Do you have a back-up plan for your digital files and photos that are stored on your external hard drive? If you don’t, you should. That doesn’t help you if your hard drive dies before you get your back-up plan in place. In that case, here are ideas for how to recover photos when your external hard drive dies.
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Newsletter subscribers already know that last month my external hard drive died. After getting over sticker shock at the recovery cost, I grieved again when they were unable to recover it. The data was literally scraped into dust when there was a mechanical malfunction.
Tears don’t even cover the feeling of loss. I lost 3 years of my business, including posts that weren’t even written yet. That wasn’t even the most devastating. It means additional work on my part but I did it once, I can do it again.
The loss that hurts the most is the 10+ years of family photos that are just gone. Photos of holidays, my children being born, and birthday parties… they are all gone. Initially, that weight was crushing.
Take the time to grieve if this happens to you. The fact is that it is a huge loss and you need to take the time to deal with that loss. Eventually you have to pick yourself up and move forward, though. Here are some tips to help you recover what you can when you are ready to take action.
Check Social Media
First, check your social media profiles. The one plus in our era of over-sharing is that a lot of our photos end up on social media. I was able to recover a ton of photos from my Facebook profile. Although the photos will not be the original quality, it definitely helps ease the loss.
Ask Family and Friends
Family and friends likely took pictures of the big events and holidays like Christmas and birthdays. Reach out to them and ask if they mind giving you copies of those photos. The bonus is that this is a great excuse to spend some extra quality time together as well.
Check Printing Services
Another place that I found a lot of our photos was on Walgreens’ website. I use them to print a lot of my photos for scrapbooking and they save all of them. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to bulk select and download the photos that I found. It is still nice that you can recover the photos, however.
Scan Printed Photos
This is definitely a last resort because it is incredibly time consuming. However, in this day and age, digital copies are the longest lasting. Scan in the very important ones and burn them to a DVD-R for safe keeping in the future.
I can’t take away the devastating loss of a failed hard drive. Hopefully these ideas for how to recover photos when your external hard drive dies help ease the heartache. Once you get the photos you can recovered, make sure you put your back-up plan in place. I will share tips to do this next month. Until then, if you need a shoulder to cry on, email me and we can commiserate our loss over some wine and Buffy.
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