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05-17-2022, 08:11 AM   #16
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Very sorry for your loss. Thanks for the "whine" in that others might learn from your miseries. No plan for keeping digital files is absolutely bulletproof and that perfect storm of events can come along as in your case. Have you tried any file recovery software. Files are not deleted but flagged to be overwritten in most systems, so there could be some hope.

05-17-2022, 08:41 AM   #17
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I checked with some software that I have for such cases, but as I do preventive formatting (old habits die hard) it is impossible with cheap software and those photos are not that important to buy something that could handle this.


Well, nothing to cry (too loud) about I suppose, I will get new photos. Luckily I do print most of my family and event photos so that is still there with me which I suppose is most important thing to keep when it comes to personal photography.


Sigh.
05-17-2022, 09:30 AM   #18
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SD cards are not a reliable long(er) term storage solution.
05-17-2022, 09:58 AM   #19
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Damn, that really sucks... But as others say... Shit happens... We all do mistakes at times.

05-17-2022, 10:12 AM - 2 Likes   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
It's also an opportunity to optimise your folder structure, perhaps
Ain't that the truth? I can't even pinpoint when exactly I started collecting pictures in different folders, long before I had a "real" camera... some mobile phone pictures and ones taken with point-and-shoots, one folder for each device or just a part as a kind of backup. But at one point I had reached a place in time where I deemed the effort to reorganize everything into a logical structure not worth it, and partly because of that I don't even try and be consistent and disciplined with everything I produce now... well what do they say about the best time to plant a tree, 20 years ago? Well the second best time is right now, right?

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
and re-think your storage and backup strategies.
3-2-1, everyone:
- at least 3 copies of everything you don't want to lose
- on at least 2 different types of media
- at least 1 of those "off-site"

And make sure you are actually able to access and restore those ahead of time, so you can be sure that nothing will be lost in case of a failure.

Because of the last point, I like to keep it as simple as possible: no automated syncing with the cloud or a NAS, no proprietary backup solutions, I just plug in different external hard drives from time to time and copy files over. Not as comfortable as automated solutions and the gaps can get as big as you can be bothered to do it, of course.



But I want to re-iterate the point that Michail P. and others already made: Now that it has happened, you're free to start anew.

And don't beat yourself up about it too much, as that won't change anything about the situation but make yourself miserable.

And if you DO want to try and see if you can restore something, I had some success in the past with "Recuva", once in combination with manipulating files with a hex editor I could restore photos or parts of photos that were still there deep on a CF card that came with a camera I bought.

Which leads me to another point: don't sell storage media that contain or contained information that you might consider sensitive. Or at least delete them properly before selling, with multiple passes of rewrites with 1s, 0s, and/or arbitrary data.
05-17-2022, 01:00 PM   #21
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I had 3 copies. Local SSD, "storage" HDD, OneDrive cloud (now replaced by second HDD). I was brilliant enough to erase all of them without realizing And did not realize that they are gone until I wanted to copy current local stuff to storage drives It would not be that bad if I did not decided to remove my MS accound and resign from OneDrive. Well, lesson learned hard way.


Good point is that when I visit airfield now almost every plane I photograph is one that I don't have in my collection

QuoteOriginally posted by ehrwien Quote
with multiple passes of rewrites with 1s, 0s, and/or arbitrary data
Well, how can I say this, zeroing disc with random data is too easy with dd
05-17-2022, 01:42 PM   #22
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Commiserations and good wishes for the future. I too always keep my SD cards - I know received wisdom indicates that they are not a reliable form of long-term storage, but performing an annual back-up of them to a separate HDD at least gives a fighting chance that some data will be recoverable, even if it is an Antient Mariner scenario (you rescue one in three), that is better than nothing.

