A lot of photos disappeared, nothing is working to recover it

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Harvey Beaks

New member
Jun 26, 2022
2
0
Hi, yesterday while looking at my gallery I noticed that a lot of photos are missing, for example, my Italy trip photos and videos are gone, not all of them though, there are some left, but videos are all gone. I didn't delete or move them, didn't touch them at all, it just disappeared. I've tried looking at my Onedrive, Google drive backups, but they are all showing current photos, that I can already see. I've also tried cleaning gallery and media storage data in settings or deleting .nomedia files (which cant be actually deleted), but no results. Booting on safe mode, using different recovery software also shows same photos that I already see on my phone. Tried to get help from Samsung Support, sadly they are as competent as I am, all the suggestions were already known. They did suggest to factory reset my phone while backuping everything using smart switch since there might be some malfunction and doing so all the supposedly hidden photos gonna be released. Not really trusting it though, because in backup I can clearly see that the photos that are being backed up are the photos I can already see, and no hidden files are being backed up. I've also restarted my phone like 6-7 times in different circumstances and noticed that everytime my phone boots it loads up 196 pictures in my camera roll, and then after some time the other part of it gets load up. So my question here today is: Is there anything I haven't tried and is it possible to recover the hidden/disappeared photos?

P.s. the photos that I'm concerned about is in my internal storage not in SD card.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
9,870
3,918
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
After you lose data it's many times to late to do anything. Why aren't you using the SD card as a data drive to at least backup your critical data?
That in turn should be backed up redundantly to at least 2 hdds that are physically and electronically isolated from each other and the PC. Consider this a wake up call...

This isn't looking good. Backed up what's left, now. Try in safe mode.
It may be malware, in any case it sounds like it's factory reset time if you can't ID the root cause.
If you added any downloaded images* to the folders losing data it may be a malware jpeg, if so this jpeg must be deleted or it will continue to destroy and mutilated files in the folder it occupies. I've seen ones that do this in Android. Think. What was done, installed or downloaded?


*All downloaded jpegs should be kept in the download folder until vetted. This will help limit the damage hopefully to just the loose files in there. At least open the jpeg there and look for abnormal behaviors in that folder because you add that jpeg to your database! Antivirus may not detect these little buggers... WYSIWYG
 

Harvey Beaks

New member
Jun 26, 2022
2
0
After you lose data it's many times to late to do anything. Why aren't you using the SD card as a data drive to at least backup your critical data?
That in turn should be backed up redundantly to at least 2 hdds that are physically and electronically isolated from each other and the PC. Consider this a wake up call...

This isn't looking good. Backed up what's left, now. Try in safe mode.
It may be malware, in any case it sounds like it's factory reset time if you can't ID the root cause.
If you added any downloaded images* to the folders losing data it may be a malware jpeg, if so this jpeg must be deleted or it will continue to destroy and mutilated files in the folder it occupies. I've seen ones that do this in Android. Think. What was done, installed or downloaded?


*All downloaded jpegs should be kept in the download folder until vetted. This will help limit the damage hopefully to just the loose files in there. At least open the jpeg there and look for abnormal behaviors in that folder because you add that jpeg to your database! Antivirus may not detect these little buggers... WYSIWYG
Okay first of all, One drive should be responsible for backing up my data, thats why its there, no? I do understand that data back up need to be taken more responsibly, but again why would I keep everything backed up from my phone since everything in there is just basic daily use things, nothing that much of importance, except of course memory photos in my camera roll (which again SHOULD be backed up in my one drive). Second, if I were that careless as an IT student to download malware into my device, why would I move it to my camera roll folder ? (thats the only folder that has photos and videos missing). Third, I did factory reset my phone with a back up from Smart Switch as suggested from so called Technical Support specialist from Samsung, sadly the results are same (All photos I had before factory reset are there, no actual recovery has been made).

Sorry if I might sound rude, but I'm really frustrated. Samsung really let me down big time for the first time in 12 years of using their products.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
9,870
3,918
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
I feel your pain as I lost an irreplaceable database myself at one point that was 30 years old. It sucks.

The only backup I trust and use is copy/paste/verify for size and if readable.
SmartSwitch can fail you miserably, never use it for critical data... same with Google junk.
In unencrpted hdds I trust.
Maybe your Google account was hacked... again always suspect malware, viruses, rootkits if unexplained behaviors are observed.

If you had a previous SmartSwitch backup saved that probably would have worked. At the time what the Samsung rep told you in lieu of the former was your best shot probably. The data was already lost unless its backed somewhere you overlooked or forgot.
It's also possible you could have a hardware failure in progress, keep a close eye on the device.

The reason I back up they way I do is from hard lessons learned going back to XP Pro and other OS's. Also never clone (copy/paste only) or encrypt data drives. Always use a good SD card that's V30 rated like a Sandisk Extreme. All critical data goes here, and everything you need to do a full reload including installable app copies. App that allow settings to be saved like Poweramp, contacts all go on the data drive as do vid and music libraries. ColorNote will save it's backup directly to the SD card, it's a very useful that can used for bookmarks. Don't forget all passwords as well.

Keep the DCIM and download folders on internal memory. Only these and installed apps go on internal memory. Periodically backup the DCIM files to the SD card but DO NOT use the phrase dcim in the backup copy folder name... and then redundantly back up the SD card periodically. Best to time stagger these backup between 2 or more hdds. Develop a plan, put some thought into it. You have all the hardware you need for a robust dual drive device if you use it!
I have 2 N10+'s and this is how I run them. Zero issues.
 

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