Lightroom is a fab piece of software that I use for organising my pictures but it let me down today.
I had been viewing some 48 photos and keywording them using the grid view. They were all selected for the general keywording. A feature of this nasty horrible piece-of-shit- acer laptop I have is that if you don’t do anything on it for about 20 minutes it completely freezes. You can’t do anything with it at all. The only option is to shut the laptop off without powering down. Well I had been on the phone so it did freeze, I had to shut it down then restart it and when I rebooted I went straight back into Lightroom to continue my work.
Now I’ve found in Lightroom that when you have multiple files selected, it’s actually not as straightforward as you think to deselect them all. I’ve got into the habit now of using the file menu to deselect as it’s the most dependable method. Well, I assumed that as I’d had to power the lappie off improperly that the files would have been deselected. They certainly weren’t obviously selected when I went back in, but clearly they were as when I went to delete a file, I deleted all 48 photos in the folder. Now as anyone who uses Lightroom knows, delete from Lightroom if you are deleting from the disk does not have an undo feature.
So, not panicking yet I went into the recycle bin. I have two drives, and the backup drive has recycle bin turned off. Oops.
Still not panicking, I plug my external drive in and look for a recovery program that does not require an install. I found an old copy of DataRecovery by Tokiwa and yes before you ask, of course it’s free 🙂 I ran this little program and within less than a minute it had not only the entire folder I’d deleted on screen, but almost 3500 other files, some that were deleted so long ago I’d forgotten about them. I had to check some just to make sure I still had them! 3 of the files once recovered were corrupted and had to go and that’s one of the minor drawbacks of this program, it doesn’t tell you what state the files are in. Neither is it completely accurate about file creation date, and it does not tell you what date the file was deleted. All of that info would be seriously useful. However, it does actually warn you if you try to recover to the same drive that this will probably fail. It is also very fast and free and once you’ve done the initial scan you can do a deep scan, for those situations maybe when you’ve reformatted. Much slower but much more accurate. So bar 3 files, 2 of which I didn’t want anyway and 1 which was not critical, I got my photos back in about 10 minutes in total. Excellent piece of work Tokiwa. You can download his free program from http://tokiwa.qee.jp/EN/dr.html and as always, if you like and use a piece of freeware, consider donating a few quid to the author.