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Thread: Oh Crap!.......

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    Ausphotography Regular ktoopi's Avatar
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    Oh Crap!.......

    Hi there all,

    Ok so my HD is full again......I pull my external HD so I can move photos off my C drive onto it as I usually do. I have photos from 2007 to 2011 stored on the external HD........or so I thought. I plug it in and NOTHING. It says that there is nothing on it and all of the space is available!! Thank god I also backed up the photos to DVD up until 2010!! I have obviously forgotten to back up 2011 to DVD. 2012 - 2014 is still on my C Drive on my computer. Is there anything that can be done to recover the lost photos??????........should I use the external HD or chuck it and get another?
    Kicking myself big time........it's looking like I've lost a years worth of photos grrrr so mad at myself for forgetting to back that last year up!!!!!!!!!!!

    Karen
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    Ausphotography Regular danny's Avatar
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    Happened to me the other day also. It is such a "real world" problem. I dropped my HD while in the process of backing it up, and lost 12 months worth of photos. I have heard that there are some places that offer data recovery, however I have also been warned that it is not cheap, (all info comes from the good people of AP). I'm sure someone on here will offer advise on who to take it do.

    And just to make you laugh…

    my wife kept telling me that she 'heard' that you can put a HD in the freezer for a couple of hours and it will work again
    So after I had tried everything, I finally gave in and tried the freezer trick, I must admit I had high hopes, as a dutiful husband I know that my wife is always right!! Well…. it seems…. for once…. SHE WAS WRONG!!! all I got for my troubles was a still broken, but very cold HD.
    Cheers
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    First things first Karen.
    Don't use the drive. Don't send any more data to it, or try to fix it in any way(yet).

    You can download some free recovery software that may fix it for 'ya.

    I've used(and still have) a program called Recuva. There is a free for home use version, and this is all you should need.
    If you have written any data to the drive, there is the possibility that some of the old(now unseen) data may be unrecoverable .. so to use this data recovery software, it's best to use it before any other events to the target drive.

    The real lesson learned here is not about the possibility of HDD failure .. for all the data to be lost, I'd say there may even be the possibility that human error caused it.

    Anyhow, if the data has been deleted, or if the MFT has been deleted or damaged, or someone(else?) happened to format the drive or something simple like that then the possibility of recovering the data is high.

    the real lesson learned here tho, is that if you really value your data, you would have multiple(eg, 2 or 3) copies of the data stored somewhere .. and regularly synced to maintain peace of mind.
    Personally, I wouldn't back up to DVD, other than for short term storage. I have 3 specific copies of my images, four if I count the daily used HDD where all current images are downloaded too.
    One of the image stores is my regularly used copy(of all my images since day one), another is my regular backup of this same collection of images and a final bare drive copy that I only update every year or so.
    The bare drive is not current, and is a last resort failsafe backup.
    If the other two backups are somehow rendered useless I at least only lose a years worth of images. What are the chances of two backups dying at the same time, let alone 3, or even four.

    I've accepted the inevitable that some idiot(most likely me .. possibly the kids) may accidentally format one of the image drives, or delete the MFT, or accidentally download a virus or something.
    I, they or we may kill all data on the connected drives, but at least one will survive(the bare always unconnected drive).

    Good luck with it .. and be sure to look into getting another drive to backup the data again.
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    Thanks aurthurking.......I haven't done anything with the drive except plug it in and try to look at the files! I have tried a couple of times now both using my desktop and my laptop and now there are some weird files on it that weren't visible the first time I tried and I can't open them and don't know what they are. I can see the drive and look on it but the photo files are gone I am at a loss as to how they simply vanished. Nobody touches my computer stuff but me. DVD may not be an ideal back up but at least I have a copy except for 2011 which I forgot about. It seems that no form of digital storage is totally safe.
    Anyways after reading your blurb I remembered that I also have a drive that regularly backs up my computer so here's hoping that 2011's photo's are on there! The stuffed drive is a WD 1 TB passport is that a good brand? I ask because I only bought another yesterday (before I knew about my drive problems) and bought the same brand. If it's not a reliable brand I'll take it back ASAP. I would also be interested to know what you would recommend as a back up system for my photos. I want something that follows the KISS principles (K eep I t S imple S tupid)

    Cheers Karen

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    Ausphotography Irregular Warbler's Avatar
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    Use the Command Prompt and type in CHKDSK <Hard Drive Letter>: /r and wait. Depending on the size of the drive, this could take 24 hrs or more. It may look like it has stopped, but it hasn't. Let it run to completion. If no files visible at the end, go to recovery software. It's worked for me in the past.
    Last edited by Warbler; 01-09-2014 at 6:36am.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    ...Use the Command Prompt and type in CHKDSK <Hard Drive Letter>: /r and wait...
    No, don't do this, Karen!!

    Sorry Warbs, but NOT the /R option at this stage. The /R option will attempt to "repair" it. There may well be NOTHING wrong with it at all.

