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Author Topic: DNG Recovery  (Read 3627 times)
BobSmith
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« on: April 09, 2009, 04:18:32 PM »

I manage a college fine arts department computer lab (late model iMacs, CS3, 10.5.6, EM2.2 etc).  The lab is configured so that users have their home directory on portable drives.  That way they can log in on any computer in the lab and have the same experience.  All of their files and settings follow them.  Last weekend the server that controls this setup developed a nasty hiccup and started deleting a user's entire home directory on log-out.  The students wouldn't know anything was wrong until they tried to log in again.  The computer then wouldn't recognize them because they no longer have a home directory.  Anything stored within the home directory had been deleted.

I've spent much of this week helping students who didn't have adequate backups (most of them... it's the old  "It won't happen to me" syndrome).  Once I realized what was happening I stopped students from using their drives at all so that I would have better luck recovering deleted files.  I've been able to recover a fairly high percentage of most of the data.  I'm mainly using Data Rescue II.  One consistent problem though is DNG files.  I don't think I've recovered a single DNG file intact yet.  They all report as way too small... 200-300KB no matter what camera they're from.  I have a feeling that the jpeg preview is being recovered with little other data.  In any event, the files can't be opened.  InDesign files have also been problematic to recover but I have gotten at least a few of those back.  DNG is the big problem.  NEF and CR2 files have been recovered with relative ease.  Unfortunately most have been converting to DNG and tossing the raws.  Does anyone have an idea for recovery software that might help?  These are all Mac OS formatted (journaled) disks.  Most of the disks have had few if any writes since the damage was done.  These are mostly USB connected portable SATA drives of 250GB or less.

I've had great success on smaller drives with Photo Rescue before.  It crashes consistently after numerous hours on one of these drives.  It seems to be finding items but never gets to a point where they are saved out.  Any hints on what settings might allow that software to make it through a large restore?

Thanks!

Bob Smith
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 04:26:29 AM »

Bob,
Sorry to hear about this.
I've sent a post to a few people at Adobe - we'll see if they can be of help.


BTW, I had a discussion with Chris Orwig about this a while ago (students not backing up) and we came up with an idea that I think he's using. Every so often, when people come to class, there is a randomized "crash" assigned to someone.  If they can't produce a backup of the assignment, they fail.

Portable drives are really cheap, and anyone who is paying for school in photography should have backups f the work they are creating (I know you know this).

Peter
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BobSmith
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 08:22:04 AM »

I love that idea!  I'm going to pass it on to some of the teachers.

The graphic design students in these labs have relatively little data... and it's still like pulling teeth to get them to back up.  Most use less than 2GB for a full semester's worth of InDesign or Illustrator docs.  And almost everyone has a personal computer at their disposal in addition to the lab.  You'd think they'd just drag the contents of their USB drive to their other computer on a regular basis for just a minimum backup.  Rarely happens.

Thanks

Bob Smith
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