Lost photos, any chance?

  Cymro. 12:40 15 Oct 2011

My daughter bought me her Medion Notebook running Windows 7 Starter probably 32bit. She complained of it being very very slow. When I set about trying to sort it out I found that it had a restore function built in on the hard drive. It seemed so much easier than fiddling about with removing unnecessary programs, deleting temp. files and cookies etc. etc.

So I set the machine to go back to a factory restore. I chose the option that would preserve my daughters setting etc. The whole thing took over an hour. I was quite happy to carry on with things as I pleased not thinking my daughter had any photos on her computer. I had checked under "my photos" and found it empty. What I did not know was that there was another account and the photos were kept there.

As you can imagine my daughter was not best pleased. So where do I go from here? I have used the free version of Recuva in the past but not to find deleted photos. I have had a quick look on Google and there seem to be several free programs to recover last data. Can anybody please recommend any such program that will get these photos back on my daughters computer and so save a father that is very much in the doghouse.

  rdave13 12:52 15 Oct 2011

Have a look at this thread. I'd save the photos on a flash drive and note it also picks up icons etc.

  bjh 13:02 15 Oct 2011

I'm sure you'll have plenty of helpful suggestions. Mine is simply to do nothing until all the advice is in - any further writing to the disk, use of the computer etc. may well just compound the problem. The restore will have written a lot of data over a lot of files, any more writing without due care will probably cause more problems.

My guess is that (and I'm sorry), a large portion of the files may well be beyond recovery. One saving grace may be that the restore might have been physically smaller than what was there, so may not have overwritten the folder of photographs. One suggestion I'd have would be not to run software from the drive in question; either use a self-booting USB pen or DVD, so's to not write anything to that drive (or access the drive from another computer entirely; networked or put it in a USB casing). Another suggestion - can a program like Acronis make an image of all the hard drive, including deleted files - so you can have more than one go, as it were. Finally, you might like to practice using any recommended programs on your machine, before using them on the one that matters!

A final thought is that it may be better to bite the bullet and pay for a quality service to do as good a job as possible. It might save you from further relegation to the pig house - but such services don't come cheap!

Good luck, and hope you are back in the good books soon!

  Cymro. 13:17 15 Oct 2011

It is a glorious sunny afternoon here in North Wales. Much too nice an afternoon to stay indoors. So I am going to make the most of it and get back to this latter. Thanks for the suggestions so far. They seem to be the sort of thing I am looking for.

  hssutton 19:39 15 Oct 2011

Zero assumption Recovery (ZAR) is the one favoured by photographers and it's free for photos ZAR

  Cymro. 10:18 16 Oct 2011

Good morning and thanks to all for posting. I have downloaded photos from my camera to my computer and am having a practice at recovering them with various recovery programs. This will I hope give me a better chance of success when my daughter brings her computer over on Monday.

I have also had a look at old threads on PC Advisor about this rather more common problem than I anticipated. I will not tick this as resolved yet as others may have suggestions. I now realise that there is much less chance of success as the computer was set to factory restore. I will let you know how I get on, probably some time next week. Again thanks to all.

  jonny951 14:49 20 Oct 2011


Restoring of factory settings may cause corruption of filesystem on the hard drive. This may lead to photos on the hard disk become inaccessible. You need to format the hard disk to correct it if you format the hard the photos will not be deleted permanently until and unless overwritten by data. You can recover the deleted photos from the hard drive by using good disk recovery software. Download Remo Recover (Windows) Pro edition software and install it in computer, then You can recover the deleted photos from the hard drive.

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