ZAR saved the day

The back story...
I have an old digital camera as in 3.1 mega pixels. It still works just fine. But there is a decent delay between button push and picture captured. So your pictures don't always come out how you planned unless you planned for the 5 second delay when you composed your shot. As in if said subject moves forget it. But it is digital so you can just take another pic. Hence, I rarely use it anymore, but every once in a blue moon I do. So...

I've sort of let it become the kids camera - unofficially. The turtle they saved from the road is on there. The baby snake my dd found and I refused to let her keep is on there, about 100 pics of dd#2's stuffed animals are on there, along with pics of our various pets doing nothing much other than trying to look cute for said kid. But it's kind of fun and interesting to see what my kids take pictures of. And so I keep it around. Plus it has good/great scrapbooking material on it even if the pictures on it aren't always great. It's life through my kids eyes and the stories that go with the pictures usually are good - at least from my kids perspective.

So fast forward... my son asks if he can use the camera. I say sure. My dd's have been using for 2-3 years now. 2-3 years without having any problems. Turn camera on take pictures and when they are done put it back on the charger. Seriously my 10 year old has been using it since she was 7 or 8. Ds is almost 15. He should have no problem. Ummm. NO! He is a guy and all guys like to tinker. He manages to delete all the pictures on the camera. 2 years worth of pictures! Irreplaceable pictures!

But he doesn't exactly tell me he did this. He just casually mentions that the camera had no pictures on it. HUH?! I know that I haven't pulled pulled pics from the camera in forever. I know my girls have used it fairly recently. Granted most of what is on the camera isn't important, but I do have about 10 pictures on it that are IRREPLACEABLE! They are the last pictures I have of the kids and their great grandmother, taken just a few months before she died. I am beyond upset. Those few pictures can never ever be replaced. They aren't great pics. But they are the very last ones I have of the kids and her. UGH! Now what? Breathe.... Breathe..... Maybe they can be restored???? Can they be restored???? I have no idea what he did. And he is claiming innocence. Ya, right.

I remember reading a post on one of my yahoo groups. The gals on there offering suggestions of possible programs to use to retrieve deleted camera pictures. Someone else had posted about a similar situation. I know from "MY" programming days the data is still on there if nothing has written over it. Maybe, if he didn't reformat the card I can pull it back. Usually all that happens when the card is erased is the pointer that points to the data has been cleared. Maybe I can get the pics back. I'm at least going to try my best. Crossing my fingers, I look at possible programs I might be able to use...

So I try freeware program number one. I download it and install it and get an error. It's an older freeware program - but it has awesome reviews. No luck. I remove it and reload it thinking well maybe something didn't install right. Nope. Not happening. I'm running Vista and my guess is that since it was written before Vista and it's not Vista compatible. OK remove program again and look around for something else to try.

Try program number 2. This is the first program I was going to try, but didn't. It's not exactly freeware. It started as freeware, but now is for sale. Humm... I download the free trail. There is a note on the site that says the part of the program I need to use is still freeware, but that you must download the whole program. OK I'm game. Free trail or not I am desperate. Besides a free trail usually means I get to use it for 30 days or so for free. I only need to use it for 1 day. So I load it.

More problems. Computer and camera card aren't talking again. UGH! (See previous post.) Mess around with that, and get that working. Try again. Batt-a-bing. Batt-a-boom. It at least loads fine. It's a little confusing, some options I'm not really sure about, but I go with the program's defaults and pray. Something is happening. Wait. Wait a bit more. Look at that. It did something. Did it work? I think it worked! It says I have 282 files that it can restore. OK. I'm game. I click restore them all and cross my fingers.

5 Minutes later and I have my pictures back!!!! My pictures are all back. YES!!!! I now have 272 pictures of stupid silly stuff like cat butts and dogs licking themselves. And stuffed animals wearing sunglasses. But I also have my 10 IRREPLACEABLE picture of Nana and the kids!!! They are now loaded safely (hopefully - crossing my fingers) on the hard drive of my computer. Thank you so very, very, VERY much ZAR! Your program rocks!!!

And if this should ever happen to you here is the link to their site. Bookmark it. Seriously. Because you never know... ZAR - Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery

And that was how I spent my evening.

No comments: