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Lost all my photos, help me recover please
  
 
Kaustubh
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


I was in the process of backing up my external drive containing all photos since I picked up a camera around 2011. I was in the process of backing up the photos with Lightroom catalogue. Sadly I do not have any backup whatsoever. (Yes this is foolish of me not to do so). The only backup I have are some physical prints from my recent photo exhibition and some high-resolution file stored on my printer's website.

Since November 3rd, I have used DiskDrill on MBP 15" mid-2015 to recover the files. I have had some successes, however, I can't seem to get any pictures from Aug 2015 onwards. The deep scan last for days - my current one has been going on for 27hours and it still says about 32 hours remaining - may be because of bad sectors on the disk. I have paused the process and now cloning the disk into a new external HD, hoping the recovery process will be faster and better. Since I erased the drive accidentally, I have only used it for recovery purposes and once repaired the drive using Diskwarrior.

The countless hours of work lost on LR are gone, maybe I can copy some of the editings from LR catalogue if I manage to recover the files. I have been a Fuji X100 user since 2013, and I shoot RAW, so most files are .RAF or .DNG. I used Cannon before, so some .CRG files. I have many phone pictures in .JPG format.

It is very sad to see all my "work" gone, but I hope I can salvage some of my photos. I am considering sending it for professional recovery if all fails. Sometimes I think I should just do a fresh start, but my photographs are my memories, not just my work - in that respect, they are invaluable to me.

I am reaching out to the community for advice. Thank you.

You can view some of my pictures here if you are curious: http://eatandsit.tumblr.com



Nov 09, 2017 at 03:56 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


That's awful. Did you delete them, or did the drive fail? If you just deleted them, I would not write anything to the drive.

When I've recovered memory cards, it doesn’t seem anything is deleted. So you might be able to recover your photos, I think, unless the drive has failed.

Photorec worked well, I think it might work for a drive?

http://www.cgsecurity.org



Nov 09, 2017 at 04:20 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


I suggest pulling the drive immediately and sending it for professional recovery.

EBH



Nov 09, 2017 at 05:14 AM
schlotz
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


+1 Pull it NOW and send in. Hopefully you have not written anything to the disk since the event and they can recover the photos. BTW be prepared, it won't be cheap! Sorry to hear you're in this situation. It's unfortunate to learn a lesson the hard way, don't make the same decision going forward. Have a backup process and follow it religiously.


Nov 09, 2017 at 03:08 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


Extremely unfortunate, but an object demonstration of the value of duplication (and Write Once Read Many media) to the rest of us. I hope you get back your images.


Nov 09, 2017 at 07:52 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



EB-1
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


You can use a write-blocked bridge with hard drives if you are so inclined.

EBH



Nov 09, 2017 at 08:56 PM
R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


Back in the day i used SanDisk Rescue Pro to recover CF cards and hard drives.


Nov 09, 2017 at 11:06 PM
Kaustubh
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


Update: After days of trying - I am positive I managed to recover 99% of the photos (70,000 raw files, ~1.5 TB of photos on my external HDD) - almost all in RAW format. I also recovered the latest LR catalogue backup, which means I might be able to copy edits based on date and time information (longer term project).

I used DiskDrill (you get a month of free usage if you sign up for Setapp) on Mac OS. It took me couple days to recover erased filed, but I didn't recover any photos from 2015 - present. I decided to run the scan again, in three days into the scan, it was only 50% done. I tracked the scan progress by time manually and it was frustrating to see 1% every 8-9 hours. DiskDrill allows once to save the process and pick up later on, which has been a lifesaver for me. I decided to use Disk Warrior to "fix" my external drive, but this didn't help speed the process. It did remove/fix (?) some bad sectors. Estimated time was upward of 35 hours and the progress was extremely slow. I also ensure to use this computer as little as possible as to not disturb it, I was afraid the computer might "hang" and I might have to restart. I also disconnected from the internet (to avoid software updates etc.).

The game changer for me was the make a disk image of the erased disk, into a new disk with no corrupt sectors. I wish I had done this first, would save me a lot of time and frustration. DiskDrill has a nifty function to make a disk image (.dmg), which you can mount. It took me 5 complete days to make a disk image. I ran a recovery scan - it completed in 8 hours, and most of the files seem to be recovered. Now I am recovering erased files and moving them to my LR.

Lessons:
- please back up your disk. I accidentally erased my only photo drive instead of formatting my new drive. We all screw up sometimes.
- final exports - back it up online, they are free and cheap. I backed up most photos on Dropbox, it was easy to print that way for my exhibitions, but I had recently cleaned up my dropbox and deleted all the high-quality exports. So, first back up and delete, not the other way round even if you are sure you will not lose them.
- Accidents happen if you need to recover something, first make an image of the disk. I would say get professional help, but the estimates I got to recover 1.5 TB data was very pricey. It was my last report.
- DiskDrill worked great for me on Mac OS - be patient. Just like scientist make lab notes, make a note of things you are doing and your progress. Be extremely patient, if you have a second computer, dedicate one computer solely for recover. Be careful if you are doing multiple things in the recovery computer - software updates, accidentally closing the wrong window.
- Get some sleep - the first few days I only slept a couple hours but slowly learn to let the computer do its thing.
- Stay positive.


Thank you everyone for the feedback. Kind regards.



Nov 14, 2017 at 07:00 PM
rdeloe
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lost all my photos, help me recover please


What an experience, and what a nightmare! I'm happy to hear the story ended well for you.


Nov 14, 2017 at 07:08 PM







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