Fine Art America - Art - Prints - Canvas Prints - Framed Prints - Metal Prints - Acrylic Prints

Every purchase includes a money-back guarantee.








Fine Art Discussions

Keyword Search  | Main Menu

Search Discussions


Help! My Hard Drive Crashed With All My Images!

Posted by: Maggie Vlazny on 02/02/2012 - 8:54 AM

Hi Beth,

I am so upset to have lost every single decent image that I own.
A much too late lesson learned in backing up :(
Almost all of them are here on FAA. Is there any way
I could possibly download them back again to my

Very hopefully,
Maggie Vlazny


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 02/02/2012 - 8:58 AM


I will get that started by letting Support know now :)


Posted by: Maggie Vlazny on 02/02/2012 - 9:03 AM

God BLESS you my friend! Do I need to do anything more?


Posted by: Tony Marquez on 02/02/2012 - 9:10 AM

Yes. Don't try and do any recovery any data yourself. Bring the PC/laptop to Best Buy and have them recover the drive data. Also, consider buying a backup drive, while you're there. :)


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 02/02/2012 - 9:10 AM

No, just give it a while but I have let them know already. Someone will contact you :)

And do what Tony said ;)


Posted by: Scotts Scapes on 02/02/2012 - 9:11 AM

SO sorry to hear about your images! HDD recovery is an option, but expensive, and depends on nature/cause of crash. There is a few software program that offer trial versions for free... Not that free demo software will recover everything, but often it can identify the nature of the crash and the likelihood of recovery. Some crashes are much worse than others: an overflow crash can actually damage and permanently delete/conflate hdd data, whereas a circuit board failure on the hdd leaves all data perfectly in tact and recoverable. Repair (warranty or not) can restore a hdd perfectly that has only suffered a circutboard failure. It might be worth your time to search for data recovery software and deploy them on your crashed hdd.

I don't know your hardware configuration, and if you can access or "look" at this hdd. If you provide more hardware info, I may be able to tell you more...

FAA as a data backup/recovery tool???? I have not seen anything about this on FAA, and not that I want to pay more $, but this might be an additional feature FAA wants to evaluate and possibly offer to its artists/customers/galleries...

As with Maggie, this service could prove invaluable, life-saving, and simply wonderful... Maybe another revenue stream for FAA; another lifeline for artists!


Posted by: Scotts Scapes on 02/02/2012 - 9:16 AM

Tony, I have heard considerable "poor" feedback regarding "bestbuy." I recommend exploring ALL data recovery options... My 2 cents...


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 02/02/2012 - 9:39 AM


If images have been uploaded here, FAA always help artists regain them after a loss. Unlike most of the other sites who do not. I know :( I have an image on one of them that I have lost now and desperately want it back but they will not help me at all. They say they cannot access them...


Posted by: Tony Marquez on 02/02/2012 - 9:41 AM

Scott, normally, I would agree; however, she needs to make sure that her PC works. I'm gussing it doesn't. A damage HDD will not operate and loading new software into the system may overwrite the damage sector. I do agree she should look for someone who knows how to handle these issues. Not all Best Buy centers have poor technologist; but she can also try nearby professional. What's important is the number of works that may be lost if done wrong.

It's a tough choice either way.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/02/2012 - 10:08 AM

while it won't help you now, once you have them, each time you upload here, back them up on a thumb drive and always keep it on you. i did that with family pictures also.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Maggie Vlazny on 02/02/2012 - 10:17 AM

Thanks for the advice everyone. Actually I do have an external hard drive I just always forget to use it. As far as data recovery that's not an option because they had to completely replace the hard drive. Apple supposedly tried to recover the files but I am in serious doubt about that. I've used data recovery software before on my camera and it was amazing...


Posted by: Warren Thompson on 02/02/2012 - 10:28 AM

I am on my second year of my computer is old and low on memory.
If it crashes I can recover from them.


Posted by: Scotts Scapes on 02/02/2012 - 10:33 AM

Full agreement Tony, once drive is damaged, never attempt to write anything to it, hence using data recovery software. One other free technique is to watch your bios at boot. If the bios still recognizes your drive, it is not a hardware failure, a bad board, but likely an overflow error. If computer will not start and does not display bios info, you should hear the motherboard beeping error messages, series and strings of beeps that id exact issues.... If you cannot start, shut down immediately and seek professional assistance. If you can start up, then do so and see if free software helps, being extra careful not to install software to same drive that has crashed. Tamper with crashed drive as little as possible!!!
Professionals are always best at this. I got a buddy who works for geek squad and he is great, but i hear from him horror stories about inexperienced techs. Many best buys use geek squad. In contrast, data recovery firms tend to have much more experience, know how, and better hard/software tools with which to attack your disaster. You can get good help anywhere, just like with auto mechanics; unfortunately you can also get ripped-off everywhere, especially by auto mechanic/dealerships...

