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04-02-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
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Lost all my pictures.

Hard drive failure. That 300GB HDD contained all the assignement stuff I shot since I started shooting digital in early 2007. Plus a few personal and family photos as well. All .PEF RAW files.

I made a data recovery attempt using Stellar Phoenix, to no avail. Dropped the HDD at my local Apple service center for another data recovery attempt, with similar results: nothing.

My last hope: DataRecovery in Toronto. They're experts at this. If they fail, my portfolio and my assignements pictures are probably gone forever.

I had a backup HDD copy of the first hard drive, but that one was stolen a few days ago. I was about to make a new backup when the second HDD failed. Talk about some bad timing!

Digital files are not like real, tangible, physical things like prints, negatives or slides. They only exist on the medias on which they are recorded: HDD, CD-R, DVD-R, etc. At least with a slide or a negative, I would be able to make a new scan!


This afternoon, I felt like selling my K10D and K-7 and buying a good old Pentax or Mamiya 645 film camera, lol. Sure, I couldn't compete with other event photographers anymore with the film processing, but at least, I would have some lasting physical photographs.

Unless my home is burnt down to the ground by fire or unless I get robbed, etc. Images are never eternal, digital or physical.

Take great care of yours. Burn them on CDs and store a double of each one of them at your sister, father or friend's home. Or put that double in a safety deposit. I should've done that in the first place. Instead, I put my trust in a pair of hard disk drives. A big mistake.

But this accident might have a positive outcome. I wanted to work on a new portfolio, but I never had enough free time and I thought my old portfolio was satisfying enough for the moment. I now have the luxury (well, maybe the obligation) of starting from scratch again. This is an opportunity to grasp, so I'll cheer up and look at the bright side of life, even though these days, I feel pretty depressed.

I guess I'll be okay in a few days. Until then, I'll probably have a grim look at digitial photography.


Maybe I should get back to film photography, not out of fear I might lose digital pictures again, but just for the pleasure of going back to film for its unique look and feel, but also for the "challenge" it represents. I haven't shot film since I went digital 3 years ago and I need to get away from the "safety" of digital imaging with its immediate LCD preview and RGB histogram feedback. I want to experiment something different, and film we'll probably help me take my mind off the annoying experience I'm going through right now.

That said, wish me luck with my data recovery.

04-02-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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.

Very, very sorry to hear that.

Here's another option, in addition to a regular backup-to-physical-media plan:

$25/year for a "Pro" flickr account. Upload an unlimited number of images, no upper size limit. It basically can be used for offsite storage for all your most important images, for a measly $25/year.

I probably upload about 50% of my keepers to flickr - full-sized images. They also have a wonderful jpeg downsizing algorithm - every image you see from me in this forum or on dpreview is a link to their 'large' (1024x681) or 'medium' (500x333) downsized versions of my full-sized images - very easy to link (cut & paste an URL).

You can impose full view restrictions, permissions, etc.

Something to consider.



.
04-02-2010, 09:34 PM   #3
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Ouch, that really has to hurt... :-(

I had a drive failure of which I lost about 2 weeks of shots; since then, I've gotten in the habit of backing up my stuff multiple times, multiple places:

a) locally to an external USB drive as well as to a Drobo hooked up to my media PC whenever I download a batch of files
b) online with Crashplan.com on a daily basis
c) Smugmug where I upload full sized jpgs of my favorite stuff

Cheers.
04-02-2010, 10:14 PM   #4
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CDs and DVDs take a dump too and for no apparent reason. I was able to recover most of them but the disks containing my original K10d images for some reason went south. Worked one day, and the next day, Poof! Anything that I've decided I care about, albeit they are only JPGs, are online somewhere. Either on flckr or my own private webspace. Like my entire lens/camera inventory complete with detailed photos of each item.

Sucks that it happened to you. Hope you are able to recover..



04-02-2010, 10:23 PM   #5
graphicgr8s
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

Very, very sorry to hear that.

Here's another option, in addition to a regular backup-to-physical-media plan:

$25/year for a "Pro" flickr account. Upload an unlimited number of images, no upper size limit. It basically can be used for offsite storage for all your most important images, for a measly $25/year.

I probably upload about 50% of my keepers to flickr - full-sized images. They also have a wonderful jpeg downsizing algorithm - every image you see from me in this forum or on dpreview is a link to their 'large' (1024x681) or 'medium' (500x333) downsized versions of my full-sized images - very easy to link (cut & paste an URL).

