- Keep your harddrive
- Pictures can be recovered
- Don't give up
My mother has always been into photography and every chance she could get a camera, there were always a plethora of pictures taken. It’s been an interest and I dare say, passion, of hers for as long as I can remember. Pictures mean more to her than they do most people. She’s taken some really excellent pictures and I keep telling her that people would buy prints of them. (They really are that fantastic.)
Several years ago, her laptop crashed. I don’t know what happened to the laptop that caused it to crash, but my dad took the hard drive to a computer shop and they extracted all the pictures off the disc, compressed them (which reduced everything to thumbnail size or less), and delivered 18gb worth of pictures on a 780mb CD.
Compressed pictures do not uncompressed.
They were ruined. Destroyed. Her photos were gone. Nature scenes, family events, birthdays, holidays, trips they had taken—everything. After 8 years of hearing about this lament once in awhile, I finally went and hunted up the hard drive and got the attachment for it (since its not a SATA drive) and plugged it into my laptop.
You see, the guy at the computer store told my dad that the disc was damaged and wouldn’t work so this was the best that could be done (the compressed pictures). My dad even told me that the hard drive might start one more time or fail altogether and it would need to be rebuilt if they were going to ever recover any pictures at all.
Forging ahead, I went ahead and plugged in the hard drive thru a USB port. It spun. Notices popped up a new storage device had been plugged in. It continued to spin. The humming increased as I searched thru folder after folder, looking for where my mother had kept her photos. Granting myself admin status to the profile folder, the humming continued as did my search.
I found them.
I won’t try to explain her organizational method beyond the fact that they were not in the My Pictures folder and she’s been either guilty or a victim of dropping a folder into the wrong folder by accident. I went thru every folder on that hard drive and transferred all 18gb, that’s 13,165 pictures, on to my desk top.
Needless to say, my mother has been devastated by this entire fiasco. Until yesterday.
She sat for hours looking thru folder after folder. No thanks was needed as I sat with her looking at them. I knew how much it meant to her. The hard drive is still plugged in and humming away merrily too. The issue with the laptop (a Gateway) was not hardware, but something in the OS that went haywire. It was a software problem, and software problems are easily fixable.
The lesson learned here is that just because you take your computer to a fix-it shop, doesn’t mean the person working on it knows what they’re doing.
Never compress your pictures either.
Unless a hard disc is physically destroyed, the info can be recovered.