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  1. #1
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    What if you lost your digital images?

    I looked for a previous post about this because it comes up from time to time - but apparently it's been long enough that nothing shows up anymore. I'm sure it's an unnerving experience to lose digital images but somehow I haven't managed to do it (yet). If you have any tips to share, post them here. I'll start with what I know (which is what I'd do in this situation):

    First, don't do anything to the card just yet. Don't try to look for images with your PC, don't put it back in your camera, don't format it or (especially) shoot with it. Check your options, try data recovery software and then follow it's instructions.

    I've heard good things about this software. There's even a free trial. If it doesn't work, you might try a different program - I've heard that if one program doesn't get it, another one might.

    If that doesn't work and the shots are important enough that you want a professional to try to recover them, then you might want to talk to Tallyn's in Peoria IL. They offer this service - it's expensive but if the shots are important it's a better option than telling your client you lost the images!

    So how do you prevent this from happening in the future? Well, the best thing I can recommend is to always format the card in the camera it will be used in every time before you use it (obviously downloading everything from the card first). Don't format it in the PC or in a different camera. Don't turn off the camera while it's still writing to the card. Don't take the card out of the camera or a card reader while it's still reading or writing to the card.

    Any other tips out there - or horror stories and what worked (or didn't)?

  2. #2
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    I use Image Recall - friendly "Don't Panic" on the front of the box

    Three-layer strategy.
    1) on the day, transfer images to Phototainer
    --- confirm they got there by checkin 1st and last image numbers on each backup
    2) at home, transfer to the PC
    ---- confirm that the files are all copied
    3) convert RAW files to JPEG
    --- make adjustments as necessary
    4) resize JPEG to 640x480
    5) transfer all from PC to DVD
    6) copy from PC to external USB portable HD
    7) when the 200G drive fills up, erase files from PC
    8) when the external USB 200G drive fills up, buy a new one

    So I have many copies.
    Phototainer (emergency backup) - of only 40G
    DVD backup (used to use CD)
    External HD archive (one disk per year)
    Internal HD working copy

    I think that's enough
    Though I may turn to making extra backup DVDs of the RAW files.


    Tips?
    1) Keep up to date.
    Your images are only as good as your software and hardware !
    Camera firmware
    CD/DVD drive firmware
    Computer operating system
    CD/DVD burning software

    2) QUALITY
    Don't buy cheap media and expect your images to last forever.
    On the other hand, I lost 3 Memorex CDs burned on the same day as a Kodak CD
    I've had 3 of 10 DVD-9 from Verbatim fail to burn (no idea if the data will last)
    Big brand names on the media may not help

    3) Watch out for static
    Dry, dusty conditions especially - memory cards are vulnerable

    4) Watch the little light
    Your camera probably has a light to tell you when the card is in use.
    Don't switch it off, or remove the card, while the light is on.

    5) Eject the media
    Your PC or Mac should have a way to eject the memory card
    Use it to make sure all data is flushed before removing it

    6) Don't delete.
    Buy more memory cards if necessary.
    You will, one day, delete that really good image instead of the duff one next to it.

    7) Don't keep duff media
    You could use it by mistake !
    My !G and 340M Microdrives are now very small doorstops.
    My 512K card is almost history, it doesn't work in the 20D.

    I have so far been bitten by 1, 2, 6, and 7
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  3. #3
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Paul, good point about the backups. I guess I hadn't gotten to that point but as they say, an ounce of prevention...

    From my personal experience, two sets of backups is necessary. Last winter my internal HD crashed, and it somehow wiped out a big folder full of images on my (connected) external HD at the same time. Fortunately I had another copy on CD which I re-loaded on the HD.

    Another temporary backup - format the cards when you're ready to re-use them, not as soon as you're done downloading. That way, if anything happens before you get the backups made (which should be a top priority anyway) you still might have another copy. When you copy the files from the card to PC, select "copy", not "move" so they're not erased from the card, too.

  4. #4
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Great Post........and a question

    Thanks for posting this - great idea Steve.

    Comment and question:
    I usually get some 4x6 prints made at Walmart if I'm on vacation, or just taking "snapshots" because they do a good job - generally. I try to do a little editing before I get them processed. Usually I don't have a full card, so there is room for editing and keeping them on the card until I get the prints.

    I'm sure everyone is going to tell me not to do any pp on the card, but (here shows my ignorance) I don't know how to get them from the pc back to the card, to Walmart and back. I can make a copy first to save in the computer, but sometimes I'm not home, and want to get prints.

