Friday, February 1, 2008

PHOTORECOVERY can restore your lost pictures


By Jorge Sosa

Do you ever get that sick sensation in your gut?

You know, the one that accompanies the realization that you've just accidently deleted some really important files? It's twice as bad when those files happen to be your priceless digital photos.

"Stop using the memory card the instant you realize you've trashed your photos."

With a little luck, PHOTORECOVERY from LC Technology can provide instant relief from that nauseous feeling

Stop right there

PHOTORECOVERY is designed to restore photos that you've accidentally trashed from your camera's memory card. But it's important that you stop using the memory card the instant you realize you've trashed your photos.

Here's why: When you trash your photos, you haven't really trashed them. Your computer has simply marked the space your photos used to occupy as available for re-writing.

If you're copying files onto your memory card, or taking more pictures with it, there's a good chance you'll end up overwriting your lost files for good.

So, the first thing you'll want to do is go to the LC Technology Web site and download the demo version of PHOTORECOVERY. The demo version lets you see what trashed photos are still on your memory card, but it won't let you save them. That way, you can avoid buying the full version of PHOTORECOVERY if your photos are permanently gone.

How it works

PHOTORECOVERY comes in two flavors: A version that runs on Windows 2000 or higher and one for the cool kids that runs on Mac OSX 10.3 or higher. [See? Sometimes we run stuff for Mac users. Now quit yer bitchin'. -Ed.] The PHOTORECOVERY interface is fairly simple, as you see in Figure A.


PHOTORECOVERY sports a fairly basic interface. (click for larger image)

Below the main menu, in the upper left part of the window, you'll see a list of available drives. Select your camera's memory card from that list.

Then, check out the lower left pane. You'll see a list of file types. You can select one or more types of cameras or image files. The default setting will search for photos taken by all cameras.

Now, hit the big button that says "Start Scan." It's the one with the little green stick figure on it.

In the upper right pane, you'll start seeing file names pop up. By default, PHOTORECOVERY will name the files it finds as "Image001," Image002," "Image003" and so on.

To see what those images actually are, select an individual file name. A preview of that file will appear in the lower right pane, as seen in Figure B.