Retrieve Your Deleted Photos Using Card Recovery

During the Great Backup Accident of 2010, I ended up losing 200 to 300 photos.  I don’t take photos a lot and my camera card holds 4GB.  But lucky me, just about ten days prior to the incident my card was full and I sat down and moved a bunch of photos onto my hard drive – for safekeeping, of course. Heh.

I did contact a local company, Data Doctors, to see if it would be possible to retrieve data from my hard drive, and found since the backup was a full clone, the chances were very slim. They did say they could analyze the drive for $149 to see if the data could be retrieved.  If it looked feasible, the costs would run into the hundreds. I remember feeling faint at hearing “fourteen hundred dollars” at one point during the conversation.

Earlier in the day I’d told Mr. A that I might consider spending $500 to retrieve the data, but $1400 was not even going to be considered.

So my next thought was to find out if the photos from my camera card could be retrieved. As long as I hadn’t taken enough new photos to write over the deleted ones, there was a chance.  The analyzing would cost $59 and if the photos were retrievable, it would cost upwards of $350 to get them back. That wasn’t going to happen either.

The only photos of importance were photos of my friend’s baby shower (the one who recently had triplets) and Big A’s 23rd birthday party.

I was more upset about losing my friend’s photos, since she’d asked me to take a picture of her entire family.

During the darkness, I did an Internet search and found a program named Card Recovery which sounded very promising.  Even better, they let you try their product to see if your photos can be retrieved with a free version of the software before you even purchase the unlock code.  Very cool. I was very hopeful that the photos could be retrieved, but was unable to test the software until later in the day after returning home.

Finally I was able to check it out.  I downloaded the software and waited for it to scan my card.   Looking at the card using Windows Explorer, it showed that it held 733 files in the photos folder. I watched the numbers slowly increase while Card Recovery worked and I was cautiously hopeful when the number of recovered files rose close to 1000. That meant the program had detected some of the deleted photos!!

Even so, I knew the photos may have been overwritten since I had taken photos immediately after deletion of the ones I was hoping to retrieve.  Card Recovery allows you to preview the photos in the free version, so I began looking through.  Sadly, not one of the photos that I had hoped to find were present.

I started to feel terrible again, and I decided to call my friend.  The tears were falling again, and when she answered the phone I immediately blurted out how horrible I felt about losing her photos and nothing could be done to retrieve them. She asked me which photos and I told her, to which she replied, “The second time that you came by to take belly shots for me and my husband, you moved the baby shower photos onto my laptop.”

The funny thing is, I distinctly remember the drive home the first night when I took belly shots of her (when her husband wasn’t able to make it to the hospital), thinking how I should have moved those baby shower photos onto her laptop.

I have a vague memory now that she told me I did move the photos over of doing that after the second belly shot photo shoot.   She assured me that she has the photos and has seen them all.  The only thing she didn’t have a copy of was the large copy of the belly shots with her husband that I’d manipulated in Photoshop. That is easily recreated, once she sends me the original photos!

That was a huge relief.

I also came up with a grand solution to the photos of Big A’s birthday party that I lost.  In case you are new to my blog, Big A is my oldest son, and he has Down Syndrome.  I just love having photos of his birthday parties, which are tiny affairs, just he and his dad and younger brother.  So nothing big, just the memories as a family together.

Big A knows how upset I was, and so the next night, after I came up with my grand solution we had the following conversation:

Me:  Big A, you remember how upset I was about my computer the other night?

Big A: Yes, you sad.

Me: Yeah, I was really sad. One of the reasons is because I lost the pictures of your birthday party.

Big A:  Oh, Mom’s sad.

Me: Yeah, I was sad, but I think you could help me be happy again.  What would you think about having a new birthday party?

Big A: Okay!

Me: Okay, it’s a deal. We’ll plan to have a new birthday party for you in two weeks.

Big A: Two weeks!

So I’ll recreate his birthday party and we’ll take photos again.

Another aspect of the backup disaster addressed positively.

You’ll have to let me know if you use end up trying Card Recovery.  It sounds fantastic, and there are a ton of testimonials from happy customers.

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6 thoughts on “Retrieve Your Deleted Photos Using Card Recovery

  1. Hi there,

    I just read your post and I could empathize with you.

    Awhile back I tested a free software that claims to recover deleted files from your hard drive


    You might have better luck with this software, but I don’t get your hopes up too much.

    But on the bright side, whether or not the software is able to recover those deleted photos, Big A will have a grand time at his birthday party in 2 weeks… and so will you and the rest of the family.


  2. I used Card Recovery about a month ago when my daughter came to me in tears because her memory card was empty for some reason. When it did the ‘free’ scan, it did show the pictures, so I paid the 39.95 or whatever it cost and got most of her pictures back. I loved it!


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