    Suggestions? Please remember that I'm No. I dummy when it comes to comprehending the technicalities of post processing.

    Thanks.
    Liz

  5. #5
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Get a portable cd/dvd burner and use that instead of walmarts card reader, 1st it will be your "copy" of your card(s), 2nd it will give better results from wally world, and you won't have what happened to a friend, where wally world folks messed up the computer and formatted his card instead of reading it!

    As for people having problems with cards...what type of cards are you using? I have 6 Lexar cards that have 150,000 shots taken on them without a single card failure. The cards have been dropped, stepped on, run over by a race car, dropped in water, survived freezing cold (in rain too) and all but one are more than two years old. They have wear marks from going in and out of cameras, yet they keep on working. I have never had a card failure through all the abuse. After each download to the computer each card is formatted in the camera ( I never erase them, always format them).
    FYI the cards in question are: 4 - 256MB (the old pokey version) 1- 1GB 40x and 1- 1GB 80x. The latter was the one run over by a race car, and it works fine!

    JS

  6. #6
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Lost digital images-a horror story.

    One of my best friends just lost a whole slew of digital images on a crashed drive this past year. I feel personally responsible because the hard drive he had was one of mine that I had replaced with a larger drive. He hadn't backed up his images in over a year to anything, and he cloned his old drive to my old drive. It was working fine for about a month when that most awful of sounds was heard. ZZZT-clik-clik-ZZZT....Meanwhile, he had re-formatted the old drive and donated it to his children's school for one of their pc's. He had backed up his important documents (bills, reciepts, excel spreadsheets...) but not photos, and he'd been digital for 5 years, and had at least the last 2 years of photos on the drive. In the end he had to send it in to a drive recovery service, cost about $1400. I offered to help defray the costs of the drive recovery, but he graciously and firmly declined my offer. I've always backed mine up to cd's and dvd's, but there are about 2 GB's of cd's that won't read on any computer that I've tried (out of about 250 GB's worth of native digital and scanned digital images spanning the last 7 years). So now I'm keeping the images backed up on two hard drives, one internally, one on a removal drive (seagate USB external drive), and of course the originals on the boot drive. I use SyncBack to autorun the backups at night daily. I'm bummed about the missing images though, a lot were native digitals of my son in 2001 (kindergarten pics and tae kwon do pics). The rest were scanned images from 1998 to 2001, but I've still got the original negs and slides archived in three crates, just gotta get 'em out and sort and scan.
    Seek the Son and the shadows fall behind you.

    slowly inching to 2000

    Mac's Rule, Windblows drools
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  7. #7
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    I need some software for recovery on 5 drives that I have croak over the past few years. I now have a storage area for crashed drives. I also have another area that is DVD storage for around 300 DVD's full of pictures.

    Anyway, I am looking to get some recovery software for both FAT and NTFS drives, any suggestions? I can't spend a fortune on it though.... $300 or less.

    JS

  8. #8
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Well I now have my recovery software Pretty cool too. it will not only recover photos, but any data from any device connected to a computer, including any kind of media cards. I have tried it out and it has worked for everything I tried it on so far, even a zip drive and CD's and DVD's.
    It even worked on drives Windows can't find. It seems I'm now in the data recovery business too, I recovered three cards for another photog last night.

    JS

  9. #9
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    Well I now have my recovery software Pretty cool too. it will not only recover photos, but any data from any device connected to a computer, including any kind of media cards. I have tried it out and it has worked for everything I tried it on so far, even a zip drive and CD's and DVD's.
    It even worked on drives Windows can't find. It seems I'm now in the data recovery business too, I recovered three cards for another photog last night.

    JS
    hey yall, I m lost. this is too much imfor for me right now, let me just get out of this thread and come back tomorrow for another visited

  10. #10
    the city by the lake chicago's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    I think the best advice that one can give is dont keep your images on the same hard drive as your operating system. I bought a second HD just for archival purposes. I also try to make CDR backups but they get redundant after burning so many. CDRs actually only last ~10 years, so those who have backups on aging CDRs reburn the data. This is because CDRs are made so cheaply. I haven't bought a DVD burner yet because new cd technology is here. Sony introduced Blu-Ray technology which is a DVD (BD) that can hold 50 gigabytes, compared to the standard of, what is it, 3-4 gbs. http://www.blu-ray.com/

  11. #11
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    And...