    Karen, just do the CHKDSK <hard drive letter>: command without any other parameter, for example, if the drive letter is E:, type in:
    chkdsk e:

    Otherwise, does that drive give you any message at all when you plug it in? I sometimes get a message about having to "format" a drive
    when I plug it in. I ignore it, disconnect it, and try it on another computer. When you have it plugged in, does it show up in your
    USB list? Can you see the "Safely Remove" option?

    Most importantly, don't panic (yet).

    Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 01-09-2014 at 7:37am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    I had my HD wiped as part of comp repairs, they forgot to backup "My Pictures" so did I for that matter. They ran a recovery program with limited success. I got in Geeks to you after a couple of weeks & they suggested sending the HD to their lab in NSW who have the wiz bang programs . After some back & forth phone calls & emails it work out they could recover no more than my local shop with a free recovery program. What I was able to do was search my social media & recover 85% of my photos albeit they were under 200kb. HD's are getting bigger so we are actually trusting them with more data, is this a good thing?
    Filter.
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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    Most computer shops should be able to help you. Even HN have a tech guy. The cost these days is not that expensive. I had it done many years ago and though I can't remember how much I thought it was reasonable. There is nothing wrong with WD hard drives as such. If you bought two from the same batch and one fails then there maybe a chance that the other HD could fail also. If you bought them 6 months apart, OK. If you value those lost photo's take it to a pro. Rescue-Pro is a free recovery program for 1 year that came with a compact flash card I purchased. It states digital media so not sure if that includes HD's Any way good luck. cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian. Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    So with all this good advice about getting "it fixed", have we determined there is a problem yet?
    Karen, sorry for NOT mentioning directly to try it on another computer first in the post above.
    Sorry, you already have. In that case, can it be identified on the computer you're using, and can you try a CHKDSK command without any other parameters?

    When you are in the command prompt, you can do this command to look at the options for CHKDSK...
    CHKDSK /?
    Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 01-09-2014 at 9:08am.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktoopi View Post
    .......
    Anyways after reading your blurb I remembered that I also have a drive that regularly backs up my computer so here's hoping that 2011's photo's are on there! The stuffed drive is a WD 1 TB passport is that a good brand? I ask because I only bought another yesterday (before I knew about my drive problems) and bought the same brand. If it's not a reliable brand I'll take it back ASAP. I would also be interested to know what you would recommend as a back up system for my photos. I want something that follows the KISS principles (K eep I t S imple S tupid)

    Cheers Karen
    Hopefully you can recover or discover the data you seem to have lost.

    The program I use to do my backups is the most simple I've found available .. no bloatware, no automatic seek modes .. nothing .. just backup software9free of course!) that runs quickly and efficiently with two or three clicks.

    I have about 8 WD drives in total, and so far all 8 have never failed .. some are over 10 years old now
    I've had a Seagate drive fail and I have one Toshiba drive here that failed on someone else. Can't remember the other brand of drives I have had to help others with tho(I think the old Maxtor brand and maybe another Seagate too). I don't think the brand of drive will make that much of a difference in the overall scheme of things.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Hi Karen

    Bear in mind that there is a possibility it may be an issue with the external housing and not the drive so the drive might be okay. First step would be removing the drive from the housing and replacing that to see if it's a drive issue. Unfortunately this would also void the warranty which may be a concern.

    As far as drives are concerned, there are generally two options for recovery:

    1. Software based
    2. Hardware based

    The software based is generally reserved for drive failures that relate to corrupted files, deleted partitions etc.

    The hardware based ones could be simple (external housing issue) or complex. The more complex is where they physical dismantle the drive in a clean room and repair the broken parts to recover the data. The cost for the latter can be $1000+ so you need to question whether its too expensive and how important the photos are.

    From a backup perspective, its worth noting that DVD is not what I would consider a stable long term format for storage. DVD's can get damaged and the dye in the DVD can fade if not stored in the dark so generally speaking, DVD's can last anything between 1 year and 15 years.

    From a backup perspective, I would recommend two backups of everything. You do incremental (ongoing backups) using backup software and then a full backup of the data once a month which could be done using software or simple copying the contents of your drive once a month. I use a combination of a drive backup and a online backup which gives me both a cloud based recovery and a local recovery.

    Online is an option but can be expensive to get the bulk of your data uploaded when you start depending on how many photos you have and how many you taken on a monthly basis. Some services like Crashplan offer the option to send them a hard drive for your initial backup which may help if you have a lot of photos. It's only available for customers with more than 300GB of data and costs $165 but it's still cheaper than having to upgrade your backup service for a year to cope with the initial upload. You can read more about this option here:

    https://support.code42.com/CrashPlan.../Seeded_Backup

    Personally, when it comes to online, you need to weigh up the pros and cons. On the pros, you will have a safe online backup at a remote location not effected by fire. It still does not negate your requirement for a local backup because we all know the potential of services being hacked.
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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I will review it all and weigh up my options. I still have the chance that the photos are on the separate drive I have that automatically backs up my computer. I don't really have time to sort it right now as I'm off to the States ......but will work it out when I get back in a few weeks. Once again thanks everyone.

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    Ausphotography Irregular Warbler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    No, don't do this, Karen!!

