytime a user upgrades his or her operating system there is the potential for data loss. In the instance of Lion upgrade failure, the Snow Leopard OS often needs reinstallation. This is yet another chance for data loss. Without a recent data backup, the data could become irretrievable. Backups are always the first line of defense to prevent lost data and yet, many computer users do not routinely back up their files.
Should an installation fail and the computer will not boot to the OS, the installer must take steps to prevent data loss. One rule of thumb to follow is that mac data rescue must take place before system repairs commence. Following this rule keeps the loss of data to a minimum. Reinstallation of the previous operating system or a renewed attempt at a second installation of the new version has the potential to overwrite important data, documents and files.
A software solution is implemented in these cases. The best data recovery software includes an emergency boot disk to run the computer without the installed OS. Because the boot disk runs independently of the OS, it does not require installation and, therefore, will not overwrite files. Additionally, the emergency data recovery disk writes the retrieved files to a secondary internal drive, an external drive or other USB flash media.
Once the data is safely store away from the main hard drive, repair or reinstallation commences without the potential for lost data. When choosing your recovery software, keep in mind the file types you need recovered. Additionally, digital image recovery software solutions may not include the necessary emergency boot disk.