Lightroom Living Photography

Recovering from Stupidity

So, yesterday we went off to our family’s Thanksgiving celebration. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it’s just about getting together, sharing, and enjoying our company. No obligations, no gifts, just us.

Anyway, with my right (camera!) arm still in a sling, I headed off without my trusty Canon 5D Mark II and glass. No way was I ever going to be able to shoot any pictures of Thanksgiving with the big DSLR!

Anticipating this, last week I picked up a new Canon PowerShot S90 – and headed off to Thanksgiving dinner with this delightful new (think left hand!) point and shoot camera! We had a wonderful dinner with family – and I took lots of shots along the way.

Some 150 shots later, I came home and began uploading the photos from the S90 to Lightroom. Somewhere along the way I decided the upload had completed (it hadn’t) and I pulled out the USB cable to the camera and – then – proceeded to format the SD card in the S90. Oh my goodness – why did I do that? Beats me – but I did.

So, my quest began. How can I can recover the photos I had deleted from the SD card? Those of us with long memories remember how the early DOS-based filesystems actually never deleted (overwrote) anything – on a delete, they just flipped a bit saying this file has been deleted and the file system manager can reclaim its space whenever it needs to. Fortunately, that’s still the way things work.

Doing a few Google searches turned up a lot of utilities that offered free scans of SD cards but involved purchasing at least a $20 piece of software to recover these deleted photos. Somewhere along the way, I discovered PhotoRec – a free, open source utility that did the trick for me. To mount the S90’s SD card, I had to purchase an SD card reader (at a ridiculous price from a local photo retailer). With the reader and PhotoRec, I was able to recover all of my “lost” photos.

Thanksgiving photos with family are precious. Being able to recover them after my stupid mistake was a special treat!

2 replies on “Recovering from Stupidity”

Glad you recovered it. I had a brand new 16GB SD card go bad on me in my video camera on the second day of our recent Baltic Sea cruise. I had plenty of spares, but when I got home, I tried half a dozen utilities & could never recover the data, or even recognize the card. I sent it to the manufacturer, but that is another story. Anyway, I was really glad it failed at the start of the trip and not the end! I was the only person in our group with a video camera! Next time I go overseas with a new card, I will completely erase/format it a bunch of times to make sure it is good!

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