I had a bit of a scare today. I was finishing uploading photos from my memory card to my computer today when the memory card said there were only 36 photos on it. This was definitely not true. Yesterday there were over a thousand photos on it, and while I deleted some of them after moving them to my computer, I definitely didn’t delete all but 36 of them. I tried everything I could think of: show hidden files, sort by every order provided, look in every folder on the disk, look at the properties of the disk to see if they were still there. The disk said 1.3GB were in use. The 36 photos still visible on my card certainly don’t take up that much space, so the photos were still there somewhere. The question was where.
So I installed Photorec, a program that recovers deleted files, on my computer and went to town. The website has a step-by-step guide to using the program. I should have known something was wrong when I followed the instructions and didn’t land where the instructions told me I would.
Bad news. I navigated every menu available to me and couldn’t find my way back to the step-by-step instructions provided by Photorec. Unless something amazing happens, I’m thinking my pictures are gone for good. At least almost all of them are backed up to my computer or somewhere online. The only photos of value I lost permanently are those from a friend’s wedding in 2009, and photos taken by other people exist and are accessible to me. That’s a loss, but at least it’s not as major as pictures from things that no one else around me took.
Learn from my experience: back up your stuff. Do it now. You never know when something bad will happen, whether it’s as minor as losing a few documents or as major as losing everything.