Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where'd My Images Go?

Well I finally did it! I managed to delete an entire photo-shoot from both my computer and the memory card they were on. It was one of those really easily done things; I'd just imported the photos off of the card and into iPhoto, deleting them off the card when it was done as I always do. Then, after working on the pics for an hour or two, I was careless and managed to drag the lot into the iPhoto trash and then, like a crazed loon, emptied it without thinking.

So there iIwas, thinking "Golly, that was most unfortunate!, I've been a very silly Billy!" and then I remembered that I'd posted an article about Recovering Lost or Corrupt Camera Images on my other blog a few years ago So, I immediately looked up my own blog and then started hunting out the software I'd mentioned back then. The card mounted fine on my Mac so I tried the Exif Untrasher utility but to no avail. It's pretty old and probably couldn't handle the Canon format on the card. It was time to move over to the PC, for which there are loads of free file recovery utiltities. However, the card wouldn't mount as a drive on the PC as it's not a recognized standard format and that stumped most the the file recovery utilities, like Recuva, that focus on recovering deleted files.

So that left me with another couple of options to try - PC Inspector Smart Recovery and Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery, both free tools. Luckily for me, both of them recognized the card, scanned through it and discovered all of those deleted images. PC Inspector threw up a few errors during the process and locked up while trying to recover the images in batches. I eventually had to recover them one by one to get the job done without it freezing on me. The other tool, the Zero Assumption thingy, was far better at it and got all of the images off the card in one go. Okay, it took a while to scan the card but it found everything that was deleted and sooked them all off onto my hard drive really quickly.

So, what have I learned?
  • Blogs are good for keeping useful information.
  • Dedicated photo recovery utilities can do the business and file recovery tools can't.
  • There are no reliable, free, Mac-based photo recovery tools.
  • To be more careful before deleting my iPhoto trash.
  • Don't stay up all night editing photos; life's too short.

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