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Newbie here, have a big problem


Dec 4, 2013
Hello, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of this craziness you have here. I have a huge problem and was wondering if anyone here can help me. First, my phone is a Motorola Photon 4G. I have had it for a couple of years now, but absolutely love it.

I have an application on my phone called "All-in-one Toolbox". They updated it a couple of weeks ago and it started giving me suggestions on how to speed up my device. One of the things it suggested to me was to delete the thumbnails off my SD card. Without thinking, I hit the "OK" button. I lost all of my pictures and videos from my phone. Most of this stuff I am not worried about, as I do regular backups to my computer, but I did lose a few pictures and video that I cannot recreate or replace and mean the world to me. They are pics and vid of my dad, taken just before he passed away on Oct 4th, and at his viewing and funeral..
I contacted the app developer, they sent me a link to a program I could purchase and that is all I have heard from them. Please, can anyone help me? The pictures are supposedly still there, according to the app developer. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give on restoring my stuff.
Mount the SD card on your computer. (If you have to buy an adapter, they're about $3.)

Download PhotoRec - CGSecurity burn it to a CD and use the CD to boot up the computer. If the images are on the SD card, that app will find them. It's free, although a lot of people would pay a lot of money for an app that good if they had to.

(In order to recover the pictures while the card is in the phone you have to root the phone - which totally voids the phone's warranty.)
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Here's a link that provides some options including a few words and tips on the afforementioned PhotoRec:

Data Recovery Options

I luckily haven't had to try any of these yet but after reading through that, I agree with Rukbat. PhotoRec is free and as long as you're cool working in a CMD based environment, it looks ideal for your needs.

Aside from one of these options, there are data forensics services out there that from what I have heard pretty much all but guarantee results but I'm sure they're not cheap. At all.
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there are data forensics services out there that from what I have heard pretty much all but guarantee results but I'm sure they're not cheap. At all.
1) They can't recover data from an overwritten file on an SD card. On a hard drive, yes, but we haven't invented anything yet that will go back in time to before you overwrote the file. A memory cell is either a 0 or a 1. You can't go back 3 overwrites to find out what it was back then.

2) The services that can recover anything off a magnetic disk aren't cheap. They aren't expensive. We have to invent a new word for what they are. (Have you checked the prices of scanning electron microscopes recently?) Unless the deleted data is the password that will call back the nuclear missiles we just launched, it's probably not worth as much as it'll cost to recover it from a scrubbed disk.

But if it's not overwritten, and PhotoRec can't recover it, I'm sure the author would like to know so he can find out why and change the program.
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Great additional info but I was just meaning to say that there are services out there who do this sort of thing for the non DIY type of person. Like this:

Data Recovery Services Mac/PC Hard Drives, USB Flash, SD Cards - omaha computer services - backpage.com

As I mentioned, they guarantee results or you pay nothing. I'm assuming there's a Q&A when you call them and they size up their chances and decide whether or not to take the job. And if they're successful, I'm guessing it's not particularly cheap as stated. But again, not everyone wants to try these things on their own, different strokes for different folks.

And to the right person, I'm confident that certain memories would be considered priceless. May be worth taking into account when they invent that new word to describe the cost.
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The important thing for the OP to understand is to not try to write to the card anymore until recovery has a chance to work. No matter what recovery the more the card is written to the less chance of recovery.

Personally I recommend PhotoRec myself. It's a very powerful program with for me atleast very good results.

for the OP if you need help please feel free to ask I'm sure some one here would be willing to walk you through the procedure for recovering your data.
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Ok, I have an update for y'all. I had an app on my phone the whole time called simply "Photo Editor". I never thought much about it until the other day when I decided to try it out. Guess what! One way to choose the picture you want to edit is directly out of the files. I opened the files and chose the default file that the camera places them into and it found EVERY missing picture, recreated all thumbnails, and restored them all to my gallery! Thanks to everyone that read this, attempted to help, or got me to think outside the box.
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