Backing up didn’t save my photos
Q I have just been on a four-month cruise, taking images at every port. I downloaded these onto my MacBook giving each port a number and name. As a precaution I dragged each file (copying them) onto three different flash drives. I now find that about nine are missing completely. Not on the laptop hard drive nor on the flash drives. I am frantic! I have pictures of Komodo dragons somewhere! Bernard Minns
A In broad brush strokes, the three possibilities are that 1. The images were never copied to the flash drives in the first place. 2. They were copied but deleted. 3. They have become corrupted and are no longer recognised a image files.
Scenario 1 is probably terminal because your camera’s memory card has probably been overwritten several times, so there's no data left from your images, but there is a small chance that scenarios 2 and 3 may still allow some image data to be recovered with a commercial recovery tool such as Data Rescue 4. This will scan your flash drives and can find files that have been deleted or corrupted, even after the drive has been reformatted. It costs about £64, but you can run the free demo (http://bit.ly/1BiVZga) to see if there are any recoverable files first.
Data Rescue can find lost photos, if your memory cards haven’t been overwritten.