How Can I Retrieve Pictures Off of My Computer Hard Drive?

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Photographs are important to many people, and if you can't find them on your computer or if your computer breaks, you might think they are gone for good, but this generally is not the case. Joe Wilson, at Computer Doctors in Aberdeen, South Dakota, shares some tips for getting pictures off of hard drives.

Functional Hard Drive

  • Get your pictures off of a working hard drive by finding them first. If you don't know where they are, search for "pictures" or ".jpeg" in the Find function on your desktop. If you know your pictures are saved in a different format, search for that instead of .jpeg.

    Once you have found the folder that contains your pictures, open it and resize it so it fills about half your screen. Place a flash drive or disk in your computer. Go to "Computer" or "My Computer," find that drive and open it, resizing it to fill the other half of the screen. Use your mouse to drag pictures from the hard drive folder to the flash drive or disk folder.

    You can also use the CD burner on your computer to save your photos. Open the CD-burning program on your computer, and drag the files you'd like to remove from your computer into the burning list, then burn the CD.

    Another option is to email photos. Use your email program and attach files that you'd like to transfer.

Nonworking Computer

  • If you need to retrieve pictures from a broken computer, you may need a computer professional. However, there are some things you can try at home. If the monitor is the issue, hook up your computer to a different monitor. If your hard drive has crashed, you can try to clone your hard drive, then locate the pictures on the cloned drive. Cloning your hard drive is done with software. Ask your local computer store for recommendations, rather than using something you find online, to avoid scams.

    You can also copy your hard drive to an external drive. Use an external hard drive with a USB port that you can connect to your computer. Be sure to buy one with an automatic transfer function, so you can control the transfer from the drive rather than from your computer. These may be expensive or may even require professional assistance, but if you read the directions and follow them exactly, you may be able to retrieve the items on your hard drive.

    After cloning or transferring to an external hard drive, hook it up to a working computer. Open the folder for the drive. It may take searching and reorganizing to find your pictures. From here, you can resave them onto a new computer, transfer them to flash drives or print them out.

References

  • Joe Wilson; Computer Doctors; Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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