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Old Jun 9, 2008, 7:23 AM   #1
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I recently found my old Sony DSC-F1 and the all the cables (software too but for win95). There's no images on it but Sony said they could be recovered but failed to provide details as how to go about doing it.

I'm currently running winxp, found a USB driver for the DSC_F1(not sure it's really the proper one) and a USB - SERAL cable connector. I loaded up the drivers, rebooted, hooked up the USB to the serial on the camera, fired it up and nothing. Nothing in the "safely remove hardware" or under the folders section.

How can i force the camera to appear as a drive so i can recover those old pics? Also under "my computer/hardware" there are no conflicts so it appearsthe usb drivers are fine.

Please help,

thank you
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 7:39 AM   #2
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splibber wrote:
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How can i force the camera to appear as a drive so i can recover those old pics? Also under "my computer/hardware" there are no conflicts so it appearsthe usb drivers are fine.
I don't think it will appear as a drive. From what I can tell from using google to search for information about it, it's a twain based interface and you've got to use Sony's Album utility software to get the images, regardless of the version of the driver used.

Also, they are not jpeg images. They're in a proprietary .pmp format that is similar to jpeg. So, you'd need a way to convert them to jpeg for other programs to use them.

Here is a driver I'm seeing posters mention works under XP (see the comments on this page). But, you're probably going to need a serial port:

http://members.driverguide.com/drive...driverid=17243

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Old Jun 9, 2008, 11:17 AM   #3
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Hi and thanks for your reply.

I do have the software and serial port on my pc. I did have the Sony Album Utility up and running, the camera was communicating with the pc just fine. It's just that my recovery utilities (Davory and Recover My Photos) was not able to recognize the camera to recover thefiles, so how do i set that up to recover them?
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 11:34 AM   #4
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I don't understand your question.

If the Sony Album utility is up and running, why can't you use it to copy the images to your PC?

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Old Jun 9, 2008, 11:57 AM   #5
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OK.... I think I understand now.

You said this:

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There's no images on it but Sony said they could be recovered but failed to provide details as how to go about doing it.
So, are you telling me that you don't see any images using the playback function on the camera, or using the correct Sony Album Software?

Is that why you're trying to use recovery utilities designed to recover deleted images?

The camera won't show up as a drive (it's not mass storage compliant). It's using a custom (read proprietary) interface to Sony's driver and software. So, Windows based recovery utilities won't be able to see it.

If the images are stored in EEPROM or NAND flash type memory, there might be a way to recover them. If they're being stored in battery backed RAM, they're probably gone by now (I doubt a built in battery in a camera would last this long). I don't know what memory technology a model that old would be using with internal only storage.

Hmmmm.... the open source gPhoto2 library for Linux (already installed in many linux distributions) has experimental support for that camera (they probably reverse engineered the interface used by the chipset in that model). I wonder if it might show up as a block device. I doubt it. But, it may be worth a try, seeing if it would show up that way using fdisk -l

Then, you could copy the contents using ddrescue or use photorec (both free and preinstalled in some Linux distros) to recover any deleted images on it.

You'll just need to understand the way you reference your drives. You can use the command fdisk -l to see a list of drives and partitions and how they are referenced You can use the command mount to see a list of mounted partitions so you can save the files where you want. I'm using SimplyMEPIS 7.0 on my wife's laptop and my desktop, and if you click on the home icon at the bottom of the screen and go to Storage Media, you can click on a Windows partition (NTFS, FAT32, etc.) and it will automatically mount it for read and write access (so you can save the files to where Windows will have access to them).

Links to download the free Linux distro I'm using right now (scroll down and you'll see them):

http://www.mepis.org/mirrors

Note that SimplyMEPIS 7.0 is about a 700MB download (and I'd get the 32 bit version for best compatibility). It will run from a CD (you burn the .iso file you download to a CD and boot into it). If you don't have software that can burn the .iso file to CD, download the free version of DeepBurner. Because this Linux distro can run from CD, you wouldn't have to install it to use it (although it runs much faster from a hard disk install). I've got my wife's laptop setup in a dual boot with Vista and SimplyMEPIS 7.0, and my desktop is setup with XP Pro and SimplyMEPIS 7.0.

Boot into it, plug in the camera (and I think it needs to be in play mode if I'm not mistaken), and see if it shows up using digiKam (you'll see it under the graphics menus) and if there are any photos you can transfer from it (it uses the open source library that has experimental support for your camera model).

If not, see if it shows up as a block device. Open Konsole (the terminal program you'll find in the menus) and type the following commands (using root as the password when asked if running from CD), pressing enter after each line:

su
fdisk -l

Copy and paste the response to the fdisk -l command here (you'll find Firefox in the menus with an icon for it on the task bar at the bottom of the screen so you can get to the forums). I may also want to you type this to give me a list of all hardware found if it's not showing up as a block device using fdisk -l

su
lshw

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Old Jun 10, 2008, 5:43 AM   #6
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Exactly, there are no images on the camera anymore so i am trying to recover some of those old family pics that i was not smart enough to back up. I'll try your recommendation. Now, i do need to be running the cameras Sony Utility Prog for this other program to work right? I believe this DSC-F1 is NAND memory. If i read your reply right, this progam will mount the camera so it appears as a drive? Then, recover utilities might work? I'll work with it and see what happens.

Thank you very much and keep your fingers crossed!
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 6:12 AM   #7
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We don't know what it will do until we try it.

No, it doesn't use the Sony programs or drivers at all. This is a totally different operating system. You wouldn't be using Windows at all (you'd be booting into a Linux operating system), and you'd be communicating with the camera via an open source library with experimental support for your Sony. It's unlikely it's going to appear as a block device for direct access to copy the contents of the camera's memory. But, I haven't tried looking through the source code to see how it works and it's probably worth a try.

P.S.

About the only other option you'd have if we can't get access to the camera's memory (so we can copy it's entire contents), is to send it to a specialized recovery service.

They'd need to be good enough to take apart the camera and remove the memory from it without damaging it. Then, they'd need to to engineer an interface to the memory via a controller so that they could access it and copy it's contents.

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Old Jun 10, 2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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Wow, sounds pretty intensive going througha specialized company to recover the data. Not really worth the trouble. I'll try the mepis prog.

thanks again!


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Old Jun 10, 2008, 10:06 AM   #9
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After you boot into it, just open Konsole (a Terminal Program in the menus), issue the commands I mentioned in my posts above and copy and paste the results in this thread. Then, I'll let you know what to do next if it looks like we can get to the data.

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