I build my own computers and use solid state drives (ssd's) in raid 0 configs to dramatically decrease boot time and increase performance. I employ enterprise class hard drives (hdd's) for storage and backup. Separate system and storage drives is both a performance and precautionary measure. Data recovery from raid 0 is much more difficult than from a single hdd. Unfortunate, I am very experienced in data recovery, and to my benefit, backing data up. I guess I get a little paranoid, and being a complete geek, I have 3-5 different backup copies on external hdd's, flash drives, and then I usually make a permanent backup on blu-ray disc. My blu-ray backups are never used, as I so overkill the hdd's, but if all my hdd's fail, I have one solid backup that will not deteriorate in the next 50 years, nor ever crash...

If you end up buy new hdd(s) I strongly recommend Enterprise Class Drives, for their superior build quality and longer life. My preference is the Western Digital RE4 series designed specifically for raid configurations... While I have had raid arrays fail on me, it was always because of user error, my own stupidity and short-sightedness. I have never had a WD drive crash on me in 30+ years of designing, building, and using computers...

Sorry if all the geekness dulls the Artistic Perspective I so oftern find myself in at FAA

The mere fact that FAA helps serve as data recovery is so awesome, very cool, and just one more reason I am so happy here! :)


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/02/2012 - 10:37 AM

mostly i like the thumb drive because i can take it out of the house. for general back ups i have it spread across 2 other drives, plus an external. all those other drives holds a copy of all my original images.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Kim Henderson on 02/02/2012 - 11:22 AM

Maggie, I'm sorry for your "loss" very upsetting I know. It is great to know FAA helps artists regain images...


Posted by: J L Meadows on 02/02/2012 - 1:07 PM

Femina, I have a personal media drive that came bundled with my HP. The nice sales clerk talked me into getting it - I had no idea why I'd need such a thing. Now I know. It's wonderful insurance against the Blue Screen of Death. Plus, I always burn my images onto a CD for extra protection (AND, if I'm going to be away from my house on vacation or some such, I put a copy of the CD into my safe deposit box before I go). All this sounds kind of like overkill, but I've heard too many horror stories from artists who have had unfortunate accidents like yourself. All of the effort is worth the piece of mind.


Posted by: Dan Turner on 02/02/2012 - 1:17 PM

Two thumbs WAY up for FAA!


Posted by: Greg DeBeck on 02/02/2012 - 5:12 PM

I have to agree with Warren, Carbonite is an excellent resource. I have used it for a few years now, and I'm very happy with it. It works continuously in the background, and for about $60/year, it's a small price to pay for being able to recover not only your prize images, but your ENTIRE hard drive. External hard drives are a good choice, but being hard drives, they can fail too, and then where does that leave you. Thumb drives aka flash drives are good because they have no moving parts and therefore last much longer, but my worry with them is that they are easily lost because of their small size. Backing up with an online service, to me, is the best choice.


Posted by: Greg DeBeck on 02/02/2012 - 5:16 PM

@ J L Meadows ~ backing up to a cd or dvd is a good idea, also. My concern would be with a loss of "quality" of the images, as the data tends to be compressed during the burning process. (I may be wrong about this, so if anybody knows otherwise please feel free to correct me on this). As I stated earlier, I consider my images too important to trust to anything but an online back up service.


Posted by: Dan Turner on 02/02/2012 - 5:45 PM

Greg, regarding backing up files to CD or DVD, if you are doing a straight copy the files do not compress or lose any quality. Even if you were to use a compression scheme (zip, rar) the files will uncompress back to original bits and bytes.

You may be thinking of jpg format, which is "lossy" on resaves. But even those are safe to backup, transfer, copy and recopy as long as you're not reworking and resaving them.


Posted by: Wingsdomain Art and Photography on 02/02/2012 - 6:05 PM

Sounds like FAA will be taking care of you. Hope you get it resolved one way or another.

