Exif Untrasher FAQ

Below you will find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on Exif Untrasher.

Exif Untrasher did not find anything or the found images are defective

One can never predict whether the recovery will succeed or not. Frequently, it will be successful, but sometimes it will fail—and in other cases, the images might be damaged (incomplete, with strange colours or other defects). If this is the case, there are a number of alternative applications you could try:

But please do not ask me for any further details, because I have not used any of these applications.

Exif Untrasher hangs whenever I try to restore images

Note: the following answer only applies to versions prior to 1.5.

If you think Exif Untrasher hangs because you see the spinning beachball or since your Mac tells you it that it does not respond, you are probably not right. Yes, it does look as if it hanged, but usually this is not the case. Exif Untrasher is single-threaded and the restoration process runs inside a single method—which, in combination, means that Exif Untrasher will not be able to respond to any events and behave as if it was frozen, even when it is not. (This is not very elegant, but probably I was too lazy to do it properly when I wrote the application a few years ago. And unfortunately, at the moment, I do not have the time to work on Exif Untrasher to improve this.)

So, when you are trying to rescue image, you should give Exif Untrasher much time to do its work and simply wait. Depending on the amount of data, it might take hours or, in case of a very large memory card or a hard disk, maybe even a whole night. But almost always it will finish its work without a crash or a “real” hang.

I used Exif Untrasher to create a disk image, but there are no photos on it

The disk image is not supposed to contain any photos—it is simply an exact (byte-wise) copy of the camera’s card. And because it is exact, you (as well as your Mac) cannot see any photos on the disk image, because you cannot see any on the card itself, too.

The creation of the disk image is only an intermediate step: when you are done with creating it, you have to choose “Use a disk image as data source”, choose the image, select the destination and click “Start data recovery”.

Can Exif Untrasher retrieve images off a card that has been written over with new images?

Data that really has been overwritten cannot be restored. By “really” I mean that in many cases seeming loss of data is no real loss of data, but only loss of the knowledge where that data is. For instance, when you format your camera’s memory card or stick, the camera usually will not overwrite the card, but simply erase the card’s “table of contents”. This means that you still can access whatever was on the card, but you have to search for it, and this is exactly what Exif Untrasher does. (This is, by the way, the reason why nowadays many cameras offer “regular” formatting or a “secure” formatting—the latter one actually overwrites the data and not only the table of contents.) On the other hand, even if you did take new photos, this does not necessarily mean you older photos are lost, because one can usually not predict where new photos will be stored on the card, hence the photos you would like to restore might be still on the card, even if you took other photos afterwards.

Can Exif Untrasher restore movies?

No. Movies you took with your digital camera (regardless of the file format) can not be restored and there are no plans to add this functionality.

Which cameras are supported by Exif Untrasher?

It should work with all devices wich follow the Exif standard – which basically means: all cameras, smartphones and tablets. Users reported successful restoration of photos taken with devices by manufacturers Apple, Asus, Canon, Fuji, Kodak, Minolta, Nikon, Sanyo, Sony and others.

Can I use Exif Untrasher to rescue images from a hard drive?

Yes. Exif Untrasher does not care whether the volume is a hard drive, SD card, USB stick or anything else. It only has to be a local (not connected via a network) disk that is mounted. There is only one exception: you cannot use the volume/partition from which the Mac booted. Therefore, if the images you lost are on your Mac’s system volume, you have to boot from a different volume, for instance an external hard disk. Moreover, given the size of today’s hard drive, you will need a lot of free disk space to be able to save the image of the volume which contains the lost images.

Manual creation of a disk image

Sometimes Exif Untrasher fails when trying to create a “clone” (byte-wise copy) of the camera’s memory card or stick. (Exif Untrasher will never operate directly on the camera’s volume itself, but only on that copy.) In this case or when there are other obstacles (for instance, if you own one of those Ricoh cameras that need special software to mount the camera’s volume), you could try to create the image by hand:

  • Mount the camera’s volume (i.e.: it must appear as an external volume on the Mac), unless you did this already. In case the Finder complains that the volume cannot be mounted and that you can either eject, ignore or format the volume, please choose “Ignore”.
  • Launch “Disk utility” (in folder “Utilities”)
  • In Disk utility's left column, click on the icon representing the camera (the camera itself, not the camera’s volume)
  • Invoke menu item “File” ➔ “New” ➔ “Image from ‘…’”, where “…” is some string such as “disk2”.
  • In the “Save as …” dialog, choose format “Read only” and don not activate enryption and save anywhere you like.
  • Wait until Disk utility has finished creating the image.
  • Quit Disk utility, launch Exif Untrasher and select the image from within Exif Untrasher