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Monday, April 25, 2011

Buti Na Lang May PhotoRec : Best Free Recovery Application

I have been a Nikon user for much of my days as a trying too hard photography hobbyist. So naturally I became used to taking , saving and processing photos the basic fanboy way especially when shooting in Raw.

I was given the chance recently however to bring along a Canon 550D in one of our trips up north. Due to my unfamiliarity with this Canon model, I decided to select Raw mode whenever I think shooting in jpeg would risk having improper exposures, white balance etc. I am just too amateur of a photographer to rely solely on my instincts. And so I did for duration of our travel. Shooting in jpeg most of the time and then going Raw whenever I think there is a need for it.

The problem happened when we got home after the three day trip. I instinctively transferred all photos off the memory cards to the laptop using the Nikon Transfer software that came with my D60, totally forgetting that the software will only read NEF files and not the Canon's version for RAW which is CR2. What's worse? It is my habit to automatically reformat memory cards after I each transfers. It was too late for me to realize that I was not able to copy the Canon Raw files to the computer. ALL memory cards have been reformatted already.

Good thing my wife is there to suggest using a freeware recovery program called PhotoRec that we downloaded from this link.

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed for recovering lost files which include videos, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures from digital camera memory. What it does is that it ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or "REFORMATTED" by someone dumb like me.

Distributed under GNU General Public License, this open source multi-platform application is very much free to use. I do not need to pay a single centavo. Had I not found out about this from my wife, I might have been $40 poorer now as that is what other recovery software normally costs. It does not matter also whether you have MAC, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris etc as the program runs in almost all OS platforms. It can even be compiled in most Unix systems.

This application really made up an almost ruined day. It was so easy to use but if you want step by step instructions you can go to this link or this youtube vid. Was able to sleep well in less than 30 minutes of using the software to recover everything. Imagine if I was not able to recover all those photos. Batanes would be madly missed.

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