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Old Feb 7, 2009, 9:52 PM   #1
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Ok, I'm new here and not technologically inclined so please bear with me. I appreciate ANY help anyone can give me. Last month, our home was burglarized and our new laptop was stolen. On the laptop we had MANY pics of our recent honeymoon in Puerto Rico and some wedding pics that were not yet backed up. My husband and I are SO desperate to retrieve the pics. So the details are that we were taking these pics with our Fiji FinePix A900 9.0mp camera and a SanDisk Ultra II SD 2GB memory card. While on vacation we downloaded most of the pics to our computer then deleted them from the card. Since our computer was stolen, we have spent countless hours racking our brain trying to figure out how to get our memories back. I have used some freeware data recovery programs such as Stellar Phoenix, Recovermyphotos and Card Recover, but have not had any luck. In fact, each on of these pulled up a different number of photos.



My questions is this: I have read up on how this works and understand that the file should be there unless it has been overwritten. Is there any way to know whether or not the files are likely overwritten??? We did take a lot of pics after we deleted the others, but doesn't the memory card hold a lot of pictures? Or does the space that is newly deleted get overwritten first???? Please help if anyone has any suggestions. We've been at this for three weeks and are HEARTBROKEN. I still haven't given up on finding the actual computer either, although it seems hopeless. :-( We have no pics from out honeymoon. We discovered 60 of the pics had accidentally synced to my husband's iPhone, but then last weekend while we were in church, THAT was stolen too! We hadn't backed that up because we were waiting for our new computer to be shipped.

Thanks so much
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 10:19 PM   #2
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Probably the best program for recovering photos is at http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Good luck.
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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I've tried this site, but the software doesn't download, maybe I'm doing something wrong.
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Old Feb 8, 2009, 6:31 AM   #4
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I downloaded it OK and unzipped it but found it too confusing to use which is about par for the course considering my computer knowledge:sad:.

It seems one has to PAY to get a photo recovery program that is really useful and even then from what I have read on this subject nothing is assured.
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Old Feb 8, 2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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dncrgrl06 wrote:
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I've tried this site, but the software doesn't download, maybe I'm doing something wrong.
Try one of the links on this page: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download

Almar wrote:
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I downloaded it OK and unzipped it but found it too confusing to use which is about par for the course considering my computer knowledge:sad:.
You open photorec_win.exe. It opens in a command window, and lists the volumes it can see. You move the highlight using the up and down arrow keys to select the volume you want to work with. Then you use the left and right arrow keys to select 'Proceed' or 'Quit', and press 'Enter'

Almar wrote:
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It seems one has to PAY to get a photo recovery program that is really useful and even then from what I have read on this subject nothing is assured.

Uh ... no. PhotoRec is free, though you are encouraged to contribute toward its continued distribution and development. And you are correct; nothing is assured, as is the case with any program or service of this kind. If you take one photo, download it to your computer, delete it from the card, take another photo, download it, and repeat this process hundreds of times, each new photo will have overwritten the data from the previous photo, so only the last photo will be recoverable. So nobody will guarantee that their program will recover all your photos. But PhotoRec is probably the best at this kind of thing.
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Old Feb 8, 2009, 2:09 PM   #6
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Try this. I've even recovered files after the card was formatted!

(and its free. :lol



http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/smar...htm?Language=1
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Old Feb 8, 2009, 9:25 PM   #7
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I have used PC inspector, and found it to work very well. The only caveat I have is that it doesn't seem to recover RAW images. Jpeg and Tiff work beautifully.

brian
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 11:35 AM   #8
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First and most important point:

You may already know this, but I'll say it anyway just in case: Do NOT use that card again. Every write you make to it will make it exponentially more difficult for any program (or any data recovery center) to get the deleted data off it.

Since this data is obviously very dear to you, I'm guessing that you would consider paying to have them recovered. There are many companies that specialize in data recovery, I can only speak to the work of one (and it's in Canada). CBL Technologies. A good friend of mine lost the contents of a large (10 drive) array (total capacity around 1000 GB) and they were able to recover every byte (for a burning sum of $3000 CDN).

For a single 2 gig memory card, I'd expect the price tag to come in under $500. One great thing about them is that you ship them your card/drive/disk/etc, they perform the recovery for free and tell you how much data they were able to recover. They then quote you a price to send you the data. If you decide the price exceeds the value of the data, you pay nothing. The process will however tell you how much data could possibly be recovered.

As for software based solutions, I've used OnTrack with a high degree of success (on hard drives that do not have any physical damage). I believe they have a free version that will tell you WHAT could be recovered (and then you pay for the full version if you decide that it can recover enough data to make the purchase worthwhile). I can't remember for sure, but I think basic versions are worth around 200USD (I'll update this post if I find the correct value).
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 2:03 PM   #9
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Almar wrote:
Quote:
I downloaded it OK and unzipped it but found it too confusing to use which is about par for the course considering my computer knowledge:sad:.

It seems one has to PAY to get a photo recovery program that is really useful and even then from what I have read on this subject nothing is assured.
It's really easier to use than meets the eye You can use the defaults for everything if desired. If you run into something you don't understand, simply look at the step by step guide on the web site. ;-)

See my post in this thread about it (and it includes links to the instructions on how to use it, although you probably won't need them):

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=52

Here's a quote:

Quote:
I'd suggest that you download and install this software for the operating system you're using (Windows, Mac, Linux). It's free. You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the main page. Then, just click on the desired operating system to download it.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Use a card reader if possible, and select your memory card from the list of media it finds (hard drives, memory cards, etc.), and give it a place to save the photos to on your hard disk when you are asked Where to Save Recovered Files (it defaults to saving recovered files in subfolders under Photorec, where the software is installed on your hard drive, but you can change it to something else if desired). Note that this product does not retain the original file names (but, you may not care about that), since it ignores the file allocation table entirely.

Don't worry about changing any of the other options. Just leave everything else at the defaults (Partition type of Intel, file types to recover, etc.) and it will try to recover any files that haven't been overwritten yet (and don't try to do anything like take more photos or you may overwrite some of them).

Here's a page showing you how to use this software:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step

There are some other free programs around that do a pretty good job in most cases, too. Here's one example, and it also has a nice Graphical User Interface. I usually prefer photorec. But, if you're not comfortable with a text based interface, you may want to try this one first instead.

http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/smar...htm?Language=1

After you recover your images (and make sure you can see the larger images, not just the thumbnails), I'd make sure you format the card again before using it, using the camera's menu choice for format (not your PC).

I do that every time I reuse a card (format it again using the camera's menu choice for format). That way, the card always starts out with a fresh FAT (File Allocation Table), just the way the camera expects it, since the camera is performing the format.
If it's still too confusing, just use PC Inspector Smart Recovery (also mentioned in that same post, as well as in this thread by other members). It also has the ability to ignore the underlying file system.

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Old Feb 17, 2009, 5:13 AM   #10
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That most helpful advice I will certainly follow, JimC and if AOL could only get their act together, I would have thanked you earlier.

It is most comforting to have experts like you ready to give time and effort to assist beginners like me

Regards, AlmaR.
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