Ontrack Retrieves Lost Images for Photographer

The Situation

“The first time was a couple of years ago when I was using a relatively new external drive,” Bredberg explains. “All the images on it had already been given to clients but in this particular case, I hadn’t yet backed up every single file for my own records. When the drive started to fail I was faced with the loss of a number of client images.”

Although the projects had been completed and clients were already in possession of the photos, Bredberg knew it was imperative he obtain new copies of the images if at all possible. After all, maintaining the images is part of the service his clients have come to expect. At the same time, he was unwilling to approach clients to ask them to provide copies of the missing files. “It would have been too unprofessional,” he admits. The only alternative was to try to retrieve the files from the drive.

Bredberg had seen other colleagues recover from similar situations with the help of Kroll Ontrack, “I’d always been told that Ontrack is very good at what they do and that the sooner Ontrack gets the drive, the better the success of recouping the files. So as soon as I realized the drive was failing I stopped using it and sent it straight to Ontrack,” he says.

The Solution

It took just over a week for Ontrack to recover all files on the drive. Appreciating his luck and Ontrack’s skill, Bredberg approached his archive and backup routine with renewed vigor, but in mid-2011, in almost exactly the same circumstances, another drive failed. “It was very silly of me,” Bredberg says. “This time it took around two weeks for Ontrack to retrieve the files. Throughout that time I was in a state of suspense. It wasn’t so much that I needed the images but for someone who likes to be in control and doesn’t like surprises, it was uncomfortable not knowing whether everything could be saved. In the

end, Ontrack did manage to get it all back for me.”

“As far as I’m concerned my files are worth more than Ontrack charged,” he says. “If I had to go and recreate those files it would have cost me a lot more. Aside from this, for professionalism and indemnity reasons, I would have had to recover the files despite the cost. It’s what clients pay me for and it’s my responsibility to look after the files.”

The Resolution

Since then Bredberg has instituted a more rigorous discipline around his company’s backup processes. He still uses multiple drives but ensures that each backup is saved twice, trying to avoid the potential for a single point of failure. He’s also investigating professional backup solutions such as mirror drives that replicate all data on a continuous basis. Asked whether he feels he learned anything from the two hard drive failures, Bredberg smiles. “I didn’t learn much from the first time, other
than gaining security from the knowledge that there are companies out there like Ontrack who do a fantastic job. The second time around I also learned that you can’t put your trust in your system. There’s no warning for equipment failure and you never anticipate losing your clients’ files.