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Photography Question 
Sharon Morris
 

Wedding Image Recovery ... Help!


I traveled to Nashville to shoot my niece's wedding. On the way home, TSA dropped my laptop, and the hard drive has crashed. While I was in the hotel, I had processed the images and sent them out in email. They were sized down to 4x2 @ 96 dpi. I have recovered the images from my email, but need to interpolate and remove my watermark. Does anyone have any suggestions as to which interpolation software will yield the best results?


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9/18/2006 8:57:55 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  You might have much better results trying to recover your pictures from the hard drive or taking it to someone who can. If the laptop was dropped, it's more likely that some other part is broken or knocked loose and the data on the hard drive is still okay. You might try taking out the hard drive and getting a 2.5" USB hard drive case and hooking it up to a different computer. For future trips, if your laptop doesn't have a CD or DVD burner, get an external USB burner and take it along. Burn a backup of your images before the trip home. Play it safe. Good luck.
Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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9/18/2006 9:18:05 AM

 
Jerry Frazier   Don't you have them on the cards? Didn't you make a quick dvd or cd? You didn't have a backup hd? Well ... don't touch your computer again, and get the hd recovered. the images are still there. 100% positive of it. Oh, and send the bill to TSA.


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9/18/2006 10:06:54 AM

 
Sharon Morris   Thanks to both of you. No, no dvd, cd or cards. Thought it was safe to just for once, travel without a mini office. Bill to TSA? Yeah, right. That would really be the day! :)


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9/18/2006 10:29:52 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I just dealt with this issue...sort of. My friend's HD totally crashed, and took the HD to a specialist, who pulled the thing insert it into the same computer and extract all the images. I don't even think it is that much cash.


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9/18/2006 10:58:06 AM

 
Sharon Morris   Well, it's looking as if I'm SOL. All of the techies I have spoken with are telling me that it will be =- $1500 to have the disk physicly removed and the files extracted. That money would be much better spent on a good piece of glass.

Do any of you think that the images can be interpolated with any quality?


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9/19/2006 8:55:41 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I'd get the glass and fill it with Scotch...then I'd drink it up and talk to the relatives.


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9/19/2006 9:05:40 AM

 
A C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/6/2004
  How large do you need the pictures to be? Any 8x10's? Larger?

I'm sorry but I don't think the images you have will have acceptable quality. They are just too small. $1500 might be well worth it to preserve the pictures from your niece's very special day.

At 4x2 inches, 96 dpi your images are only 384 dots by 192. A good rule of thumb for printing is to have your images at 300 dots per inch. Even if you had it at 200 dpi, you could only get an image that was about 2 inches by 1 inch. That is incredibly small! You would be missing sooo much information. Even increasing it to a 4x6 would be too much of a stretch.


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9/19/2006 9:09:34 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Shari,
In my technical opinion, the techie who quoted you $1500 for this is probably smoking crack.

What exactly is your laptop doing? There are LOTS of reasons why a PC or laptop might not boot up. Unless the hard drive was running when they dropped it, it is highly unlikely that the drive itself is physically damaged.

You can get an external enclosure like THIS ONE from CompUSA for about 20 bucks. Put the laptop hard drive in it and connect it to the USB port on another computer, and there is a very good chance that you will be able to simply copy your files from the drive.

If the data on the drive is truly corrupted, try a program like Recover My Files
for about 50 bucks. This would be a relatively small investment to try to recover irreplaceable files.

Don't give up.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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9/19/2006 9:51:05 AM

 
Sharon Morris   Thank you. I just got off the phone with an outfit in Wisconsin that uses a clean room to physicaly remove the disk and extract the files. Minimum cost is $379, maximum is $610. I'll give them a try.

I think I'll hold off on the swig of scotch for a week until I hear from them. Thanks to all of you.

To relieve the stress, I'm going out to shoot the fall colors!


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9/19/2006 9:52:56 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Shari,

Before you ship it off, are you SURE the disk is physically damaged? What exactly does your laptop do when you turn it on?

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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9/19/2006 10:06:42 AM

 
Sharon Morris   It makes a sick repeating clicking sound and the screen has a message in what sort of looks like DOD, "NO OS FOUND".


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9/19/2006 10:08:50 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  That does sound pretty bad. The $20 USB case might still be worth a try before shipping it off.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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9/19/2006 10:23:56 AM

 
Sharon Morris   Good thought. I'll give it a try.

I appreciate all of your help.


