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chrisacky on Jan 4, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite



I feel for your friend. But..

HN is not the first line of support helpdesk for apple/facebook etc.

Enough FB engineers have identified themselves on HN that you might try approaching one of them but at the same time I think that you should first exhaust all regular avenues.

Whatever you do make sure that the machine that the data was on gets powered down in case there is still retrievable data on the drive. Likely the photos are all still there, they're just no longer linked. You may have a problem figuring out what is what. Search for 'photo recovery software' for some tools that may help with this.

You may have to move the drive to another machine to get at it but that would have to be in read only mode. Do not write to the disk or even mount it in r/w mode until you have retrieved all the data that you can get.


You can use `dd` to make a clone of your drive - see http://serverfault.com/questions/4906/using-dd-for-disk-clon...

    dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=32M


> I think that you should first exhaust all regular avenues.

Good job jumping to conclusions. I'm sure OP appreciates the scolding and will now realize HN is a sacred place not to be disturbed by his frivolous technical dilemmas.


You can also consider filing a request to get one of those CDs with all data on file about you sent to you (See http://siliconfilter.com/getting-facebook-to-give-you-all-yo...)

I'm not sure if it includes images but if Facebook didn't actually delete the images you might have a shot, especially if you mention you just want the images restored which might be easier for them to do than make your custom CD.

Also; if you want to be a good techie teach your friends the following:

- in the event of serious life-shattering data-loss

- do as hard a power-down of your computer as soon as possible

- and hand it over to a data-recovery company or the smartest geek you know

It might cost you a pretty penny, but at least you have a pretty good chance of recovering your data.


Sorry, no help from me.

Just wanted to say that a lot of people would pay money to be able to clean out their digital lives.

I also hope it will make people think about who they trust with their digital assets, one day many internet clouds will crash and all what is in them will go into /dev/null

Good luck solving!


iPhoto is not the cloud.


iPhoto isn't what she trusted with all her pictures.


She deleted local files? But that caused files at FB to be deleted? And she's now trying to recover the files from FB?

1) Stop writing anything to that disc.

2a) Send the disc to a commercial recovery service.

2b) Remove the disc. Find a trusted friend. Buy recovery software, or use a Linux recovery disc. (I don't know what OS she's using, or what filesystem she's using. I liked GetDataBackforNTFS, but there are others.)

3) Investigate sensible backup plans. Not trying to be snarky; I do realise just how painful data loss is. But a few scripts and an external drive can save a lot of heartache.

The iPhoto meta data (auto-recognised names etc) is probably gone forever. Someone making a tool to back up or export that data could probably earn a bit of cash.


did she perform the last step of "emptying the trash" within iPhoto?

even if she did, I had luck helping someone with Disk Drill https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disk-drill-media-recovery/id...


Try recovering the iPhoto files. Unless the data was overwritten, they might still be there.

Note: I've done this successfully on FAT and ext filesystems, not sure about HFS.


Deleting a photo in iPhoto really deletes it from Facebook?


Hmm... Apparently so. From that Apple support link:

"Important: If you delete photos and albums from iPhoto, they’re deleted from your Facebook page, along with any posted comments. You can’t undo this action. To delete photos and albums from iPhoto without deleting them from Facebook, first remove the Facebook account from iPhoto. Choose iPhoto > Preferences, and then click Accounts. Click to select the Facebook account (below the Accounts subhead on the left), and then click the Delete (-) button in the lower-left corner of the Accounts pane."


Looks like she's going to learn this lesson the hard way:

If it's not backed up, it doesn't exist.


This is where Facebook's closed-data policy causes trouble. If they allowed backup to other cloud services or to local disk, users could make a habit of this, and tools would be developed.

FB does have a "download your info" service, but they make it difficult, with manual asynchronous confirmation, and they don't give you certain critical parts of the data (like friends' emails).

Any decent backup mechanism must allow for a frequent, automated backup which is complete enough to be fully restorable.


I really, really, really hope you are right about "users could make a habit of this, and tools would be developed.".

But I guess that less than 5 per cent of users would ever go to the trouble of setting up backups. After all Facebook is in da freakin' cloud - what could go wrong?


I think they don't delete photos. They just mark them as deleted. So she might have a chance there. She should take her computer to someone who recovers hard drives. The data could still be in the disk. Tell her to stop using it until then to try and save as much of it.


That is a really horrible scenario, I am sure that many people, trolls aside, feel for your friend. It is very easy to yell 'backup bla bla', hindsight is 20/20.

Either way. Best tip: DON'T USE THE COMPUTER ANYMORE. Using it will overwrite files.

Get an external drive and use something like DiskDrill.

Good luck.


Wow, that's immensely shitty UX from iPhoto.


iPhoto has a trash can, just like deleting normal files. You might be able to restore from the trash.


This isn't going to help today, but everyone should be using something like Backblaze by this point.


I use Backblaze too, at $4/month nothing can beat that feeling of safety for something like photo's.

I really feel for this friend of the OP.


wait, isn't iPhoto non-destructive? Thus, you delete an image from iPhoto and it's not deleted, it just doesn't show in iPhoto? Even emptying the trashcan in iPhoto means the images should still be in her Pictures folder.


Try to recover local data.


Deleted her Facebook account? Sounds like a reason to rejoice.


Just get her to restore from her most recent backup. She does have a backup, doesn't she? If she didn't bother to backup, she doesn't have much right to be upset.


Sorry, I 100% disagree with that. As a normal non geek user, she had every reason to think she did have a backup.

Smug experts are of no use to any one, except themselves.


Well at least she's learnt something.


Maybe one day you'll learn something too.

That it's bad form to be gleeful over others misery. Some people don't care about losing a bunch of files, for others it is a disaster. Yes, she should have had back-ups. But that's no reason to be smug.

Looking forward to your call for help about something.




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