Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
We had a client who did regular backups of her photos. Unfortunately, between the time she deleted them from her camera, and she made her next backup, the drive died, taking the last photos of her recently-deceased pet with it. Fortunately, we were able to recover the photos for her.
After downloading pictures from my camera to my computer, I still don't delete them from the camera until after I make a backup from the computer, for just such reasons.
I'm still surprised how many people need help recovering "critical" files which have never been backed up.
A few years ago I blew my hard drive with everything on it and no backup. I needed that data to complete my tax return. I drove the drive to a recovery company in northern California and wound up spending $800 to get most of it back, and around $150 for a new hard drive. That got me out of the hole, but did not address the future problems which might crop up. I bought a new CD reader-burner and now, twice a week, I burn ALL my data to a CD. Photos (1) are copied out of the camera (2) onto the hard drive (3) burned to a CD (4) then and only then are removed from the camera. Another alternative: there are now online services which will automatically do a backup of your entire hard drive each day. They're really cheap and might be what you're looking for: try "carbonite.com" for $50 a year (I haven't used it but hear Leo Laporte and others talking about it all the time) so for small change that might be an answer for you.
One thing I do is if I transfer pictures off my camera to my hard drive, I also place them on a flash drive (thumb drive) until I have time to back them up. This way, if my camera and computer has a major problem, I still have a copy of each on a flash. When everything is backed up to a CD, I delete them off my flash so it will be available for the next round of pictures...
My suggestion is to purchase a large capacity external hard disk, recently the prices have dropped considerably and the capacities have become large. For example, I have a 500Gb external hard drive with a USB connection which I can use both for backup and as an alternative to my C: drive. I can connect it either to my desktop computer or my laptop computer, but not both at the same time. I can use either the Windows Backup option or Maxtor Maxblast (Acronis) to backup the files. Acronis can also be used to create another safety first item - a bootable Windows set-up CD.
I have a problem with some files I **thought** were backed up. I have 4 CD copies of a set of pictures to an old home. Unfortunately nothing I have reads them. The copies were made from the SD card and from the HD copy of the SD card. I was able to read the CD with windows and Irfanview and I had 4 copies of it so I felt safe in deleting the SD card. Now - a few months later I cant read any of the copies. They are jpg files and should be easily read. I have tried reading the CDs on several machines and can't. They don't appear deleted. I can see the files but not display the contents. My Norton Undelete didn't find a problen it could deal with. It comes up as a black box. I was able to get into the house to take new set but they had redecorated and I'd really like the original set back. Are there any reasonable cost options or do I need to send a copy out & see what they can do. I've tried all the local solutions *I* can think of.
Skip, did you try to recover the CDs with PowerIso or IsoBuster? Sometimes these tools do the trick. Good luck!
Hmmm. I know the cardinal rule is back-up, back-up, back-up..........but to what media if the stuff is still going to be around in years to come? The more I read of CD and DVD, the more it seems that longevity is not quite what the hype would have you believe, sometimes becoming unreadable in a very short time . Hard drives fail - eventually. I use two external drives, plus a lap-top to store all my precious stuff but what is the best way to archive and back-up?
After reading all the comments from Leo's subscribers, no one has mentioned "printing the pictures" Yes... there are all kinds of ways of backing up pictures and other data with some security that they will be available in time to come. I own several flash drives and even a greater number of USB hard drives of various sizes. I keep many of my pictures on Facebook, Friendsters as well as similar programs. But I think the two biggest complaints that I hear is... either the person do not have the time to do these kinds of backups or they are afraid to learn several new ways of saving what is important to them. As many of us do and say, "I'll do it later".. LOL... but later you may find that your pants are already down to your knees. Shawn Patrick from Toronto, Canada.
There is a pretty easy method recovering lost files. If you have a restore point (shadow) from the time before they got lost, download and run Shadow Explorer ( http://www.shadowexplorer.com/ ). Here you navigate a) to the restore point you want to pick and then b) to Users > your Name > the folder/file in question > right click on that > Export. Voila, now you have it back in the destination you picked.
Just the repeated advice: backup, backup, backup. I know so many people with disc burners who never use them to record their data. I personally have hundreds of CDs and DVDs from over the years with various data backed up on them. And I guess you just move the data from one generation of format to the other (like floppy to hard drive to DVD, etc.) I thought a System Restore in Windows just restored registry data and didn't affect other stored data.
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