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View Full Version : Deleted my photos.. trying to recover




Mags88
Jul 11, 2012, 08:37 PM
Hi Guys,

Long time lurker.

Decided that I should ask for some advice on this one after numerous attempts from googling.

I was backing up my photos/music/movies and such to my new hard drive in the process I somehow managed to delete the original copy from the macbook pro hard drive, the external hard drive and the other external hard drive. So 3 drives in total.

Now I have found software which has located the photos, or most of them. Sadly they are restored with random names and not in the original folders. They contain 6 years of traveling photos :(.

Is there any program out there which will be able to restore these photos/folders to there original form?



brentmore
Jul 11, 2012, 08:40 PM
I've used Test Disk and PhotoRec with some success, but I don't remember how it dealt with filenames. Worth a shot anyway

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

Mags88
Jul 11, 2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks I'll give it a go.

I cannot believe I managed to delete all copies. If need be I'll have to dedicate a few weekends to sorting the photos :eek:.

robgendreau
Jul 12, 2012, 02:18 PM
If you are talking about file names, can't help. You might look into utilities that reconstruct drives, like DiskWarrior.

But you could also try reorganizing them using tags and exif data and so on. Some of that info may still be present.

Rob

Mags88
Jul 12, 2012, 07:13 PM
I mean that each photo was organised into folders. For example by country then by city or events and such things. I have thousands of them from all my traveling.

I have managed to restore most of the photos but they are all located in one folder and I accept I will have to sift through and re-organise every photo into their original timeline/folder :eek:.

phyrexia
Jul 13, 2012, 01:19 AM
I mean that each photo was organised into folders. For example by country then by city or events and such things. I have thousands of them from all my traveling.

I have managed to restore most of the photos but they are all located in one folder and I accept I will have to sift through and re-organise every photo into their original timeline/folder :eek:.

Do the recovered files have timestamps from when you recovered them or from when they were created? I've never used file recovery software.

If they have the old timestamps, it could help you to sort them.

Mags88
Jul 13, 2012, 08:54 PM
Do the recovered files have timestamps from when you recovered them or from when they were created? I've never used file recovery software.

If they have the old timestamps, it could help you to sort them.
They do have timestamps. Not all correct but they are in order to an extent however there are 7000 photos to arrange from my travels around the world.. woohoo :D.

I will try one more program to restore the original folders but will make do with this, relieved :cool:.

phyrexia
Jul 14, 2012, 05:13 AM
They do have timestamps. Not all correct but they are in order to an extent however there are 7000 photos to arrange from my travels around the world.. woohoo :D.

I will try one more program to restore the original folders but will make do with this, relieved :cool:.

Be glad your pictures havent been turned into a string of magnetically encoded zeroes ;)

Fishrrman
Jul 14, 2012, 09:30 AM
"I will try one more program to restore the original folders but will make do with this, relieved"

You ARE NOT going to get your original folder hierarchies back*. Not going to happen.

You ARE NOT going to get (in many cases) your original file names back*, either.
* - by use of the data recovery software, that is...

Why not? You are asking....

Because file names and folder hierarchies are "constructs" of the directory of the drive. When you deleted the files/folders, you removed all "references" to the files that previously existed in the directory. The files' -data-, however, was left intact out on the sectors of the drive platters.

This is how file recovery software works. It doesn't have any "knowledge" of previous file names or folder hierarchies, so it "bypasses" the directory and "goes right to the platters" to literally "scavenge" file data and then re-construct it into meaningful files again. But file recovery software can't "know" the names or folder structure as well, because this was destroyed when you "deleted" the files.

In the opening post of this thread, you said that you got the vast majority of the files back using data recovery software. The software DID ITS JOB, at least as well as it's going to be able to do.

Yes, it's going to take some work to identify them and arrange them as they once were, but this is "the price you pay" for having gotten the data back.
Just be VERY thankful that you got the files back at all....

Mags88
Jul 15, 2012, 03:50 AM
"I will try one more program to restore the original folders but will make do with this, relieved"

You ARE NOT going to get your original folder hierarchies back*. Not going to happen.

You ARE NOT going to get (in many cases) your original file names back*, either.
* - by use of the data recovery software, that is...

Why not? You are asking....

Because file names and folder hierarchies are "constructs" of the directory of the drive. When you deleted the files/folders, you removed all "references" to the files that previously existed in the directory. The files' -data-, however, was left intact out on the sectors of the drive platters.

This is how file recovery software works. It doesn't have any "knowledge" of previous file names or folder hierarchies, so it "bypasses" the directory and "goes right to the platters" to literally "scavenge" file data and then re-construct it into meaningful files again. But file recovery software can't "know" the names or folder structure as well, because this was destroyed when you "deleted" the files.

In the opening post of this thread, you said that you got the vast majority of the files back using data recovery software. The software DID ITS JOB, at least as well as it's going to be able to do.

Yes, it's going to take some work to identify them and arrange them as they once were, but this is "the price you pay" for having gotten the data back.
Just be VERY thankful that you got the files back at all....
Yes I am very thankful I got my photos back after a silly mistake by myself.

Thanks for your reply, and for emphasising multiple times that I will not get the original file names/folders back. Did you have a bad day before replying to my thread?;)

Fishrrman
Jul 15, 2012, 09:17 AM
"Thanks for your reply, and for emphasising multiple times that I will not get the original file names/folders back. Did you have a bad day before replying to my thread?"

Nope, I'm just grumpy like that all the time, heh.

The emphasis is there because even after saying as much, there are still folks out there who will believe otherwise and think that the data recovery program did something wrong !

A trick that worked for me with recovered mp3 files that had "lost their names", was to drop the entire bunch of recovered files into iTunes. I was amazed that iTunes could "regroup" the files into "albums", and then realized that it was using the metadata stored in the files, which contained name/artist/album info (even though the filenames were gone).

I'm wondering photos have similar metadata that could be utilized to do this. What happens if you select a random bunch of pics and "drop them" into iPhoto?

charlituna
Jul 15, 2012, 02:15 PM
I'm wondering photos have similar metadata that could be utilized to do this. What happens if you select a random bunch of pics and "drop them" into iPhoto?

depending on the age of the photos and the work you did on them before the big oops, yes there might be. It probably won't be perfect but it might have places data, faces data, correct time and data. might even have titles, keywords etc. All depends on where the metadata was saved -- in the photo or in the library file. if the latter then you'll need to recover that file to have a shot at getting things back together.