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All newborn photos corrupt on external hard drive

By treesmoker ยท 16 replies
Nov 21, 2010
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  1. Guys I need all the expert help I can get! I've got a Western Digital "My Book" (i think it was called that) that has/had every picture that me and my girlfriend have ever taken, including when we first met, holidays, pets, and most importantly pictures of my girlfriends pregnancy and 1,000's of photo's of our 5month old son that have all gone missing! and even some other photo's that still show the thumbnail image don't open because I get an error saying that photo's are corrupt or damaged, my girlfriend is already going mad and I don't know what software to get them back

    At present i've tried opening with different picture veiwers like photoshop, no luck.

    I've tried EASEUS Photo recovery software, but then cancelled because I read that Recova could do a better job (turns out recova doesn't work on external drives), NOW NOTHING WILL OPEN ON THE EXTERNAL HDD!

    I need some expert advise on what program WORKS to try and recovery these files A.S.A.P because otherwise we will be devistated! I don't wanna buy loads diferent software only to find that i'm doing more damage.
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 5,746   +14

  3. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    okay thanks man, i'll wait untill the morning and see if there are any other software recommended and then give it a try, does it work with external HDD's yea?

    and yea, i've learnt that the hard way........
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    LookinAround might come around and mention TestDisk.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +186

    HK's already suggested TestDisk :) I'll just supply a link

    I've never had occasion to use TestDisk myself but have suggested it before and many (but unfortunately not all) have reported success in recovering partitions and data on external hard drives.

    one warning: Do NOT write any data onto that external drive until you're done trying recovery so as not to disturb its current state. (Write any recovered files to a different disk)
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    I have actually used TestDisk on a USB flash drive, and it worked. I think I was messing around with booting on my flash drive, and IDK what I did, but I couldn't see/use my flash drive. A bit of a mess to sort through the stuff that I didn't actually care about recovering, but it did get it...
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +186

    Hi HK

    Good to know you've used it successfully. That's a trusted endorsement :)
  8. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Hi all, well ain't I lucky, at at 4.50am I was just about to use "recover-my-files" software on the external HDD because I'd watched a video on youtube that said it worked well, then when I safetly removed the HDD and then replugged the drive to use the softwar, windows "scan and fix" prompt came up and I chose to fix file systems and fix any bad sectors on the drive, it took 4 hours to complete but at 9am this morning the photo's are all there and they are displayed properly!! I swear I had testdisk, recovery my files, PC inspector and various other program just sat on my desktop waiting to be used because I had no faith in M$'s scan and fix.

    Thankyou all for the useful comments, they really helped. Here's another one for ya, is there anything in particular that I can do to stop this sorta thing happening again? like putting al the pic's into a RAR archive or something? Thanks
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    You were very lucky this time mate. :)

    I highly recommend you back them up, and keep that backup seperate to your hard drive. The reason is because a hard drive failure will wipe out any backups on the same hard drive.

    Its easiest to just burn them to a CD/DVD, which if stored correctly will last pretty much forever.

    Another option is online storage. If you use MSN you'll have access to Windows Live Mesh, a free backup utility you can use to backup your pictures, and any other important items online. I believe right now you can have 5GB of Live mesh backup storage. It will even automatically backup anything you add to folders it already has marked for backup.

    If you have a spare hard drive, it would be worth backing everything up to that, so you have them in two different places at once.

    How you do it depends on how secure you want your important data to be. Personally, I back up to a seperate hard drive, and I create DVD dual layer discs (8.5GB's worth) as well, though I tend to just let my 22GB's worth of UbuntuOne storage deal with my important documents and pictures these days.
  10. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Hey Leeky, knew it wouldn't be long before you showed up, lol

    yea very lucky indeed. I have two seperate 500GB WD external harddrives, currently one is used for Photo's , camcorder video, important documents ect. whilst the other is used for storing documentarys, itunes musics, 1,000 of freeware app's and pretty much any tv series that i've downloaded via iplayer and 4od ect. but I suppose I could transfer the photo's over two both HDD and keep a copy on my local drive. I would use online storage but this is like 25GB of photo's and my upload speed is like 200kbps so i'd be here for a few days! I have got alot a dual layer DVD-R's though so that's a good idea i reckon
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    That rules out online backup then realistically.

    Assuming your two discs could be condensed into one (maybe you have some data in that lot that you can risk losing? - I have 500GB of Videos I couldnt care less about losing), you could then consider using one of your external drives for backup.

    Your best solution by far is a dedicated drive for purely backup material, and an automated backup solution like Acronis True Image 2011 for example.
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 5,746   +14

    As far as I know, the programs I recommended will work with external drives too. Glad to hear you recovered your photos. Back them up elsewhere ASAP! ;)
  13. CornishRainbow

    CornishRainbow TS Rookie

    Hi I have been having problems with my external hard drive for ages but the other day I found most of my photo's were corrupted. I had never tried sorting something like this out by myself before but today decided I would at least see how much it would cost, My first search took me to a download for sd cards my second search took me straight to you guys and I had no need to look further. I followed the link for TestDisk and had to go looking for a download link but had kept hold of that page as although the instructions made me a bit worried how hard it would be I thought I would see what would happen. I am thrilled with the result! I wasn't confident I was following the instructions right but I must have for all my pictures are back and like the guy losing his baby photo's I have the photo's of the puppies my doggy had which I would never be able to get back not to mention lots of other very valuable (to me) pics. I did find that I did not need to go all the way through the instructions. I went as far as NTFS boot sector recovery (didn't need to do this) I found I had gone in a loop with the deep search and the reboot and so I thought I would check first to see if it had worked thinking "I have no idea what I'll do next if it hasn't worked" but it has and was massively easier than expected and whats more it was free and I could do it all myself! So thank you very much! I will bookmark you for the next time I need help!
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +186

    Hi CornishRainbow

    And welcome to Techspot! It's a good group of people among these forums. Glad to hear you've joined us (and were able to solve your problem!)
  15. Eastnotloss

    Eastnotloss TS Rookie

    HI Tree Smoker, did you pay for the "recover-my-files" ? how much is it?
  16. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    Just because no one has mentioned it: you don't have a backup until you have a minimum of four copies.

    1. Original.
    2. Backup HDD.
    3. Backup long-term storage.
    4. Offsite storage (family, 'cloud')
  17. Hey guys, I'm in a similar situation, also with a western digital 1 tb drive. My PC reads it most of the time and I had done the windows repair disk drive one time. Most of my pics are there, but I believe some pics are missing. Also, many pictures are showing up as a colors and lines instead of the actual picture. What can I do to get missing pictures back,including the colorized ones I can no longer see?!
    Thank you so much for any help you can provide!!

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