I just learned something about SD cards, and I'm not happy

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by blastoff99, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    I decided this morning that photo cleanout and organization would be a good project for a few hours. I'm not great at keeping up at this, so it turns into a big job every so often. Sat down at the table and got to work.

    Monday I took a couple of houseguests up to Mt St Helens. They saw the movie at the Silver Lake visitor center while I lurked along the lake path. I got lucky enough to see an American Goldfinch up close, and got a few ok shots of him. Farther along, there were two cedar waxwings on lily pads. Gorgeous. Great lighting, fantastic backdrop, and verrrrry nice shots. Continued to Johnston Ridge, took ok photos there but nothing that hasn't been done a million times before. Thinking that the bird photos were the winners of the day.

    And they were. The goldfinch was ok, but the cedar waxwings... omg. Funny, though; I usually shoot in raw+jpg, and was only in jpg. Was kicking myself over that, because there were some photos there I likely coulda sold. Bummer, but life goes on.

    Started my cleanout process by writing filenames to get rid of, so I could go back through and do a CTRL+click delete of, say, 10 files at a time. SOMEHOW MESSED IT UP, for literally the first time ever, and deleted almost all the day's photos. I guess I went back over the same 'hundred' twice, instead of going to the next. Arrrrgh.

    Downloaded a recovery program. It was able to recover one photo (one I truly had intended to delete, naturally). It couldn't recover the rest because 'This file is overwritten by {filename}.' But wait... the overwriting file was an *earlier* file than what I'd inadvertently deleted!

    So I think what I've learned here is that when you delete a file, *other* things move around. I knew that files aren't saved in one hunk, and pieces may be scattered all over, but this is news to me. All I did today was delete. I didn't add anything, so I was super surprised that stuff had been overwritten already - what was there new to write?

    Needless to say, I am abandoning this project for now. Clearly I am too stupid to do it today. Perhaps I'll go for a walk instead.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Even on my pc hard drive, I deleted a ton of files accidently. Ran "undelete" before doing anything else. Still, a bunch were unrecoverable, some just displayed part of the picture, most displayed some kind of icon meaning the file name was there but nothing was recovered. Fortunately I had most of them backed. Still, some pics were irreplaceable. :(
  3. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    This seems like a stupid question, but did you check your trash?
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  4. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path

    It apparently isn't a stupid question because it had never occurred to me to check my trash. Didn't cross my mind that photos that were only on an SD card could end up on in my laptop's trash, but hey, I'll give it a whirl in a bit.

    My day has not improved. Got caught in a downpour when walking. Came home and decided to finish the kitchen light switch project, which is one of those that should be very simple but isn't. Was making reasonable if slow progress, then the cheap tool I was using broke. Tried to remove the switch and can't - the little pokey thing doesn't have the desired effect. Don't tell me to cut the wires because they are already too short.....
  5. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I'll leave you to your broken little pokey thing, but unless you don't have room on your computer, I think it should treat USB and card reader slots just like another drive. No guarantees, but worth a peek.
  6. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path


    It would have really surprised me if they'd been there, because the files were on the SD card and nowhere else. But it was for sure worth a look. Thanks for the suggestion.
  7. In terms of potential for making a life altering mistake I would put messing with a light switch ahead of cleaning up a photo collection.
  8. akrachanko

    akrachanko Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Western Pennsylvania
    When I'm not playing the bass, I work in IT and support some users who use cameras on a daily basis, and I feel your pain, but have a recommendation for you on how to avoid losing any pictures in the future. It's a simple workflow I personally use when dealing with cameras and photos from SD cards, and it's really good for making sure that your pictures don't ever get deleted unless you're absolutely sure you want them gone.
    1. Take your photos, preferably RAW + JPG.
    2. Setup a directory on your computer in which you will work on and store your photos. I just use My Pictures, and you'll want to make a couple of folders. They will be:
      1. From Camera
      2. JPG Backups
      3. To Sort
      4. To Edit
      5. Final
    3. Copy all of the photos on your camera to the From Camera folder. Once you've done this, safely remove the SD card from your PC. DO NOT FORMAT THE DRIVE IN ANY WAY UNTIL YOU'RE DONE WORKING ON THE PHOTOS. This will insure you always have a backup if something happens on your PC.
    4. Copy or move all of your JPGs from the From Camera folder to the JPG Backups folder in a sub-folder with the date. Remove any you don't wish to keep
    5. Copy or move all of you RAW images from the From Camera folder to the To Sort folder. From here, you can remove pictures you don't want.
    6. Once sorted, move any photos you would like to edit to the To Edit folder, and any you don't can be moved to Final folder (or converted to JPG then moved to Final folder, depending on how you roll).
    7. From here, it's as simple as editing, then saving all of your final copies to the Final folder. If anywhere along the way, you accidentally deleted some pictures, or something happened, then you'll still have your SD Card with all of the pictures still on it.
    8. Once you're sure you're done, put your memory card back in the camera, and format it using the camera (Using the camera to format the SD is better then the computer, since it will do it exactly how it wants it formatted).
    Sorry, that ended up being longer than I thought it would be... Regardless, I hope it helps someone. :thumbsup: Keep on bassin' folks. :bassist:
    Gazman, MonetBass, fhm555 and 7 others like this.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    There are many weirdnesses about flash memory, for two reasons. First, memory is made random defects, and those have to be steered around by the device. Second, memory cells wear out over time, and so the data are shuffled around to balance the damage across the entire device. These things have to happen without burdening the host computer, so there's a microcomputer on the device itself, running its own software, and guess what, software sometimes has bugs.

    For these reasons, I would not depend on any single memory device, much less a flash memory, for archival storage of data without a backup.
  10. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path

    Light switches are simple. Flash memory is not, at least not to me.

    And although today clearly I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, I did have the presence of mind to turn the breaker off. I have rewired with the power on, but when there's no reason to, it's not a risk that needs taking.
  11. I use a small flathead screwdriver that fits in the release hole, it is the only thing that has released for me.
    A third hand to pull the wire also helps sometimes. I hate them things. :meh:
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Yep, i learned early to copy any removable storage before trying to work on the data it contained.
    dwm74 likes this.
  13. dwm74


    Nov 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    ^ This. ^
    Learned the hard way that anything unintentionally deleted from a computer HD will still be in the Trash (for recovery if necessary.) Doesn't happen that way working directly from SD cards or flash drives, in my experience. Hit delete on those and they're gone for good.
  14. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Back in 2003, I took my daughter (then 8) to Arizona for our vacation and I took lots of pictures of the amazing scenery everywhere, especially the grand canyon. Shot 4 rolls of 32 exp. film but the rest (about 400 shots) was digital to a flash card.

    At the airport to go home, I had the flash card in my pocket so it wouldn't go through the detector but the screener made me put it through anyway. I made a very short and polite attempt to keep it from going through but this was too close to 9/11 and the guy glared at me so I shut up.

    The machine ruined the flash card. It didn't just scramble the pictures but it made it so it couldn't be recognized at all and couldn't be reformatted.

    I really wish I had those pictures, but I treasure the ones I have on film a lot more.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Hmm ... the recovery program I use has been very good at dredging out the lost files from formatted cards. Interestingly, the program name is "CardRecovery."
  16. seilerbird


    Apr 12, 2012
    People laugh at me since I switched over to only using my cell phone camera and I sold my dslr. I love the photos it takes, it is the best cell phone camera on the market, Pixel 2 XL. One of the beautiful things about shooting with a phone is every shot is automatically uploaded to my Google account. I could not lose a photo no matter how hard I tried. And it makes the size of the SD card (and the SD card in it's entirety) unnecessary.