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    Well I now have my recovery software Pretty cool too. it will not only recover photos, but any data from any device connected to a computer, including any kind of media cards.
    A friend of mine accidentally deleted images from a memory card and his computer today. I haven't reformatted the card yet so they should still be there. I need image recovery software recommendations.

    Thanks!

    John
    Photo-John

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  12. #12
    drg
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    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
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    Re: And...

    John,

    Here's a link to an inexpensive program that I have used for some bad Compact Flash episodes and error ridden CD-R's. There is a download test/sample program that is free that works seemingly the same as the licensed version but you can't save. If it works you pay the ~$40 and plug in the license number.

    Good luck!!

    http://www.jufsoft.com/badcopy/?rid=...=3.75&bid=0608
    CDPrice 'drg'
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    Please do not edit and repost any of my photographs.






  13. #13
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Lexar and SanDisk

    Both Lexar and SanDisk include file recovery software with their pro memory cards. So I'm considering just buying a new 1 gig pro card. I can always use another memory card. And that way the software doesn't really cost me anything.
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  14. #14
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    Re: Lexar and SanDisk

    Do you want me to send you a program John to recover the images.

  15. #15
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Lexar and SanDisk

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_AUS
    Do you want me to send you a program John to recover the images.
    Thanks, Peter. If it's free and legit. I don't want to use any pirated software. Gotta keep it all clean and legal
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  16. #16
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    Re: And...

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    A friend of mine accidentally deleted images from a memory card and his computer today. I haven't reformatted the card yet so they should still be there. I need image recovery software recommendations.

    Thanks!

    John
    Search & Recover from IOLO...cost like $30 at CompUSA or Best Buy works. I have used it to recover cards. I have to check thoughand see if they updated it for new Canon RAW for MKII N ... just in case!

    JS

  17. #17
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: And...

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    Search & Recover from IOLO...cost like $30 at CompUSA or Best Buy
    Thanks. I still haven't made up my mind about what to do. This isn't an emergency. Fact is, the photos of my hitting some jumps yesterday. So my vanity is involved :-)
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  18. #18
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    Re: And...

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Thanks. I still haven't made up my mind about what to do. This isn't an emergency. Fact is, the photos of my hitting some jumps yesterday. So my vanity is involved :-)
    Vanity or SANITY Photo John?

    JS

  19. #19
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    clip...
    5) transfer all from PC to DVD
    clip...
    Please note DVD R & CDR are only good for about 5 years. There are a lot of variables mainly the storage temperature determines their usable life. An archivist told the current photographer at my day job to move the images off CDs to magnetic media, as tapes have a 50-80 year life.

    GRF

  20. #20
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    I looked for a previous post about this because it comes up from time to time - but apparently it's been long enough that nothing shows up anymore. I'm sure it's an unnerving experience to lose digital images but somehow I haven't managed to do it (yet). If you have any tips to share, post them here. I'll start with what I know (which is what I'd do in this situation):

    First, don't do anything to the card just yet. Don't try to look for images with your PC, don't put it back in your camera, don't format it or (especially) shoot with it. Check your options, try data recovery software and then follow it's instructions.

    I've heard good things about this software. There's even a free trial. If it doesn't work, you might try a different program - I've heard that if one program doesn't get it, another one might.

    If that doesn't work and the shots are important enough that you want a professional to try to recover them, then you might want to talk to Tallyn's in Peoria IL. They offer this service - it's expensive but if the shots are important it's a better option than telling your client you lost the images!

    So how do you prevent this from happening in the future? Well, the best thing I can recommend is to always format the card in the camera it will be used in every time before you use it (obviously downloading everything from the card first). Don't format it in the PC or in a different camera. Don't turn off the camera while it's still writing to the card. Don't take the card out of the camera or a card reader while it's still reading or writing to the card.

    Any other tips out there - or horror stories and what worked (or didn't)?

    Google sreach turned up this site: http://www.snapfiles.com/Freeware/sy...arecovery.html

    GRF

  21. #21
    Insert something witty here.. yogestee's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    I have a programme called rescuePRO which came with my Sandisk CF cards..It works a treat if you have unwittingly deleted images from your card..One word of warning,,it won't "rescue" images once your card has been formated..

    Jurgen
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    Please don't edit my images without my permission.

  22. #22
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Quote Originally Posted by yogestee
    I have a programme called rescuePRO which came with my Sandisk CF cards..It works a treat if you have unwittingly deleted images from your card..One word of warning,,it won't "rescue" images once your card has been formated..

