Digital Image Recovery – Recover Deleted Photos

Digital image recovery is usually more important than recovery of any other file types. You should first understand when and how image files are created and in some cases deleted.

Digital cameras are cheap, anybody can afford to buy one. Professional digital cameras are used by top photographers all over the world. The main difference between classical camera and digital one is in how the images are stored. In classical camera we have film which records images. In digital camera images are captured with digital sensor and saved to flash memory cards as image files. These files are then transferred to the computer where we can edit them, save them to a CD or DVD or transfer them to a print studio.

Because digital cameras and memory cards are electronic devices they can fail. This failure can be a total malfunction or only “strange” behavior of some parts. The most sensitive part of digital camera in terms of possible problems is the memory card where all the photos taken are stored. This is where most of the problems are detected. There are many reasons why saved images are not available anymore: we have deleted them, we have formatted the memory card before we saved the pictures, the camera has problems and has corrupted the memory card, etc. The final consequence is the same—we have lost our precious images.

Loosing any kind of data is painful. Therefore we make backups. In case of hardware failure and data loss we simply restore the data from the latest backup. However, in case of digital cameras and stored photos this is usually not possible. Loosing precious photos is a very painful experience. Imagine visiting distant places, taking photos of historical monuments, rare animals, or famous people. Every photo taken is special and can not be recreated. Therefore, you are proud owner of each and every photo taken with your top digital camera. Now imagine coming home, You insert memory card into card reader and computer says there are no files. Not a single photo! Digital disaster beyond imagination. You have lost thousands of unique, beautiful photos. Or maybe not. There is a way to recover deleted photos.

It is very likely that the image files are still there. They are only invisible to the operating system because of memory card is corrupted. The file system has errors that prevent proper file listing. It is also possible that you have deleted files before they were saved to the computer or even the memory card was formatted by accident. In most such cases it is possible to recover image files. All you need is image recovery software.

Digital image recovery software can restore files from broken memory cards, hard drives, USB memory sticks and other digital media. Image recovery works on the principle that the files can actually not be deleted. There can only be a flag that the file is deleted and/or the data locations overwritten by other files. Recovery software analyzes disk partition and checks the table where all files are listed, even deleted ones. It simply lists what was found on the disk and you have the possibility to save image files to some place.

Image recovery software has another possibility to additionally improve the success rate of the recovery. even if the file is not available because some part was overwritten it is still possible to repair damaged image file. You will get an image that will have some parts missing but this is still better then nothing.

The success of image data recovery depends on how soon after the problem has appeared we have started the recovery process. If the files appear deleted to us they may appear deleted also to memory card file system and the digital camera or computer which uses this card. Therefore, a camera may overwrite location occupied by the data belonging to our missing files. Therefore, as soon as you experience problems or missing files you should disable writing to such card or disk. This will prevent any further modifications to the file system. Later with computer help you will be able to analyze the data and recover deleted photos or any other files.

To prevent such situations with lost photos there are three simple advices that will help you to keep precious images:

  • Handle sensitive electronic devices like digital cameras and memory cards with appropriate care. Prevent contacts with water and do not store them at places exposed to direct sun.
  • Do not remove or disconnect memory cards while camera or computer is reading from or writing to them.
  • If you are on a longer trip or when captured images have some additional value make sure you make regular backups of memory cards to the laptop. You never know when digital camera or memory card will fail.

But if an accident occurs you can use some digital photo recovery software. There is no guarantee that you will get everything back but if you take right steps your effort will be rewarded and you will recover lost images.


Tags: , , ,