In July 2011, I left Yokohama, Japan with the intention of spending 3 months in Ireland before making a more permanent move to Okinawa, where I now reside. I didn’t bring my desktop to PC with me of course. We left most of out things at my in-laws place in Chiba. Japan can get very hot and humid in the summer and Chiba is no exception. I had wrapped up my PC pretty well but it was left in a very hot room and I guess the packaging might have been penetrated by the humidity too.
In my PC there were 3 hard drives. the main drive and two backups. One was a general backup with all types of garbage that I collected over the years and the other was a mirror of the My Pictures directory. The Nikon software I use automatically backs up to both My Pictures and the backup drive.
Unfortunately, some drives didn’t last the summer. I knew when I rebooted that the drives had become unreliable and very soon after they stopped working. I have an external hard drive enclosure which I used to connect the drive to another PC to pull the photos from them and I got them all before the hard drive failed. Or so I thought.
Recently when I was looking for some photos from 2009 I couldn’t find them and I just happened to have the disks still under my desk. I attached them via USB to my PC but they weren’t recognized. A quick Google for a solution sent me to this forum post on tom’s HARDWARE.
I skipped to the 2nd step by user:paperdoc
Finish booting into Windows and use Disk Management. If you’re not familiar, click Start at lower left, then RIGHT-click on My Computer and choose Manage; then choose Disk Management. It has two windows on the right. The upper one shows you all the storage devices Windows can use right now. Concentrate on the LOWER RIGHT pane which has all the hardware storage devices, even those Windows does not yet understand. This pane SCROLLS so you can see all it has. Look there for your troubled drive. If it was detected in the BIOS, it should show up there.
One of the disks showed up and then it was clear I need a data recovery tool of which there are many. Luckily I found this free tool called TestDisk.
Link: TestDisk Data Recovery
I used the step by step guide and recovered about 4,500 photos. Many of my child. I think it’s time for an online backup service.