iPad 3 - entire photo and video library disappeared

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by peter1098, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. peter1098 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012
    Hi guys

    I’m posting on behalf of my dad

    He’s lost a large number of holiday photos and video that he took on his ipad 3rd gen

    Just before going on holidays it was synced and backed up to itunes. There's no new backups after this.

    After coming back from holidays he explained that he connected his iPad to his windows xp laptop and it appeared under ‘My computer’ as [name’s] iPad. He was then able to see the ~900 photos and video that he took. He then did select all and copy and paste to the laptop.

    The files began to copy though around 30minites in the laptop went into power saving mode(hard drive and screen went to sleep).

    Upon trying to wake the laptop it was unresponsive so it was restarted. From here all the photos and video disappeared from the iPad and around the first 300 were successfully copied to the laptop.

    He also explained that he updated to iOS6 after he lost the photos!

    Things I’ve tried:
    -reseting the iPad (hold down of home and power button for 10 sec)
    -Downloaded iexplorer to view the iPad file system – none of the 900 'deleted' / 'disappeared' images can be seen. (i took a new photo and deleted it and it was able to be recovered by iexplorer)
    -checking 'settings' > 'general' > 'about' ---> it displays 'photos 0'
    -the capacity bar in itunes does not show that any photos or video are taking up any space
    -called apple care - they advise that the photos may be gone though some third party software might exist but they cannot recommend any further options

    I understand that with harddrives / flash drives that files aren't actually deleted but hidden from the user and marked to be overridden.

    I think i read somewhere that with i devices that there are 2 partitions? eg one for the OS and the other for the content. I raise this as the device has been upgraded to iOS6 and im hoping that the cotent partition was not over ridden.

    can anyone please suggest to me any options... eg is there some forensic software that can integrate the iPad drive and hopefully recover the photos

    I've come across a few programs that look promising but they are designed for scanning regular hard drives / flash drives. eg being able to select a drive letter from finder / windows explorer. is it possible to even have the ipad appear as a drive letter to allow these kinds of programs to have a chance at analysing the ipad.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Not sure about forensic software, but did your Dad activate photostream on his iPad? If so all is not lost.
  3. peter1098 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012
    Thanks stridemat

    nope, photostream/icloud wasn't enabled

    I've done a heap of google searches and can't believe that there's no easy (or hard) way to try and recover the data. There's the simple programs that work for the accidental deletion of items but nothing a little more advanced that actually works in the case of 'lost' items
  4. sineplex macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2010
  5. Osaka23 macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2012

    Hope that helps you out.
  6. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    the bad news is that unless he happened at some point to be logged into iCloud with that backup turned on and by dumb luck turned it off so that said backup is still one of the last 3 done, he's SOL.

    The laptop was probably set to delete the photos after importing and had initiated that choice when the freeze happened, killing a chunk of the photos. I suppose it's possible they could be somewhere in the laptop but I doubt it.
    And since the iPad was updated to iOS its very likely that the file space where the photos were has since been written over with the install files etc.


    That won't help him because the backup was done before the photos were taken not after.
  7. peter1098 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012
    Thanks guys

    I'll be picking up the ipad from my dad in the next few days. Once I've got it i'll spend a few more hours trying out a few options

    Also a friend has offered to take a look at it for me so fingers crossed
  8. peter1098 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012

    i tried:
    - i-funbox.com
    - digidna.net/products/diskaid

    and nothing came up

    with these programs i was able to make a copy of the '332x332.ithmb' file to my local mac (size 208.6MB)

    the .ithmb files i think is supposed to make thumbnails of your photo library so i though i could extract something out of it.

    i used 'file juicer' echoone.com/filejuicer/ and 'Keiths iPod Photo Reader' keithwiley.com/software/keithsIPodPhotoReader.shtml without success. it extracted around 300 green scrambled images. from the original post there was ~900 files missing

    i'm also hoping for 'dr fone' to support a direct hardware scan for ipad 3. currently the site says 'coming soon' unless you have an iTunes backup

  9. peter1098 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012

    looks like all the missing filenames are listed in an xml file. eg ~900 entries

    location(on the ipad): 'Backups/Backup Explorer/CameraRollDomain/Media/PhotoData/assetUUIDForPath.plist'


    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">

    photos still havent been recovered
  10. peter1098 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012

    The iPad hasn't been used since we've been trying to recover the photos/video.

    A friend of mine that runs an apple repair business has completed a scan with a few different types of data recovery software with no luck.

    Another avenue that was suggested to me was to jailbreak the iPad to allow for other recovery software/methods to be used. I'm not exactly sure how but i hope to research this shortly
  11. Blaire macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2013
    I had suffered from this situation last week too.
    But the worse thing is I did not even know the time when I synced the iPad to iTunes.
    After that, my friend told me to try the iSO Data Recovery. And it turned out that it worked!
    However, I think the iPad should not be used since we find that we have lost some data so that we can pervent the lost photo or videos from being overwritten.
    With this software I think you can recover your photos and vidoes without an iTunes backup.
    In other words, you can undelete the data directly from iPad itself.
  12. peter1098 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012

Share This Page