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9/19/2006 10:54:27 AM

 
Jerry Frazier   chris, no disrespect dude, but they are most certainly not smoking crack. that's what it costs for hd recovery. it's very expensive. but, tell you what, the first time it happens to me and I loose a wedding, you better believe that i'd pay 5 times that to recover all images. I can't even imagine just saying, 'oh well'. WOW WEE. but, I guess being that's it's just a niece, the responsibility to deliver must be low.

remember, when you think it's ok, it's not. always, always, always, always back up your stuff. no matter what the situation.

i always have at least two copies of eveything at any given time. ALWAYS. No exceptions, EVER! Well, of course, except while i'm actually shooting. :)


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9/19/2006 11:38:40 AM

 
Sharon Morris   Well, there's absolutely no way that I could let those files just be gone forever. It might be worth the moral degradation had the images been of her birthday, but not the once in a lifetime (I hope once) wedding. I'll let you guys know how it turns out and what the final cost is.


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9/19/2006 11:43:50 AM

 
Jagadeesh Dev
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/30/2005
  Drop $300 on one of those portable burners. No computer needed - stick the flash right in the thing and copy away. They're great.


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9/19/2006 11:48:19 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  No dis taken, Jerry.

I agree that you should expect to pay a hefty fee for a lab to physically crack open a hard drive and extract data from the platters. It's just that I've had sucess recovering data from quite a few drives over the years without having to resort to that drastic step.

And I also agree, that if there's no other way to get the pictures, then paying a high price to an expert would certainly be worth every penny.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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9/19/2006 1:10:04 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   I guess in my experience talking to techies, they always say that the second it happens, turn the computer off, and send it in, and pray. As long as you don't overwrite those sections, they can almost always recover the images. So, I'm just superstitious about it. It freaks me out, man. I lost a external drive the other day, and it didn't even bother me at all. I was like Oh well, I un hooked it, put in a new one because I always have a new boxed one close by. Copied everything over from the backup, and I was back in business. Didn't need to refer to the other backups on DVD's I have in multiple locations.

Call me a freak about back-up, but I've heard all the stories. I can't imagine having to call a bride and explain that your HD crashed and you lost all the photos. Can't even imagine that. Plus, it's so unnecessary today.


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9/19/2006 2:56:41 PM

 
Ralph L. Nuerenberg   For the future: Someone earlier mentioned the direct burner - put the card in a front slot and burn direct to the disc. Ditto that - They are a little slow, but great alternative to a laptop (also not as bulky/heavy). No problem with downloading RAW images, just slow. The other option is more cards. They are getting cheap enough to load up and download at home (4GB cards are less than $100.)


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9/20/2006 6:28:04 AM

 
She-She Killough
Contact She-She
She-She's Gallery
  The only problem with 4 Gig cards is if they crash and I had one crash on my first time using it ... thankfully the day before the wedding and no AT the wedding...it crashed and Seagate told me it would cost me (and they REFUSED to pay for it even though it was THEIR faulty product) $1,200-2000!!! My friend got it off with software. But since then I use nothing bigger than a 1 gig. And have numbers of them. Also I never get any kind of card that is a HD card as they have many moving parts where a CFlash card has none. (less likely to fail compared to a HD) just my thoughts. I would rather lose 1 Gig of info than 4 gigs a pop.


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9/20/2006 11:36:49 AM

 
Barbara Vickers   More info on "the direct USB burner" please. I don't recall seeing such a thing in the magazines, etc.

Thanks,

Barbara


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9/20/2006 11:51:17 AM

 
Jagadeesh Dev
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/30/2005
  It's in a lot of them. It looks like a cd walkman. You just stick your flash card in the slot, a cd in the place where you put the cd (LOL, don't know what it's called, think cd walkman, pop top) and press go and you're burning. I know I've seen them in Digital Photo Pro.


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9/20/2006 11:55:35 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  At the Nascar and MotoGP races they use those and I think I saw them on Rob Galbraith. People also use the IPOD's.


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9/20/2006 11:58:33 AM

 
Sharon Morris   I've actually been looking for a direct dvd burner. All that I've been able to find so far are the cd's. With a 5D, it would be virtully impossible to burn everything to cd. Does anyone know of a direct card to dvd burner?


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9/20/2006 12:01:53 PM

 
Jagadeesh Dev
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/30/2005
  Yes, there is a dvd version of the one I saw in the mag. When I get home tonight I'll look at it and get you the info, as long as you're buyin' for me, too.... ;>)


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9/20/2006 12:03:32 PM

 
Ralph L. Nuerenberg   I shoot RAW images with a 5D and use a CD direct burner - I download while shooting/filling another flashcard. There is a new DVD burner out by Delvin. Looks bigger & heavier; but about the same price as a CD direct burner (avail at most internet electronic stores.


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9/20/2006 12:06:42 PM

 
Sharon Morris   Believe me, if I could, I would. I still need to find out what this entice debacle is going to set me back!