You can impose full view restrictions, permissions, etc.

Something to consider.



.
Better off with carbonite or one of the true offsite places instead of flicker. $49 or so a year.
04-02-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
wjt
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Like my entire lens/camera inventory complete with detailed photos of each item.
I like this idea. I shall be doing this and uploading to my mobileme.

Redundancy is a great idea, i run a mac with timecapsule/timemachine. I also backup my important stuff on an external harddrive as well, though often think about swapping the external for something online. Mobileme is excellent for small amounts of stuff (20gb) but for media not so much, i liked the look of the carbonite though thanks for the tip graphics.

Sorry to hear about your data tigre, i think everyone has had a hdd self destruct at some stage, so we all feel your pain.
04-02-2010, 10:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mibane Quote
I like this idea. I shall be doing this and uploading to my mobileme.

Redundancy is a great idea, i run a mac with timecapsule/timemachine. I also backup my important stuff on an external harddrive as well, though often think about swapping the external for something online. Mobileme is excellent for small amounts of stuff (20gb) but for media not so much, i liked the look of the carbonite though thanks for the tip graphics.

After reading some of the horror stories about people having stuff stolen, lost, or destroyed, I began to wonder how I would ever prove ownership. Having the information online gives me an easy access point in a single place if I ever need to retrieve it. Along with the items are also the scanned receipts. You know, the kind of stuff insurance companies and police departments require for proof of ownership. Hope I never need to but I feel better knowing the info is safe (as can be) somewhere accessible.

04-03-2010, 06:26 AM   #8
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Anybody who thinks they don't need to backup their stuff should be reading this thread. External HD's are cheap these days. I bought a Western Digital 1 TB My Book for $48. Got an older, slow computer still hanging around that isn't being used? They make great backup storage. DVD's, CD's, online storage are all options. While one can argue the pros and cons of various backup plans, no backups will eventually turn into no pictures.

04-03-2010, 06:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

Very, very sorry to hear that.

Here's another option, in addition to a regular backup-to-physical-media plan:

$25/year for a "Pro" flickr account. Upload an unlimited number of images, no upper size limit. It basically can be used for offsite storage for all your most important images, for a measly $25/year.

I probably upload about 50% of my keepers to flickr - full-sized images. They also have a wonderful jpeg downsizing algorithm - every image you see from me in this forum or on dpreview is a link to their 'large' (1024x681) or 'medium' (500x333) downsized versions of my full-sized images - very easy to link (cut & paste an URL).

You can impose full view restrictions, permissions, etc.

Something to consider.



.
I got a zenfolio account for the same thing after a friend had his computer stolen and the hard drive that was plugged into it. I wish you luck retrieving the files.
04-03-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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I use Mozy (RAW+JPEG), Smugmug (JPEG), and Flickr (JPEG), and still back up to an external HDD.

Hopefully I'm covered.
04-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #11
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I don't know how to adequately express sympathy, really.

As an old analog person, I don't even like to clear memory cards.
04-05-2010, 05:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tigrebleu Quote
At least with a slide or a negative, I would be able to make a new scan!
Or a print. A scan from a print would be a lot better than nothing. Or even if you didn't want to scan it you'd at least have a single hard copy to show for all your past work.

Anyway, I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. It's a good lesson for all of us...
04-05-2010, 05:35 AM   #13
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Its amazing how good the technology to recover files is. If you are willing to pay they take the discs out and recover the data.

Its just a mather if you are willing to pay the price.
04-06-2010, 11:14 AM   #14
Ira
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Anybody who thinks they don't need to backup their stuff should be reading this thread.
When your pictures look like mine, you don't worry about backing up.
04-06-2010, 02:05 PM   #15
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HD do fail - all of them, some day. That is why I trust only a GOOD RAID system. Recently 2 HDs in my RAID 6 dies at the same time. No previous problems, no S.M.A.R.T. infos not warning at all. BUT all my data were still there. I simply replaced the two drives and now my RAID is healthy again. I did not even loose time, as the RAID re-organises in the background automatically and the access speed is not diminished. (Also, I have two independent additional backup-drives, which I store externally, for the unlikely case, that the RAID gets physically destroyed or os stolen.)

Ben
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