05-17-2022, 02:01 PM   #23
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I think perhaps I must be a little unusual when it comes to photos and other digital or physical "memories". I'm a hobbyist rather than a professional, so that makes a huge difference of course. Given that, I do place some personal value on my photos, and if I lost them all tomorrow I would certainly be disappointed - but not for long. It's the same with the physical possessions I own... I'd be disappointed if I lost (some of) them, but really it's just "stuff".

So far as backups are concerned... all of my important / confidential documents and a handful of photos with some sentimental value (I'm not an especially sentimental guy) are stored in a small encrypted virtual drive on my main PC, for security reasons. The internal drives of that PC are backed up regularly to an external HDD. Additionally, the encrypted virtual drive - as a file - is backed up online. If my house burns down I'll lose all my physical possessions, including my PCs and onsite backup HDDs - but I'll be able to retrieve my encrypted virtual drive from the online backup. It'll leave me in the same position as the OP so far as photos are concerned... but that's OK with me. I'll have what I need and will move forward from there...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-18-2022 at 03:18 AM.
05-17-2022, 02:25 PM   #24
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Ouch. I am still dealing with not finding things that were lost when my main drive and back-up failed at the same time. I lost everything not just photos. Every once and a while I go looking for something I swore I had and realized they went in the mass drive failure. Now my photos amd important documents are backed up here and offsite.
05-17-2022, 03:07 PM   #25
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I've accidentally deleted a few files over time, and I sure felt stupid. Fortunately, the files were not super important.

At a lab where I worked way back when, a summer student tricked another student to enter the command DEL star dot star (I'm paranoid, so I won't enter the real command...). The student was able to recover, but only after transcribing the text of his Fortran programs from a back-up platter print-out. Ouch.

@jersey, at least you have memories of your photo outings. And, taking pictures of aircraft again is a good thing!

- Craig
05-17-2022, 05:43 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I've accidentally deleted a few files over time, and I sure felt stupid. Fortunately, the files were not super important.

At a lab where I worked way back when, a summer student tricked another student to enter the command DEL star dot star (I'm paranoid, so I won't enter the real command...). The student was able to recover, but only after transcribing the text of his Fortran programs from a back-up platter print-out. Ouch.

@jersey, at least you have memories of your photo outings. And, taking pictures of aircraft again is a good thing!

- Craig
Here's my story:

I worked in IT for a smallish company. There was a division with their own IT guy who had handled their servers and after his departure they were rolling all their servers under corporate IT (which was about 3-4 people at the time at least as far as server support was concerned). One server had a 4mm DAT tape drive and a 14 drive SCSI array with a whopping 20TB I think. It may have been 60TB but I know it wasn't huge by today's standards but it represented a massive amount of data at that time. The entire contents of their decision support customer database was on this array - along with the OS for the server. The server originally had been built using Windows NTAS 3.51 and the hardware was Compaq if that tells you anything. The team of folks from that line of business used a complicated process where dozens of machines on a FDDI gig network massaged the raw data and then they used SQL Loader to load the data into the database. The effort to massage the individual data files took all the machines in parallel over a week for each chunk and their were dozens if not many dozens of chunks. The load process for all the files was on the order of a full week aggregate if you took all the completed files and tried to load them sequentially. To recreate the files would take months... you know where this is headed right?

On the weekend we were changing passwords (the former sysadmin had left the company) we took the time to view the bios settings and verify a few things. When we opened this server's bios there was a concerning item. The array controller OS was set to NTAS 3.51 which was the original server version of Windows NT. The server was no longer running that old version and the hardware vendor recommended never having the OS mismatch like that. I sat with the DBA (who worked for that division) I asked if he thought we should change it. He and I agreed to do so - but as soon as we went into that menu it gave us a HUGE warning that this would be "Data Destructive" if we proceeded, and did we want to proceed. I clicked NO. The DBA confirmed I clicked NO.. The server rebooted and EVERYTHING was gone. No OS, No DB, No data. I turned green. We went through the steps twice more to be sure that I had not misread the prompts and answered in the negative of what was intended - but no, it was accurate. So we began the nasty process of rebuilding the server. Once we had an OS and SQL installed we tried to use the backup tapes and they were gibberish. The only backups ever taken were RAW SQLDUMPS to a 4mm DAT on the server. There were no other backups. We tried MULTIPLE compies.
They all failed. We checked and it turned out this backup process had NEVER been tested.

