It’s a question I have to ask because it’s happened to me and my bacon has been saved twice by a great little application that runs on Mac OS X (and Windows).
Disaster #1 – I had to try out my brand new Canon 20D digital camera and a SanDisk 1 gigabyte flash card. At high res capture, the flash card will hold 239 images. My first full day of photo shooting got me 214 photos.
Then disaster struck. I’d already shot and downloaded a few hundred images from the Canon to iPhoto with no problem whatsoever.
What made the 214 photos so valuable was that it took all day to shoot them. And that full day was devoted to driving around the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
What happened? I don’t know. I pulled the flash card from the Canon 20D camera, plugged it into a Lexar flash card reader, plugged the reader into my PowerMac.
As expected, iPhoto opened automatically and I was ready to import. I clicked the “Import” button and importing began and stopped after just a few photos.
And I mean STOPPED. iPhoto stopped. The importing stopped. Everything else was running OK but no photos coming into the Mac and iPhoto wouldn’t budge. That required a Force Quit. To be on the safe side, I did a re-boot, too.
When I tried it again, the Mac wouldn’t recognize the flash card, let alone begin the import into iPhoto. I tried to import the photos into another Mac.
No go. The flash card would not be read.
Have you ever that that little sinking feeling deep within your tummy come screeching out your mouth in the form of some choice four letter words? Uh huh. Me, too.
214 photos used to be on the flash card. Now the flash card didn’t appear to have anything and couldn’t be read by any Mac or by the Canon 20D camera.
PhotoRescue to the rescue. That very day I’d noticed an upgrade of MacUpdate.com about PhotoRescue—rescue your photos from a bad hard drive, flash card, etc.
Really? I’m usually skeptical about such things but my back was against the wall. Those 214 photos were valuable, took a whole day to get, and came in unsually crystal clear (for winter in Hawaii) weather.
I downloaded PhotoRescue to see if it could mount the flash card and rescue the images. The download was simple enough. PhotoRescue launched and asked where the photos were located.
The dialog box showed the flash card, although it wouldn’t actually mount in the Finder or in iPhoto.
In two clicks I had a list of all the photos and, as far as I could see, they were all intact.
Kiss $29 goodbye. It was worth it, though. Life was back to normal and neither flash cards nor iPhoto caused me any grief. For a month.
Disaster #2 – What? Me Worry? I was beginning to feel like Alfred E. Neuman looks. Goofy. It happened again. This time it was a dinner out; a celebration for a family friend, AND two dozen people.
I clicked 87 shots in just a few hours. While I could always drive around the island again, getting everyone together again would be totally impossible.
Same thing. I clicked iPhoto, iPhotos starts to import the photos, iPhoto stalls, the Mac can’t read the images on the flash card.
This time there was no panic. Only a feeling of annoyance. The reboot was still necessary, but two clicks later PhotoRescue was rescuing 87 photos from a nasty flash card.
That’s 301 photos saved from disaster in just one month. I’d say that speaks well of PhotoRescue (not to mention what it says of the Canon 20D or the SanDisk flash card, or the Firewire cable, or Mac OS X, or the Lexar card reader). Hey, isn’t that about 10-cents per photo?
Cheap at twice the price.
Do I recommend PhotoRescue? In a Minnesota minute. That’s cheap bacon saving.
What’s the problem? The $1,500 Canon 20D? The Mac? The SanDisk flash card? Nope. The Lexar card reader. Why didn’t I just run the Canon 20D USB cable direct to the Mac? After all, USB is faster, right?
Maybe USB is faster in theory, but I can honestly say that USB 2.0 on the Mac is much slower loading some data than Firewire.
Your mileage may vary.