I prepared a three page memo of what happened to me, recently, trying to recovery lost images and it's available here with links [PDF]: Download Blog on Disaster Recovery In sum, there are 4 rules to remember about data of any type:
- At some point, you will lose data [files, pictures etc.] Disasters happen. So you need to take steps to protect against irretrievable loss
- The best protection, really, is backing up your data. If you can, have multiple backups. There are online storage entities [such as Dropbox, SugarSync] which will give you a free 2Gb of online storage so you can test the waters. Hard drives to back up to are fairly cheap now, so having at least that backup is a help [only if you have a strategy that backs up at regular intervals].
- Have some sort of cataloguing program which will allow you to fairly easily find your files/pictures among your backups. I use CDFinder, myself.
- There are file recovery methods that can help in a pinch. FileSalvage will scan and recover the contents of drives, as will Rescue Pro; FilerecoveryPro allows you to ‘drill down’ within folders on a drive to find a more precise set of items to scan and recover. Of course, these programs can’t promise to recover items, but if there’s data there, they probably can. All provide free demos to see if a scan will work for you.