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HFS+ Rescue

page update: 30/Mar/2013


HFS+ (HFS Plus, Hierarchical File System Plus) is a file system, developed and used by Apple.

hfsprescue is a linux program. It scans a damaged image file or partition that is formatted with HFS+. You can restore your files and directories, even when it's not possible to mount it with your operating system. Your files and directories will be stored in the directory './restored' in your current directory. The HFS+ file or partition will not be changed. So you need enough space to copy out the files from the HFS+ file system. Important infos will be logged to 'hfsprescue.log'. The directory structure will be stored in 'foldertable.txt' and is used to restore the directory structure and directory names.


I wrote this tool for my neighbour. He was unable to mount the HFS+ partition. He got the error hfs: failed to load catalog file and some other errors about the B-Tree. I was able to restore the most files. Maybe it helps other people too.

This is the first version. Maybe, you will be not able to restore all files and directories, but you should get the most back. However, its possible to make the program better and rescue all files.

How to use

You have to complete 3 steps to restore your files:

  1. Run hfsprescue [device node|image file] this restores your files.

  2. Run hfsprescue -d to create the script to restore the directory structure.

  3. Run hfsprescue -s to restore the directory structure and directory names.


hfsprescue /dev/sdb2
hfsprescue -v /dev/sdb2
        verbose infos on the screen


hfsprescue-0.3.tar.gz (2013/01/30)
hfsprescue-0.2.tar.gz (2011/11/25)
hfsprescue-0.1-patched.tar.gz (2011/10/05)
hfsprescue-0.1.tar.gz (2010/11/30)


© 2014 by Elmar Hanlhofer