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Recuva (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It all started one dark night … last night to be exact.

I was getting ready to go to my appointed shift … training someone new … other stuff … and I inadvertently deleted a folder on my PC.

It wouldn’t be so bad but this was the folder of pictures for the Happy Holly Project.

Thinking they were in the Trusty Recycle Bin, I clicked on the icon only to see … nothing. As in no photographs.

Promising myself that I would recover the pictures later, I ran out of the house.

On the way to the station it crossed my mind … not only had I lost the archived copies of the photographs which are also safely out here in WordPressLand, but I had also lost the Renovation Pictures … the before pictures … of some current projects I plan to complete and share about … later.

Then the truth hit me.

The License Plate Pictures.

For a year now I have been taking pictures of Personalized License Plates. Friends even collect pictures of Personalized License Plates for me. And we are not talking a few … or a hundred. We are talking hundreds and hundreds of these things.

My stomach dropped.

Time to call in the big guns. So I contacted a friend of mine whose knowledge in this kind of thing I respect.

Recuva” he said.

“Exactly” I said, wondering where he picked up the Boston accent.

“No. Recuva. The program. It recovers files that have been accidentally deleted. Great program. Free.”

Well, that was a good price.

“I’m surprised you don’t have them on your server … or in your backup.”

Yeah. About that. *cough*

So this morning I downloaded the program onto an external hard drive I happened to have … and started the thing.

Many hours later, it showed … 159 pictures recovered. Basically the ones that were loose in the folder … not the other hundreds and hundreds in sub-folders.

I tried it again. Same results.

Thus starteth the Search For The Missing Pictures.

I tried Recuva. I tried Asoftech. I tried several that did no more than Recuva had done.

Just as I was about to give up, I saw Renee Undeleter. And there was a Free Version.

“Of course” I said to myself “The free version will be all I will need.” and promptly downloaded the program.

As I left the house again tonight to go do some more training (two more folks) I sent Renee of on her search for my pictures … to be restored to my trusty hard drive.

On seeing the completed scan … lo and behold … there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Pictures I had totally forgotten about. Pictures that reminded me of happy memories over this past year.

The pictures of the Personalized License Plates.

And two things happened.

One … I decided what I will probably do for my new blog picture. Some composite of pictures from the past year.

Two … I read that in order to actually recover the hundreds and hundreds of pictures, I needed to buy the Not Free Version.

But what the heck.

Renee Undeleter, Private Eye had come through where nobody else had.

Do you know anyone else who needs any files recovered for the next 364 days? My license is good for a year.