“My day without data was a doomsday,” recalls Martina Häuser, a German mother of two children, who had the pleasure of two and a half weeks vacation in the United States.

Martina, her husband, their two children and her parents flew to Ohio to visit relatives courtesy of her parents. The holiday included a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park which nestles the states of North Carolina and Tennessee.

“On the way there I took many photographs including those of my children with the Indians, our American relatives, and their horses which were all unique moments that we will always remember. It was simply a dream,” says Martina.

During the second week of their vacation, the Häusers visited a friend of Martina’s mother in the state of Delaware. Everyone had a wonderful day at the seashore; however, a serious mishap occured. Martina had earlier photographed her children playing in the surf of the beach. While reviewing some of the photographs, Martina decided to delete one that had not turned out good.

“The sun was shining brightly and I accidentally set the camera to “delete all images” and then pressed the button,” recalls Martina. “I suddenly saw on the display that I had deleted all of the images.”

“How would I tell my daughter that the great pictures-those taken with the Indians, with the horses—were now all gone?”

Approximately 800 photographs had been taken and now, with one click, all had been deleted. Martina wondered, “How would I tell my daughter that the great pictures-those taken with the Indians, with the horses—were now all gone?”

Martina was not only upset about the loss of the holiday memories, but also about the loss of images of her elderly relatives whom her family would probably never have an opportunity to visit again.

Martina remembered that she had packed four memory cards. She removed the SD card from her camera, stored it safely and photographed the balance of the holiday with another memory card.

When Martina returned home, she thought there might be a possibility that the photographs were not lost. Martina remarked, “I wanted to leave no stone unturned.”

After an extensive internet search for data recovery service providers, Martina discovered online CBL’s German operations-CBL Datenrettung-and was delighted to learn CBL was located near her home in Kaiserlautern, a city which is home to the largest American military community outside the continental United States.

Martina called CBL’s toll free number and learned that the photos might be recoverable. Within half an hour, she was at CBL’s laboratory front counter where she personally presented the SD card to CBL personnel who performed the free evaluation of the media.

The following day Martina received an email message. Her holiday photographs had been successfully recovered.

Upon receiving the great news, Martina and her daughter promptly returned to CBL’s offices and received the CD containing the photographs. Anxious to view their priceless holiday memories, Martina inquired whether she and her daughter could view the photographs. CBL staff graciously obliged and escorted Martina and her daughter to a computer to view the photographs.

“You cannot imagine the weight lifted from my heart when I saw the photographs,” recalls Martina. “I was so happy that I almost cried and my daughter beamed with joy. The photographs were all there-the images of the Indians, the horses, the pictures taken at the beach. Fortunately, there was someone like the CBL Data Recovery.”

“This case illustrates that not only corporate data is valuable and worth saving,” commented Conrad Heinicke, lead technician at CBL’s Kaiserlautern laboratory, “Fortunately, the client had not continued to use the same smart card, so the data could be restored. If Mrs. Häuser had continued to use the same SD card, this story probably would not have had such a happy ending.”

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Whether you are capturing holiday photographs overseas like Martina Häuser did or simply taking photographs of your family at home, CBL offers the following tips to prevent the loss of precisious digital memories:

  • Familiarize yourself with how your camera operates. Read the owner’s manual.
  • Do not change your viewing mode until your camera has processed and saved the image.
  • Do not eject your camera’s memory card while downloading photographs. Wait until your computer has successfully saved the images before you eject the card.
  • Once the memory card is no longer processing the images, properly eject the memory card from the card reader and safely disconnect the reader from your computer.
  • Do not store all images on one memory card. If you’re traveling, pack extra memory cards in your accessory bag.
  • Download your photographs as soon as possible.

If you have already downloaded your photographs to your personal computer or laptop,

  • Regularly backup your data and test the backup.
  • Update frequently the back-up media which stores your precious photographs and memories and, if possible, store your backups offsite.
  • Maintain your computer in a dry, controlled environment free from dust and smoke.
  • Use anti-virus software and update it frequently to scan and screen all incoming data.
  • Turn off your computer if it or the hard drive makes any unusual noise.
  • Use power surge protectors in the event you experience a power outage.
  • If you have loaded photographs to a laptop while travelling, protect your laptop in a secure, padded bag. Better still, put your photographs on a USB drive or CD that you can pack in your luggage or carry-on.