Media Recovery

Recovering Files from Digital Media

Author: Nash Owens

Photography has come a long way since the days of the old black and white photographs. The pictures were taken and the film had to be sent off to be processed. Negatives were developed from the film and positive prints made with the negatives. The photographer finally saw the finished results days or even weeks later. The shutterbug was stuck with the outcome of the shot, good or bad.

Along came color photography and the pictures looked more true-to-life. However, the process was still the same and took just as long. Along came the invention of the Polaroid camera and film, so the photographer could now see the photo in a matter of minutes, not weeks. However, that type of photo had no negative to make additional or replacement copies. A lost or damaged photo could not be replaced.

Digital photography has revolutionized the whole picture taking process, however. The photographer can view the photo just seconds after shooting it and retake the photo immediately if necessary. Additionally, the photo can be printed at home on a computer and printer with as many copies as the person desires. In fact, photos do not even need to be printed anymore in order to share them with family and friends. They can be e-mailed all over the world with a click of the mouse.

Digital storage media has evolved, also. Hundreds, even thousands of photos, can be stored on a single media card. Furthermore, the digital “film” is reusable. The card is formatted and more pictures are added. But that could cause problems from accidental deletion. Additionally, files may become inaccessible for other reasons. If the card is removed from the camera before the reading and writing process is completed, the file may become corrupted.

Mishandling the media card can also cause data loss. Extremes of heat and cold will damage the electronics of the card. The cards are fragile pieces of metal and plastic, so bending them or dropping them long distances could damage them. The contacts that transfer the data from the card to the computer are easily damaged if the card is not inserted properly. When the card is placed in the computer’s media card reader, the files are transferred from the card to the hard drive. A power loss during the read-write process can corrupt the files, both on the card and on the computer.

How the data from media cards is recovered is dependent on the reason that it cannot be accessed. If deletion or file corruption is the cause, picture recovery may be accomplished through the use of a recovery software program. The files might still be recovered if the card is formatted. Some programs are available for Windows-based computers, while others have been developed for Macintosh file recovery on Mac computers. Loss from physical damage, however, may need the services of a professional file recovery service.

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