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|| News Item: Posted 2002-03-30

Rescue Me
By Bob Deutsch, USA TODAY

To set the scene: It's the biggest night of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Ladies long program and Sarah Hughes has just upset Michelle Kwan and Irina Slutskaya for the Gold Medal, I'm on the ice in front of them as they wave and get their medals. Pictures galore The thrill of victory, well, you know the rest. Off I rush back to the sub-press center to get the disk edited anduher what do you mean there's nothing on the disk? That's impossible, I've been chimping away and they are all there!

Well, now I had that same color green on my face as Rickman had on the downhill that day (see SSv40). Seems like I had ignored the advice Dennis Walker of Camerabits (PhotoMechanic) has given me several times: "do not fill up disksdo not edit from the card!"

And especially, DO NOT DO BOTH!

Well, I did. I used up the card, switched lenses thinking I was almost done, and then fired a few more frames on the full card. Baaaaad. Worse, not paying attention to what I had done, I tried to edit the card directly instead of copying it first (yes, I knowno one has time to copy disks on that kind of deadline. Neither do I.)

Anyway, the disk was FUBAR. I got some help from the AP, who had a PC laptop handy, and tried scandisk, chkdsk, nothing worked. No files. Blank disk, red face. Goodnight!

So I went home a week later and re-read Rob Galbraith's excellent article "The Ultimate Photo Recovery Kit" ( ).

Ultimate this is. After some trial and error in putting together the pieces (FTFM!), I tried to recover the disk using "Easy Recovery". Nope, still blank. Oh well, I'll reformat it, put it back into my stock, and learn a valuable lesson.

After formatting, I remembered there was one other program on Rob's list, "PhotoRescue", a mere $29 also! OK, one last try. After chugging along for 38 minutes, 182 of my original 183 files appeared intact! Well, you never know!

So some valuable lessons are hereby presented:
Never completely fill a flash card if you can avoid it, and NEVER try to add files to it after it says "0" left.

Never edit such a full disk without copying it to a hard drive first.

If time allows, copy the files to the hard drive and edit from there.

Read and obtain at least some of Rob's Ultimate Recovery Kit". You'll need it sometime! For Mac users, I'd vote for Virtual PC with Win98se, a Zio! USB reader, and "PhotoRescue" as a start. Worked for me!

(Bob Deutsch is a staff photographer and resident geek with USA TODAY based in New York.)


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