External HD Failure

Jun 3, 2020
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Hello all,

Recently I have had my external HD fail on me - unsure yet if I can recover everything from it - with all my images stored on there. Luckily I back up to an offline site that has them stored. JPegs are OK but my RAW files (Nikon NEF) are only showing as XMP files. My question is;

if I download these .XMP files am I able to recover the images with any software or hardware?

Many thanks,

Chris
 

USAFRet

Moderator
Feb 17, 2020
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No. Those things labeled as XMP are NOT your actual .nef.

PhotoRec or Autopsy are possible file recovery tools.
You will need a whole other drive to recover to.
 
Jun 3, 2020
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Hello,

And thanks for the reply. Yes I understand that with the .xmp files. I was just wondering if they could be recovered from the info in them.

I am awaiting the new replacement HD and I will try the suggestions.

Chris
 
Dec 16, 2019
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the XMP files are probably the settings that were applied to your .nef files. You did not say what you were using to edit, but Lightroom can use those if you get the original raw files.

NOTE: I may be time to mention backup solutions. The 3-2-1 solution is what most of the corporate IT world uses, some use more, but it works for most. I use it at home as well.

A 3-2-1 strategy means having at least 3 total copies of your data, 2 of which are local but on different mediums (read: devices), and at least 1 copy offsite.

I have my current photos on my internal drive, that is backed up via Time Machine to an external drive, but I also run another backup with SuperDuper to another external drive. My older photos are on an external drive that has two drives in it (mirrored), that also gets backed up to another drive. All of these photos are then also backed up online. I am an Amazon Prime member, so I make use of Amazon Photos that gives me unlimited, including raw, photo backup.
 
Jun 3, 2020
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Many thanks Don. This is why I started backing up offline and was led to believe they backed up RAW files. Following the download it looks like it is only the XMP files. But not all is lost. I still have the JPegs. Just need to get some local expert to see if they can recover the RAW off the drive.

Chris
 

USAFRet

Moderator
Feb 17, 2020
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This thread at Tom's Hardware describes my personal backup routine.
A few small changes since then, but this is the general idea.

 
Sep 3, 2020
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PhotoRec or Autopsy are possible file recovery tools.
I always use PhotoRec when customers format or wipe their drives. (y)

In most cases, when Windows can't recover files, I use the UltimateBootCD(.com) to boot my PC with Linux (PartedMagic entry) and use PhotoRec there. Saved thousands of pictures and video files with that, where Recuva did not even find anything.
 

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