    Sorry Warbs, but NOT the /R option at this stage. The /R option will attempt to "repair" it. There may well be NOTHING wrong with it at all.
    And what's wrong with that AM? No need to hit the panic button in such dramatic fashion.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    ...First things first Karen.
    Don't use the drive. Don't send any more data to it, or try to fix it in any way(yet)...
    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    And what's wrong with that AM? No need to hit the panic button in such dramatic fashion.
    Warbs, in agreement with AK, I tried to convey the idea to not attempt to write to the drive until sure that it had a problem, and hopefully identified
    so that a proper course of action might be taken.

    The use of large letters was to grab Karen's attention. It was not to cast aspersions on your advice, and in my same post, and in the quote you made,
    this had been - I would have thought - made apparent.

    Again, no big deal intended, but I would contest the latter description in your post.

    Don't forget, people can disagree on forums, as long as they give reasons. If I have been wrong, I'm happy to hear about it.
    Am.

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    Ausphotography Irregular Warbler's Avatar
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    Whilst not wishing to get into any arguments on this I will explain why I gave the advice I did. Karen says "I plug it in and NOTHING. It says that there is nothing on it and all of the space is available!!" The disc itself is not faulty, but maybe the FAT or NTFS or whatever file system on the disc is corrupted and just not able to read the files according to their address.

    CHKDSK reads this and tries to correct it if you choose the /f or /r options. It doesn't attempt to repair the files or the hardware, it attempts to repair the header info that points to the file segments. This is already "broken" if the files haven't been deleted because you'd be able to see them if it wasn't. The difference between the /f and /r parameters is that /f option stays withing the header area and the /r option actually reads the entire hard drive. It is possible that the /f will not find a problem, but the /r will. In any case CHKDSK only write to the header area and won't change your files.

    Here's one quick link that explains much better than I can or have the inclination to do anyway. As with all advice on these fora, take it or leave it.

    http://askleo.com/checking-and-repai...k-with-chkdsk/

    - - - Updated - - -

    Crossed post AM.
    Last edited by Warbler; 02-09-2014 at 7:50am.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    OK Warbs. Let's just say that I was opting for the CHKDSK command alone to check only.
    I have plugged drives in and have had no response as well, - not even a USB connection. But a subsequent attachment has made them work.
    Thanks for the link, btw. To me it doesn't indicate you must use a repair option, even though it shows that box ticked.

    And what argument?

    Ultimately it's up to Karen to take any advice offered.
    Am.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    OK Warbs. Let's just say that I was opting for the CHKDSK command alone to check only.
    I have plugged drives in and have had no response as well, - not even a USB connection. But a subsequent attachment has made them work.
    Thanks for the link, btw. To me it doesn't indicate you must use a repair option, even though it shows that box ticked.

    And what argument?

    Ultimately it's up to Karen to take any advice offered.
    Am.
    He is correct in one respect. If the drive is damaged and Karen intends using a professional service to recover the data, this could further damage the drive and reduce the chances of recovering the data.

    My guess is that she should wait until she finds out whether she has backup copies of the data. If not, she may want to seek professional advice to recover the data depending on the importance. If the data is not critical and she isn't prepared to spend a $1000 to recover it, she can try other avenues of repairing the disk etc. If the data is critical and she doesn't want to risk losing it (photos of her kids that cannot be recovered), then seeking professional advice and having it done properly BEFORE doing anything could mean the difference between recovering the data or not.

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    Ausphotography Irregular Warbler's Avatar
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    Well advice on the web is divided too on using CHKDSK, so no problem there. I think I can hear tapping coming from AK's direction, but I might be mistaken. Of course take it to a professional. They'll copy your data onto a new drive anyway, so when you get the old one back, run CHKDSK anyway to see if it has any bad sectors.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    LOL!(tapping finalised )

    My preference when recovering a failed HDD is to never write to the disk itself, but always to another disk.
    I've read howtos which have described cloning the failed drive first, as a precaution.

    I don't do this for a living, but only as a help service to friends and family(and sometimes work!) .. but more usually, my son!

    Of all the software tools I've tried over the years(including chkdsk) .. this Recuva program seems to do the trick nicely and easy to follow steps ..... for someone that's not so computer repair 'confident' an easy to use software solution is generally best.
    Less repair confident folks seem to have very little patience(in my observations) .. and a situation like restarting/rebooting the computer 15mins into a chkdsk operation wouldn't be uncommon to see!

    The one thing I'm not particularly keen on with using something like chkdsk is that it recovers everything in a manner of speaking, and leaves unwanted files and folders(which could confuse the less confident user).
    A more graphical approach to the problem, where you select the files that can be recovered is easier for the user to understand.
    That is, if the user only wants to recover a small portion of a large store of data, and it makes it a quicker process overall .. then I think this is the best way forward.

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    Just a final note to this saga .......I eventually took my hard drive to a computer shop to recover the lost files and they reckon that there was nothing on it in the first place and that there is nothing wrong with the hard drive I know I triple checked that the files were on there before I deleted the photos off my c drive Sigh.....they insinuated that I was an idiot that didn't know what I was doing grrrrrr I am to a degree but I know the files were there or I would never have deleted off my c drive and emptied the trash!

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