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Possibility to recover overwritten images on harddisk?

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Zulu:
Hello,
I'm new to the forum and have  question.
I have a huge problem. About 2 years ago I bought an external drive to archive my photo portfolio older than 2010. I created a folder and moved all my photo's there. They were already be given proper names, something like 090806_photoshootModelX_sugarfactory_Miami.

I installed a backup program that periodically updated the folder with new files. But something went horribly wrong and I don't know how and when it happened. But the complete folder was overwritten with everything after 2010. So all the photo's prior to that are all gone, nearly 5 years of data is just gone.

I tried several deep recovery programs and one them, Recuva, found all my 200.000 photo's. By name, date, even modified and all the meta data intact, witch the focal length, camera info and lens used is all there. I plugged in a second hard-drive to recover them but none of them are actually recovered. The files are empty.

Looking back at the recovery info it states that the file are overwritten by newer files and the recovery might not succeed.

Does anyone have a similar experience in this? How did you get your files back?
Is there any program that exist in 2012 that can somehow recover some or all of the data? Even if it scrambled I can live that.

Paul_B:
I have experience with recovering lost files and "overwritten" is basically the dead-sentence for your files.
What you saw is information from the file system (sometimes referred to as "slack space") that was not yet overwritten (as it is in a different location on the disk than the actual file data).
You can employ a professional company to try to recover your data. I have heard things about magnetic properties of disks that allow you to recover data after it is written over (not numerous times) but you are in the forensic territory there, sorry to say.

nameless:
If none of the programs worked, and the programs actually did a deep drive scan (which takes probably hours), then you can't do anything. A file-recovery is successful, when you do it right after you deleted (including replacing) the file. If you wait too long (which you probably did), then the drive uses the sectors again and overwrites the data.


--- Quote from: Paul_B on December 11, 2012, 05:15:53 AM ---You can employ a professional company to try to recover your data. I have heard things about magnetic properties of disks that allow you to recover data after it is written over (not numerous times) but you are in the forensic territory there, sorry to say.

--- End quote ---

That is actually possible, but will cost you probably a few 1000$ per Gigabyte and you don't even know, if they recovery anything useful.

I'm sorry to say than, but your files are probably lost.

Marsu42:

--- Quote from: Zulu on December 11, 2012, 04:51:46 AM ---Looking back at the recovery info it states that the file are overwritten by newer files and the recovery might not succeed. Does anyone have a similar experience in this? How did you get your files back?

--- End quote ---


Sorry to say, you probably don't, at least not the full files. You could try my favorite http://www.r-studio.com/ but still, it is likely only the names are found but point to overwritten data. At least this software has support  for digital camera raw images from Canon.

If there are *parts* of the images that weren't overwritten you could extract them, but if the file header is lost you need expert knowledge to reconstruct some part of the image or some other software except r-studio I'm not aware of. Jpeg files are constructed in a way that if for example the start or end is lost you could still recover part of the picture and that's probably better than nothing. So don't give up yet, there might be some software solution after all, at least sooner or later.

The other option for really overwritten data is to employ military/enterprise grade forensic data recovery, but as stated that costs you way beyond what you could imagine, so that probably is out of the question.

M.ST:
If the files (sectors on the harddisc) are overwritten, then you have no chance to get the files back.

Don´t try to recover the files with a file recovering software yourself. Don´t write another file to the harddisc.

Use a professional service like http://www.datarecovery.com/ for recovering the files. You have to send in your harddisc.

A file recovery service is expensive. You have to decide, if the lost images are worth to try an expensive recovery.

For the future: Use a SAN to save your images or if you don´t have the money for a SAN save the images on two or threee harddiscs and make backups on DVD or Bluray.

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