Oh where oh where have my photos gone...
September 14, 2009 9:24 PM   Subscribe

I just 'undid' my copy from my camera. Photos are gone. Help me get them back.

I'm panicking...

I just copied about 400 photos from my camera to my 'Incoming Media' folder on my mac (by dragging them from the camera folder to my media folder. I then unplugged my camera and deleted the photos from the camera. I went back to my 'Incoming Media' folder and was sorting the photos when I accidentally hit 'Undo Copy of 400 items'. All my photos went away. FEAR. I then said 'Redo Copy'. A blank version of all my files was recreated but no actual files.

Where did my files go? Can I get them back? :(
posted by shew to Technology (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
The good news is that they're probably still on the memory card of the camera since cards are FAT format and deleting files doesn't destroy the data, just the directory entries..

Pull the card out and don't do anything with it until you figure out how to recover them.
posted by Palamedes at 9:26 PM on September 14, 2009


erm, better advice from me might be don't do anything with the camera at all right now and focus on undoing the Mac side of things. There are data recovery tools, your files should still be on the Mac, so put it to sleep or something and don't use the hard-drive until you figure this out. . .
posted by Palamedes at 9:28 PM on September 14, 2009


http://www.datarescue.com/
You can download the software, scan your card (actually a copy of your card) and if it works, pay $29 to complete the process. If it doesn't work, pay nothing.
I recovered over 900 photos after I had accidentally formatted my card in the camera. I scanned my card twice because I only got back ~400 photos with the first scan. Then after a second time through, I got over 900 photos back. My videos were garbled though, so I didn't get them back but I might try another scan.

Do what Palamedes said- take the card out and don't use it until you decide how you are going to proceed.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 9:40 PM on September 14, 2009


I successfully used exif untrasher when my memory card was pretending to be blank.
posted by adamrice at 9:42 PM on September 14, 2009


FileSalvage will let you download and check for your files without paying. You have to register to actually recover files though. Do you have a card reader? You might be able to use something like FileSalvage directly on the camera card.

(One rule I always use: I never delete my photos from my camera card until after I am sure they are on the computer, and usually only after I have run a backup. It's a good habit; stuff can go bad pretty quickly.)
posted by The Deej at 9:45 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the tips, guys.

Things are getting better... I used PhotoRec to scan the card and retrieve the files (it's pulling most of them out now).

I'm astonished that Leopard will let you undo a copy (essentially deleting all the files) and not place them in the trash can.

Lesson learned.
posted by shew at 9:49 PM on September 14, 2009


Yeah, when I saw this question I was going to recommend PhotoRec (and TestDisk), which I used in the past to great effect. So a post-resolution of the question seconding from me.

Whenever I read a story about someone (generally a journalist or blogger) forced to delete photos from their camera, I think that this kind of software should be included in the Journalism 101 course.
posted by djgh at 10:14 PM on September 14, 2009


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