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Thread: Recovering photos

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    Recovering photos

    Last year a drug induced computer tech accidentally formatted my hard drive. It's a very long story and it all started with me trying to do a backup that wouldn't work.
    So on this day this man copied every file I have on my 4 internal hard drives onto 1 of the drives. He then formatted that drive and not the other ones like he was supposed to.
    So I lost everything I have ever had on the computer.
    He did a recovery which got back most but not all of my files ( I had an old backup with photos on it as well but nothing had been backed up for about 6 months. So i got back everything from that back up.
    All of the files that were recovered have been renamed File and put in folders of 300 each. There are 66000.
    I have been slowly sorting them but obviously don't have the original names.
    Another recovery was tried by another computer store. They recovered the folders all named but the photos won't open.
    Firstly is there anyway I can sort the photo files back to how they were?
    Secondly can I somehow fix the photos that are in named folders but won't open? It says this file is damaged or corrupted. I have downloaded a couple of trial and free programs to try this but nothing has worked so far.
    Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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    Well, I'm far from being a computer expert, but if he did a quick format rather than a low level format, you might be in with a chance of recovering your lost data. You'll probably need to spend some money to find out though. There is free recovery software about that claims to recover from formatted HDD, but I've found you often get what you pay for with some of this stuff. There are some exceptions though and hopefully someone here can point you at one. For my part, I paid for recovery software that worked okay for me. It wasn't cheap, but then I was recovering from a corrupt RAID drive. Good luck!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    nup, they cannot be easily renamed, when recovered the techs have just given them a sequence number to get them back. All the previous filenaming will be gone.

    But if you can pay someone (it will cost you) to try another recovery, you may get the filenames back in part. Windoze uses an old DOS convention for deleted files and it places a ? in front of the filename to signify deleted file. So Smithfamily.jpg becomes ?mithfamily.jpg when deleted. That is the basis of how recovery is done also. BUT any partition or drive segment noted with files starting with ? are recognises as deleted and can be written over, thus leading to non-recovery of files.

    So. there is a chance you could get partial filenames back, but given the processes done so far on the drive, I expect it might be impossible by now.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    Ausphotography Regular fenderstrat1963's Avatar
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    I'd recommend running PhotoRec over the hard drive - I've used it before & had good results recovering files. There's some info here (it's the mobile URL):

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PhotoRec
    Steve


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    Has anything been written to the formatted drive? If you overwrite data you immediately stop writing data to the drive. While the data is still (you just can't see it) there the operating system will write over it because it isn't flagged as being a file. If you have written anything to the drive then chances are you have overwritten at least part of the data you are trying to recover.

    I have had some success with restoring data from formatted drives, it sounds like I used software similar to the computer store. It would jumble the folder name in the root directory, but all sub-folders and file names were intact. (I did use one piece of software that got all the data back but it did not preserve the file names, this was most frustrating.)

    I will see if I can find the software (interstate on business, it is on my desktop in the office), if you don't hear from me in a week send me a PM.
    Adam.


    AGSPhotos.com

    Using Nikon & PS CS5.

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    Ok thanks for some advice. I am pretty sure the drive is being used again, It woulf be very hard to figure out which one it was as they have all been moved around. I have all the recovered stuff on one drive. Would the programs suggested work on the recovered files or only on the original drive?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    No., only on the original drive!

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    Bugger.

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