As it turns out there were TWO undisclosed bugs in play that day. Bug 1 was that IF the server was originally NTAS 3.51 - there was no way to back out of the BIOS section of the smartarray controller without destroying all the data on the array. There was a way to recover this partition and drive array but it required an OS partition to be intact and separate and we didn't have that due to the poorly conceived design used by the previous sysadmin. Bug two was an undisclosed issue with the tape drive hardware and SQL Server's dump facility. It seems that the drive could be configured to have a larger than default number of buffers which greatly improved the speed of the backups - but this had the unintended consequence of scrambling the block data. With a normal backup process this was fine as the blocks around the data could indicate which block was first and second and so on. WIth RAW dumps from SQL the assumption was that the raw data was written in order and there was no header or block info - just raw data. The former sysadmin had been proud nearly a year before to tell us all how he had increased the buffer size which had resulted in much faster backups. But due to a lack of any hardware to test restore to - this had never been tested. The tapes were all full of garbage - randomized blocks of data that had no structure.

Luckily I was able to show the other sysadmin's that my process was sound and the DBA backed me up. He agreed that I had no selected the "wrong" item. Later that week I found the obscure reference to the DAT tape buffer change making the block order no longer guaranteed to remain sequential and the potential for problems with raw dumps. We reported the array controller error to Compaq and they were able to recreate it. So my career didn't nose dive but I still felt sick. At this point a redhead I knew rescued me.. or rather the whole company. While recreating the entire data process from scratch would have taken months to rebuild the data, she had her own 8mm DAT that she copied the interim loader files off from each preprocessing run. These were the files that took weeks to build. Once these were restored to a network drive it only took a week of to reload these into the new DB Array.

Nothing I did was "wrong" and yet I still cringe thinking about it. The guy who caused the mess was leading another IT organization in a different city and had no flack from this but I felt sick for days.

The moral:
Data goes bye bye. Don't just backup, test your restore process!
05-17-2022, 07:51 PM   #27
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As I've said to others, if you do IT long enough, one day, you will have that terrible feeling in your gut where you know there's no recovery, the system is down, etc. Sucks. Really feel for you. You have also reinforced my current backup approach, which is buying more external drives, and having copies of the copies stored in different locations and never deleting, but just appending. Luckily, storage in today's world has gotten pretty cheap. And yes, as stated above, test restores are necessary. It's a bore, but it's needed.

Well, get back out there and more airshows and everything else. I think it's time for a photo taking binge.
05-17-2022, 08:52 PM   #28
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Having nearly done the same thing on one occasion, I can empathise with you. Try not to beat yourself up too much we can all have a brain fade, occasionally. I regularly double backup all my photos, and post high-resolution JPEGs to Flickr, although not everything.
05-18-2022, 01:24 AM   #29
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Police department IT here recently deleted 22+ Terabytes of police report data, photos, videos, evidence, witness names, etc.

As awful as the loss of your photos have been, and it is truly sad -- I'm so, so sorry -- at least it doesn't affect other people to the degree that the police IT bungle did. Experienced pros aren't immune from mistakes. None of us are, unfortunately.

I lost my pre-2004 photos to a Dell Western Digital hard drive failure. (It was a common failure then. They had corporate lawsuits against them for using defective HDs. Little did I know.)

I hope the Flickr jpgs are some comfort.
05-18-2022, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #30
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Nah, I just felt stupid. Important family photos are printed so it is all good. The only thing I really regret are my photos of An-225 Mrija - unless Ukraine decides to build new one there will be no chance of taking a new photo of this plane ever again.


But it was still painful moment when I realized that most of my digital photos that are not on Flickr are gone.
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