Posted October 13, 2011 by Gavin Hoey in Articles

Recovering lost images

Disk-recovery-SGHopefully you’ll never need this information…

Most photographers understand that images stored on computer hard drives are not 100% safe. I know many photographers that have some sort of back up plan in place. It varies from making DVD copies of images, right through to high end robotic back devices such as Drobo’s or Raid arrays.

But what happens if a memory card fails before you get a chance to back up the images but after you’ve done a shoot? Never going to happen you might say, but that’s exactly what happened to me last week.

To cut a long story short, I did the shoot on location and the client had a quick review of the photos via the cameras LCD. All was OK and I went back to the office to process the photos. Unfortunately when I went to copy the images from the card the PC refused at read the data.

My first thought was the card reader must be faulty, so I swapped it for my slower/older spare. End result, same problem! I put the card back in the camera hoping that it would show me the photos… it didn’t.

Not fancying the idea of reshooting the photos at my expense and probably loosing a client along the way, I put my faith in image recovery software.

Step forward MiniTool Power Data Recovery and PC inspector Smart Recovery. Both of these small download programs are free for home users (or small fee for pro use) and both proved up to the job of recovering my lost images and saving the day.

Data recovery of an 8gb compact flash card took around 3 hours, but it was time well spent.

Gavin Hoey