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9/20/2006 12:07:17 PM

 
Joe C.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/3/2006
  I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago. I dropped my laptop onto my cushiony couch on accident and it shut off. When I tried to turn it back on: No OS found. CompUSA said that the hard drive was ruined and it would probably be $1,000 to send it somewhere to open it. I lost a lot of pics(some really good ones), but while I was at CompUSA, I bought a new DSLR camera to cheer myself up.

Now, I still regret not paying more attention to what I was doing that day when I dropped it. But I have taken a lot more pictures since then and I'm not as upset at myself for being careless as I was a few months ago.


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9/20/2006 3:03:55 PM

 
Patricia C. Sharp   TSA will pay for repairs to computers if you ask for a form at the time of the incident. While "helping" me pull my laptop from it's case, they damaged the eject lever on the flash drive which resulted in the card being stuck, and the conputer not being able to read it. After the reapirs were made I sent a copy of the reciept to the TSA claim office along wiht the form they provided. Incidently, mine happed at the Nashville airport as well.


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9/20/2006 7:01:07 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  Shari,

Don't panic. I have been watching the responses you have been getting and all is not lost. The "click of death" you have been hearing and the "no operating system found" indicate the computer cannot read the hd. The click is caused by the heads trying to find a starting point, or because of some other damage in the computer (not the hd) it can't "see" the hd. Find someone with a computer like your. take the hd out and put it in theirs. This will not harm either machine or hd. It will either boot or it won't. No damage. Remember, you can always send it off with a fat check to be recovered. Do the cheap and easy first. Let me know how it comes out..


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9/23/2006 7:05:43 AM

 
Wayne    I liked the first answer, I would get a flash drive conversion and recover or attempt to recover that way. However if your HD did get corrupted in the fall there are File recovery programs out there that can recover lost data and I would do that as the second option. Either way you are going to have to have a Tech look at your Laptop but be very carefull as alot of tecks out there are not very system smart and will just try to do a sys recovery. The third thing and maybe the best it get Knoppix 5.0 (free linux OS runs off the disk so no HD needed and will see your HD and pics) . boot to the Knoppix disc and transfer your files to a flash stick


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9/24/2006 9:23:19 AM

 
Rob A   Sorry to hear about that Chris,
One thing you could have done would be to use recovery software to recover the files on the cameras' flash card assuming you had only formatted the flash card and not taken anymore photographs. The photographs would still be there underlying the format. Recovery software is cheap and you can do-it-yourself.

Happy snapping

Rob


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10/9/2006 6:26:27 PM

 
W.    I agree with Rob. Try to recover/rescue the photos from the flash card(s) before you send off the laptop. You'll find a number of apps especially for that purpose on
http://www.versiontracker.com/php/search.php?PHPSESSID=d91fd4014762ba3af24ee156f521ce55&mode=basic&action=search&str=rescue&plt%5B%5D=windows&x=0&y=0.

Good luck.


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10/10/2006 5:50:51 AM

 
Judith F. Gobeille
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2006
  FYI, if you're near a Best Buy, with the Geek Squad in residence, take your machine there if you have any reservations about taking it apart. 9 times out of 10, the problem is with some other component of your machine, not the hard drive. But the dead component is keeping the machine from booting up and accessing info on the hard drive. I had a motherboard die on my desktop. Took it to the Geek Squad and they recovered a 120GB hard drive onto 6 DVDs and 2 CDs at roughly $100 for every 2 DVDs of data. I'm sure the price has gone up, but they are quick, secure, reliable, and totally trustworthy.

Good luck.


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10/11/2006 8:44:02 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Ok, I haven't read all of the messages, as I am at work and I don't have enough time. But what did you shoot the wedding on, Did you use CF cards? If so, have you tried recovering the images straight from the cards with recovery software? Even after the cards have been formatted several times, it is still possible to recover images. Trust me I've done it.

Hope all goes well with it.


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10/11/2006 9:47:50 PM

 
dave    I carry a backup with me, one in the studio plus the hard drive and the external. Sounds crazy, but I don't trust any of that digital crap, except to take amazing shots which it does according to my bank account.


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10/12/2006 6:06:41 AM

 
Sharon Morris   Natalie, it's really possible to recover files after numerous reformats and shoots? I haven't sent the hard drive off to the clean room yet. How would I go about attempting to do so? Thanks


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10/12/2006 7:02:01 AM

 
Deborah Liperote
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2006
  Hi Shari,
I also had this happen once. And I went to Best Buy to get them to retrieve my photos from the hard drive...no such luck. However even though I reformatted my cards they did retrieve my images from the cards. But he told me that the cards could be reformatted but if I did take pictures with those cards then the old info could be lost because the info would be written over. But maybe Natalie is right and the Guy from Best Buy is wrong. I fortunately hadn't taken any pictures yet with those cards.


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10/12/2006 10:01:37 AM

 
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