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JLeslie's avatar

Help! How do I retrieve the photos in my cell phone?

Asked by JLeslie (60104points) October 26th, 2013

Last night I bought a new phone and when they transferred the photos they were all lost! I’m so upset. My old phone says there are no photos and we tried the card in another phone, same thing, no photos.

Is there any way to restore the photos? Are they stored in the machine they use to transfer the photos?

Also, can you explain to me how that machine works that moves the data?

Additionally, is there some way the salesperson could easily wipe out the photos while attempting the transfer? I don’t think he did anything on purpose, I just want to know if it is possible. He didn’t go through the steps on my old phone to wipe all the data or anything like that. I can still see my contacts in my old phone.

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20 Answers

jerv's avatar

SD cards and many phones are like regular drives in one respect; deleting files really only deletes the table entry showing that the space is occupied. The file is still there until something overwrites it, so a normal undelete utility like Recuva should do the trick.

While it’s possible that he wiped the phone, it’s unlikely if the contacts are still there. What kindof phone is it?

jca's avatar

I have a cell phone provided by my job, and for some reason the photos were not always being saved. I asked my boss to get me a SIM card, and he did, and he put it in. What I found out just by chance is that unless you specify to the phone that you want the photos saved onto the card, the photos will not be saved onto the card.

Did you have it where the photos were saved to the card, or saved to the device?

jerv's avatar

@jca SIM card? Do you mean SD card? SIM cards don’t store that sort of info….

Response moderated (Spam)
jca's avatar

@jerv: Yes, I guess so. I’m not always up on the technical lingo. BTW @NeilSorathia gave good advice. My cell phone is due for an upgrade and I want to get all pix out before giving it up. The other day, someone asked a question (which I did not comment on) about why people print their photos. This, for me, is one reason why. I feel more secure having a printed copy of something rather than relying on a website to store. Yes, printed copies have issues (like deterioration) and yes, I agree it’s also good to have copies stored on websites or clouds or things like Facebook, but at least, for example in @JLeslie‘s case, if she had some printed copies then her losing pix out of a phone would not be as tragic as having nothing and being up shit’s creek.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Your old phone likely is like most phones where you can store photos in internal memory or on the sd card. Several people I know thought this also and they simply did not look in the correct directory or they have turned on encryption. Either way the photos were still there.

jerv's avatar

@jca I’ve been doing computers for too long (>30 years) to not have at least two backups of all of my important stuff… and not in clouds or remote sites, but rather, in places where I can control access! Backups are common sense, and dead simple to do. But I guess hardcopy will do if your tech skills are a few decades behind the times.

@ARE_you_kidding_me Actually, quite a few modern phones lack SD cards even though they have SIM cards. The Droid Ultra and Droid Mini, to name a couple. iPhones also lack expandable storage but (surprise!) have removable SIM cards.
But looking in the wrong directory is a chronic problem for me, so I can easily see a tech making the same mistake I do.

JLeslie's avatar

I actually thought they may not be saved to the card. In the “albums” When I clecked on my photo gallery it had one group that said camera, which I took with my camera. One group that I had saved from people sending me photos, and one that said card, which I thought were saved to the little card thingy. There were only two in the card according to that thing.

This has nothing to do with anything being full. My photos were there, and then when he tried to transfer everything it didn’t work and they were all gone.

jerv's avatar

Tech hit the wrong button? Well, “undelete” would still work if you could mount it as a USB device….

JLeslie's avatar

I just noticed that all the phone numbers that only had a phone symbol next to it did not transfer either. When I used to store phone numbers in my old phone it would give me a choice for phone or google. I always picked phone, but somehow some went with google, I don’t even understand it.

I was supposed to get a $100 trade in for my old phone, but when they lost everything I told them they were letting me keep my phone, and they did.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv What does that mean? Can you explain that better? Mount what where?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

That’s linux speak, Mount simply means to enable that device in a computer’s filesystem. You can plug your phone into your PC and if you have the required drivers you’ll be able to browse that device just like a flash drive.

jerv's avatar

Not Linux, just computerese.

When you connect a Motorola Droid-series phone to a Windows PC, it automatically does everything that needs to be done to view the thing as if it were a USB Flash drive.

JLeslie's avatar

I went back to the store and there were 3 men working in the cell phone area who tried to help and one guy from the computer fixit it area came over. They concluded that when they were doing the transfer and it prompted some question (I can’t remember how it was worded) the man last night transferring my data must have answered the wrong way and deleted the card. But, having @jerv‘s answer here I felt like there was a possibility it was not really deleted. One gentlemen got online, spent a lot of time, took my card over to the computer fixit it area while I waited.

I had already been there two hours when he came back with more photos I even knew I had. Thumbnails I don’t remember ever seeing. Looks like he recovered everything. Truly went above and beyond, thank goodness those people exist. I will be writing a really nice letter to all levels of management.

jerv's avatar

Nice to hear you got your pictures back!

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: That’s great news for you! You must be thrilled!

JLeslie's avatar

Very happy yes. Not just because I have my phitos back, but also because I have been feeling pretty awful lately and one more negative thing happening was just too much negative from the universe. That salesperson who went out of his way for me restores my feeling of good will in people.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: Do they put the photos onto a CD?

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I bought one of those little thingies that plug into a USB port on my laptap. He was going to put them on my iPad (I had it with me) but he recovered 4,000 photos. I had just over 400 hotos in my phone, but he recovered everything ever downloaded I guess. Thumbnails, downloaded PDF’s, stuff I never saved. Or, I didn’t think I did. Now I really understand what they mean by nothing is ever really deleted.

There is a silver lining. My husband lost about half of his cntacts during the transfer on his new phone and so did I. Because they botched this I kept my old phone, so I still have the numbers so I can put them into my new phone. Another nice thing was when I went back to the store the next morning after they messed it up, my husband went to go karting alone. He came back home saying it really isn’t the same without me with him. That was sweet. I have been going through a tough time and I know it is starting to other my husband, and that little renewal of him appreciating my company felt good.

austinclarke13's avatar

Don’t worry their are many recovery software which can retrieve deleted data.You may easily free download that software from net.Some I suggest you here:-Cardrecovery software,7 Data recovery software and RS photo recovery software.

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