Author Topic: Photo Mechanic saved my sanity  (Read 2192 times)

Offline dmpbyrdwatcher

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Photo Mechanic saved my sanity
« on: August 14, 2010, 06:57:49 PM »
I'm an amateur hobby photographer and I've used PM since 2004, but mostly only for the fast browser function.  I've always felt slightly guilty about buying this application when I don't really 'need' it, but I really like it and the support has been fantastic (I shoot with Olympus cameras, not generally the first to get any support from anyone else.)

Last week I realized that I had somehow accidentally deleted a huge chunk of my photo catalog (about 10,000 images), not only from my computer but also from my back up hard drive.  And I had done it some time in the past but didn't notice at the time, so I couldn't do a simple undelete to recover the missing photos now. Regular file recovery software did not help me recover anything, but I did have luck using an image recovery application meant to be used only with memory cards. 

Since it was meant only for memory cards, the application was slow, cumbersome and did not have adjustable search parameters, so it dug up every single image from my computer - from every application and every process I've ever done on this computer (and, apparently, everything from the three prior computers I've used in the past).  It automatically renamed all the images it found in the process, so I ended up with over 400,000 image files of all kinds of junk in totally random order.  My photos (as multiple copies and various formats) were buried in there somewhere, all jumbled up with no rational order whatsoever.

So, I had to systematically look at each and every one of those 400,000 images to pull out my photos.  Even after weeding out all the junk from games and applications and internet searches and the like, I still had 50,000 photos because of the multiple copies and formats that the recovery program dredged up.  I had to sort these images into some type of usable order before I could figure out which ones I needed and which were duplicates or not lost in the first place.

I can't tell you enough how much PM helped with this process and saved my sanity. I couldn't believe how fast it was able to sort and display such gigantic numbers of image files.  Sorting by capture time really helped me put the images into workable order so I could check against my remaining back ups to see whether I needed the recovered files.  I also noticed for the first time that PM displays the frame number for many (but not all) images, which was very useful for separating duplicates and alerting me to gaps of still missing photos.

I've used PM to sort, rename, make arrangements, etc. before, but having to do it with so many thousands of images was just amazing. The whole process was not nearly as painful as I had imagined, solely because of the speed and flexibility of PM.  I have always liked this software, but now I LOVE it!