    Jurgen
    Australia
    There is a program that will recover images from a formated Harddrive or Memory card. I have it some place in my 200 gig HD or it's on a CD some place

    If you do delet files or format do NOT save anything to it or try to install anything, could over write the deleted files making the files unrecovable. If its a hard drive, use a file recovery program off of a floppy drive, and you will need another drive to save the files to, and that drivers for will fit on you boot floppy, or a second harddrive.

    GRF

  23. #23
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    I lost a bunch of images this weekend. Not a good feeling. Especially when you have a brand new, empty 400GB external hard drive sitting next to the computer that just crashed. I had copied almost all of my pics to the HD then decided to format it a dif. way so i deleted most of them. They were still on the computer hard drive so no big deal. Then on Saturday I start up my PC and get an error message. I tried to follow the instructions that popped up with the error message but didn't have any luck with that. The only way I could get the computer to boot up was to put in the recovery disc that came with it. That wiped out everything... I haven't figured out how many pics I actually lost, and there wasn't much on there that I would consider "print worthy", but there were some sentemental pics on there. Christmas pics from grandmas house, airport pics of my future brother in law saying good bye to his family before being deployed... A couple landscape photos that I wanted to print, and a whole lot of snapshots that I wouldn't have done anything with.

    All in all, it wasn't as bad as it could be. I had started buring stuff to DVD's a while ago, so some of the stuff I lost, was backed up, but not all of it. The biggest pain so far has been getting PS reinstalled. A couple hours and 7 CD's later, it was finally up and running again. Now I have to find and reinstal the plug in's that I had loaded, and recreat an action or two.

    A good learning experiance for me, and has given me a much better idea of what I want to do to back up my photos in the future.
    Mike

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  24. #24
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    The only way I could get the computer to boot up was to put in the recovery disc that came with it. That wiped out everything...
    Yep, same here. But my images were all on the D: drive so I only lost the software on my C: drive.

    I tried to follow the instructions that popped up with the error message
    Fatal mistake. I did the same. Micro-soft-in-the-head strikes again.

    You need two computers - just like I did.
    The second one to log onto the Internet to find out how to fix the problem !!

    there were some sentemental pics on there. Christmas pics from grandmas house, airport pics of my future brother in law saying good bye to his family before being deployed... A couple landscape photos that I wanted to print, and a whole lot of snapshots that I wouldn't have done anything with.
    Try a tool like Image Recall - it will read an entire disk and find images.
    Even if they have been deleted. But not if you've written over them.
    You could have it recover files to your external disk.

    The biggest pain so far has been getting PS reinstalled.
    Installed isn't too bad, but if it's PS CS2 there's the re-activation to go through, and convince them you're not a pirate stealing their software.

    A learning experience I hoped everyone else would learn from when I posted my thread a few weks back after my PC died. Well no, the PC is fine, it's Windows that curled up its toes and shuffled off its mortal coil.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  25. #25
    I can't member!?!? dmm96452's Avatar
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    Re: What if you lost your digital images?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    I lost a bunch of images this weekend. Not a good feeling. Especially when you have a brand new, empty 400GB external hard drive sitting next to the computer that just crashed. I had copied almost all of my pics to the HD then decided to format it a dif. way so i deleted most of them. They were still on the computer hard drive so no big deal. Then on Saturday I start up my PC and get an error message. I tried to follow the instructions that popped up with the error message but didn't have any luck with that. The only way I could get the computer to boot up was to put in the recovery disc that came with it. That wiped out everything... I haven't figured out how many pics I actually lost, and there wasn't much on there that I would consider "print worthy", but there were some sentemental pics on there. Christmas pics from grandmas house, airport pics of my future brother in law saying good bye to his family before being deployed... A couple landscape photos that I wanted to print, and a whole lot of snapshots that I wouldn't have done anything with.

    All in all, it wasn't as bad as it could be. I had started buring stuff to DVD's a while ago, so some of the stuff I lost, was backed up, but not all of it. The biggest pain so far has been getting PS reinstalled. A couple hours and 7 CD's later, it was finally up and running again. Now I have to find and reinstal the plug in's that I had loaded, and recreat an action or two.

    A good learning experiance for me, and has given me a much better idea of what I want to do to back up my photos in the future.
    The next time something like this happens to you or anyone else that reads this there is a way to work around the error message that doesn't lose data on the C drive.

    Place a new or spare HD in the pc and and reinstall or run the restore disk to get the operating system on that disk. Then add the old drive back in as a second drive and you will be able to copy your files to the new drive (assuming it was software and not a bad hd that caused the problem).
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