- But if you or any of your friends are a little computer savvy, and if you have other data on that harddisk other than your images that you want to recoup or you just want to explore after this comes to a happy conclusion, you can always buy an external hd enclosure (about $50), put the hardrive in question into the enclosure and plug it into another computer. Most computer crashes that involve the hd involve only corrupt windows systems files required for booting up, the data files are normally still good. I've recovered a number of hd data for my office this way.

- I know this second part will be the last thing you want to hear right now, so don't read it now, come back when all is well again and read it. For future reference and just as a point of reference, I am always paranoid about data, especially data that comprise the lifespan of my work. I have 3 external harddrives all containing separate copies of my image/data files. Two external hd's are kept at my home at separate locations so just in case of theft, fire, or other damages, one of the two may still survive. A third hd is kept offsite for more obvious paranoic reasons.



Posted by: Jessica Jenney on 02/02/2012 - 6:30 PM

Just to let you know that on the Redbubble site you can download your own original files yourself. I think that's the best thing about that site. I use it as an extra backup.


Posted by: Gregory Scott on 02/02/2012 - 10:23 PM

Dan's absolutely right. Backup of a file via an operating system file copy/backup introduces NO loss in image quality.
If you load a JPG file into an image editor, and save it again, then you will encounter JPG losses.
Most people serious about archiving their images save working edit files as tiffs or some other lossless format.
And save the raw files as a digital "negative", for archiving the unedited original.

But making a backup is NEVER harmful to image quality. If you can fit it on a thumb drive, great. If not, buy a couple of external drives. They're cheap, large, and keep one offsite, and rotate them.

I think it's a nice service that FAA is performing, to help you recover your files, but it is NOT the same as a full backup.
It's a rasterized JPG file, subject to losses.
It's not an edited original, with layers, paths, and other useful info.
It's not the original raw file.
It's not a whole archive, it's only a portion or all of your "published" images.
It's definitely good, but it's not your family snapshots, more than likely, or your works in progress, or you B quality images you are keeping for when they write your biography in the art history books.

Your PC

will fail

. Back it up.

Given that you can recover the FAA images, you STILL may want to have an attempt at recovering your lost data and images. Depending on the cause, it can be cheap. Writing to the faulty disk is to be avoided until recovery has been attempting. Removing the bad drive and replacing it is one effective way to continue working, and yet keep open the option of recovering the data on the bad drive. Attempting to reformat the bad drive assures that all data on the drive will be lost.

If a drive is partially functional, your first thought should be to copy off all of the important files that you can, as quickly as possible, without writing any files at all.


Posted by: Maggie Vlazny on 02/02/2012 - 10:48 PM

Thank you everyone for you concern. Sean has already downloaded all my images and I am extremely grateful for the quick service. Go FAA!.


Posted by: Gregory Scott on 02/02/2012 - 10:59 PM

As a photographer with about 1TB of images, online backup is impractical for me. Totally.
I do most of my photography on the road, and in wilderness areas where I can't be online.
I often shoot as much as 32gb a day. You just can't back that much data online, on an ongoing basis.
And it would take FOREVER to restore a 1TB backup on ordinary broadband. Longer than weeks.

Here's what I do when I'm on the road:
I use two external drives and a laptop.
I do a backup daily to the laptop hard disk, and to the current external drive.

At the end of the week or two, I make an up-to-the minute backup and then find a UPS Store or Post Office.
I pick up my old backup drive from there, and ship my current backup and drive to where I expect to be in a week or two, UPS hold for pickup or General Delivery. UPS is probably better, since you can probably get your package redirected more easily and reliably if you trip is interrupted.
This protects your images in the event of car crash, computer theft, flash flood, all sorts of terrible things.
And you don't have to waste hours and hours and hours tied to the internet when you want to be back in the wilderness communing with nature.

At home, use the same procedure with a friend relative in town, but not too close, so the same tornado doesn't take you both out.
If you're paranoid, every couple of months, rotate a 3rd drive to an out of town friend or family member.


Posted by: Warren Sarle on 02/03/2012 - 12:13 AM

If FAA were to allow us to download our original files, that would make it easier for a hacker to download them. That would not be nearly as profitable for a hacker as credit card info, but it's something to consider for the many artists who are concerned about image theft.


Posted by: Kristina Laurendi Havens on 05/01/2012 - 9:57 PM

This discussion is making me feel much better.

I, too, have lost several important images, and FAA is the ONLY external site where I have shared the original files. I have sent a message, but if anyone else is listening and can share my dillemma (which apparently I cannot spell!) with the right person PLEASE let me know!

Thank you so much,


This discussion is closed.