2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2016 3:58 PM by dj_paige

    Recovery from external hard drive


      Something pretty ****** happened to me.

      My import workflow is usually like this: As I am using a Macbook which does not have as much space on it's internal Hard drive, I am using an external hard drive for my photos. Whenever I find the time to edit a new folder, I COPY them on my Macbook. Afterwards I edit them (all RAW) and export some as JPEG. I usually copy the whole folder from my Macbook (now with RAW and XMP Data in it) and transfer it to my external hard drive. Now, the folder is updated on my external hard drive and I can use it again whenever I need some more JPEG'S


      What happened now... I thought I would COPY a new folder into my Lightroom on my Macbook from my external hard drive. What I actually did was MOVING them so they disappeared on my hard drive (which I was not aware of). I figured out that I don't need this specific folder and deleted it from my Lightroom. I could literally WATCH how my Lightroom deleted all files from my external hard drive. Afterwards I realized that I didn't copy but moved them which also means that I did not just deleted the pictures out of my Lightroom but also from my hard drive. They are not in the trash and I can not find them. I don't have to tell you which kind of pictures they where... Every photographers nows how that feels.


      I don't have to tell you that I don't have a second backup. If I would, I would not need to ask for help in this forum. And please don't call me names as I know that it was not secure enough to only have all pictures once. Tomorrow even if it is probably too late, I will buy another Hard drive e.g. a time capsule or something. If you have any tips for a secure backup method I would be happy to hear them.


      It would be awesome if there is a way to recover them!!


      Thanks in advance Kristina

        • 1. Re: Recovery from external hard drive
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I can't tell you how to recover them because I don't know what really happened in your copy process. But I have to ask why you think you need to copy a folder of images from the external hard drive to the Mac hard drive to work on them. That doesn't accomplish anything. The catalog is on your Mac hard drive. And that is where all of the adjustments made in Lightroom are stored. It doesn't matter whether the images are on the external hard drive or on the Mac hard drive. They remain completely unmodified and in the same state they were in when they were downloaded in either location. So if you can work on the images with the external hard drive connected then there is no need to copy the images to the Mac hard drive.

          • 2. Re: Recovery from external hard drive
            dj_paige Level 10

            To recover the photos, you might want to try something called an "undelete utility program". There are free ones available on that Internet thing. download it, install it, and then run it. Try to undeleted the files from both the internal and external HD. No guarantees it will work. If you are going to do this, do not perform any other tasks on your computer except find it, download it, install it and run it.


            With regards to your workflow, I would like to suggest a major improvement. there's no need to move or copy photos from your external HD to use them in Lightroom. If the photos are on your external HD, you can import them into LR using the ADD option, the photos then remain on your external HD but are available in Lightroom for editing and other tasks. If the photos are on the camera card, iimport them using the COPY option and have the Import place the photos on the external HD. This also means you don't have to remove the photos from your internal HD after you use them in Lightroom, and so there's no immediate need to export the photos and store the metadata in XMP.


            I hope you will implement a backup routine that includes making regular and automated backups of your photos and your catalog file. The backups MUST go to a different physical disk than your originals.