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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers
Thread started 11 Jul 2011 (Monday) 16:29
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STICKY: HOW TO RECOVER YOUR PHOTOS

 
Pekka
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Jul 11, 2011 16:29 |  #1

Feel free to add your tips here!

PREFACE: OK - you should always back up any important data. And then back that up and keep the second backup somewhere else, so even if disaster strikes your computer and the on-site backup the off-site backup will probably remain intact. If it's over 5 miles away, and both get wiped out, you've probably got bigger problems than loss of a couple of computer files to worry about. And if the backups are current make sure they're readable. A backup of a corrupted disk isn't all that much help. But if you have verified backups, you won't have a whole lot to worry about.

----

So, you have lost some files, card has died or a disk does not respond.

The first thing to do is remember the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and those large, friendly words on the cover:
Don't Panic!


1. Prevent any more damage

Before you do anything else, stop using the disk/flash card/USB drive/papyrus sheet/clay tablet they were stored on. If this was the main drive of your computer, shut it down promptly.

The more opportunity you give your computer/camera/MP3 player to write new information to your storage device the greater the likelihood you'll overwrite some of the information you want to recover.

If the drive was your computer's operating system drive, take it out from the computer. Kids next door know how to do it, don't be afraid to ask!

If the drive was a system drive, you will usually need another computer for recovering the files.

2. What is the specific problem?

Operating system loads, but files are not there where they should be.

Perhaps you forgot to power on an external drive, or connect a cable. If devices show ok, do a search! Check the trash can. Don't panic, think.

I deleted some files and folders and want the back.

On Windows you can try first pressing CTRL+Z. This is a standard UNDO command which works on file operations, too, only if you do it right after you deleted files.

If undo does not work, make sure the disk is not accessed, then download an undelete program, see http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=670801

Computer does not respond, reboot does not help.

Does the computer make any sound on boot? If not then most likely power supply has died.

Do you get any blue screens or BIOS (boot screen) error messages? This usually means there is a bad driver or hardware error, good news is that you data is still there. Google the error message for more into what might be the problem.

If computer boots and gets "stuck", it might suggest drive failure. Do you hear hard disk spinning on powerup?

Camera card says it needs to be formatted.

File system might be incompatible with your OS. File recovery programs can read most filesystems. See http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=670801

I accidentally formatted the card / disk drive.

If you did Quick Format, you can most likely recover all data. Get a recovery tool from http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=670801

If you did low level format, recovery needs to be done by a recovery company.


I dropped a laptop/storage device.

Physical damage to a disk will be impossible to repair at home. Recovery needs to be done by a recovery company.



Home made data recovery in detail

Before you start trying to recover the files, make a "bit-copy" of the drive. Some of those utilities will help you do this. There are also specific "drive cloning" applications that can do this. Again, try before you need them for real. And make your first rescue attempt(s) on that clone. This way, you won't ruin your original if something goes wrong.

Next (if you haven't gotten one or more already) download some of the applications from here. In fact, go out and download a couple of them now, before you need them, so you can practice recovering files when there's no stress. I'll wait.

If your computer won't recognize your disk or card, you'll need to do a bit more work. First, if you have another device that's supposedly able to read it, try reading from that. A computer that uses a different operating system (Windows or Linux if you're a Mac user, Linux for the Windows user, Windows for the Linux user) is ideal, but you'll need to know at least a little about that other OS. You can always download a bootable version of Linux that'll run from a DVD or USB drive and see if that helps. If nothing else, the "dd" command can often make an exact copy of the original, failed media. Or if it's your camera's memory card, see if you can download direct from the card.

If the hard disk doesn't want to respond, get an external drive housing and mount it in that. If your computer has room for another internal hard disk, and an external drive has failed, try putting the drive into one of your computer's hard drive bays. Sometimes it isn't the drive, but the supporting electronics, that failed. For the tech-savvy (or daring), if you have a second, identical, hard disk, you might try swapping the external circuit board that's part of your hard drive for the one on the second drive (but make sure you back up any data on the second drive at least twice first).

Once you've made a copy of the problem drive, try one of the recovery utilities you previously acquired. It may need to run a while, especially if your drive is really corrupted, and/or you're trying to recover from an accidental reformatting or mass deletion of files. And remember, these utilities aren't always at their best with proprietary file types, like RAW files. They may recognize the embedded .JPG files and give you huge files containing a low resolution JPEG, and with a .JPG extension. So you may have to go back and rename your RAW files and see if that helps you read them.


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tkadrum
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Jul 11, 2011 16:33 |  #2

Thanks! Subscribed ..hopefully I will never have to go thru this, but good information to have on file.


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AntonLargiader
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by AntonLargiader.
Feb 08, 2015 08:41 |  #3

There is a particularly nasty virus going around that can encrypt all local storage. Do a web search for 'CryptoWall 2' for more details. AFAIK it has not been cracked so there is no recovery from this short of paying the ransom.

My point here is that any backup that is attached to your computer is vulnerable. Backup that is disconnected, or at least not showing up as a locally mapped drive seems safe. Read about it for yourself. The way I read it, Time Machine backups are not safe. You need something that is not plugged in. Oh, and of course you should keep yourself from being infected in the first place.


T2i . 18-55 IS . 70-300 IS USM . 70-200 2.8L IS . 28mm 1.8 . 100 Macro . 430EX II . TT1/TT5 . Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 w/3265 ball-mount

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Pekka
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Feb 08, 2015 09:32 |  #4

AntonLargiader wrote in post #17421512external link
There is a particularly nasty virus going around that can encrypt all local storage. Do a web search for 'CryptoWall 2' for more details. AFAIK it has not been cracked so there is no recovery from this short of paying the ransom.

My point here is that any backup that is attached to your computer is vulnerable. Backup that is disconnected, or at least not showing up as a locally mapped drive seems safe. Read about it for yourself. The way I read it, Time Machine backups are not safe. You need something that is not plugged in. Oh, and of course you should keep yourself from being infected in the first place.

Thanks for an excellent reminder.

This attack needs to be taken seriously. If you get infected you'll lose all files on all connected disks.

Backup now.

With external USB drives: connect/turn on, backup, disconnect/turn off. That is the ONLY way to make sure your files are safe if your PC gets hit by this malware. USB sticks and camera storage cards are also a good way to back up, as long as they do not stay connected.

Be careful:
Do not open any email attachments that you are not expecting.
Disable Flash.


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woodfrogs
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Mar 13, 2015 09:00 |  #5

Do you have recommendations for data Recovery companies?
Our cleaning lady managed to knock my external drive onto the floor and it wasn't accessible by the computer anymore.
husband took it apart and installed it on another computer, but can't find anything on the drive.
I'm hoping a recovery company or software will help recover the files.

Thanks.




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BuckSkin
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Mar 29, 2015 00:43 |  #6

woodfrogs wrote in post #17473055external link
Do you have recommendations for data Recovery companies?
Our cleaning lady managed to knock my external drive onto the floor and it wasn't accessible by the computer anymore.
husband took it apart and installed it on another computer, but can't find anything on the drive.
I'm hoping a recovery company or software will help recover the files.

Thanks.



Too late to help your situation, but many external hard-drives are now "military grade" with shock-protected housings that protect the internals from just such an occurrence.

I see no price difference between the regular versions and the shock-proof ones.

We have two identical ext-HDs, "Transcend" brand I think, that are shock-proof.

Of course, ours are not going to fall on the floor; they are already laying on the floor under the desk......




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Nelvick
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Nov 09, 2015 17:15 |  #7

I want to add some information.

Some times when you are using an USB Reader and you remove the memory from the reader without unmount the memory from windows, the antivirus is scanning or windows is writing data and you remove the memory, this some times corrupt the file system or the memory partition. Then the camera or windows ask for format the memory. One quick solution for this is connect back the memory to the computer and when ask for format, select NO.

The open a DOS promp as administrator and type the command chkdsk D:
the D: will be the memory letter that can be E: F: ect. This command fix the memory partition in most of the cases if the memory sectors are ok.




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AntonLargiader
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Nov 28, 2015 06:16 |  #8

BuckSkin wrote in post #17496238 (external link)
Too late to help your situation, but many external hard-drives are now "military grade" with shock-protected housings that protect the internals from just such an occurrence....

Last time I bought an external drive, I made it a WD My Book Duo, which uses two of their "Red" drives. I have them configured as RAID1 so if one drive dies I can rebuild the backup off the other one. If the controller dies I still have the data on two standard hard drives. The Red drives seemed to be their most reliable line.

With some of the smaller external drives, there isn't an intended repair method, but this Duo model is designed for exchanging the drives.


T2i . 18-55 IS . 70-300 IS USM . 70-200 2.8L IS . 28mm 1.8 . 100 Macro . 430EX II . TT1/TT5 . Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 w/3265 ball-mount

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HOW TO RECOVER YOUR PHOTOS
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