Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Friday, August 20, 2010

At the FHC On Thursday I went in early and spent a few hours working on a PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of the affiliate software provided by FamilySearch to the FHCs. Then some friends came in and I helped them researching a Strahm family that lived east of Bern, Switzerland 200 years ago. One of the very promising sources was a family website that was offline. My friend telephoned this morning to tell me that she was successful in contacting the authors of the former website via Facebook. They had decided to replace the website with a Facebook page. So don't overlook Facebook as a possible way of contacting other researchers! Corrupted Digital Camera Card Some friends mentioned that the memory card in their camera seemed to have lost the photos. The camera says the card is empty and suggests that it needs to be formatted. I offered to see whether I could recover the photos. I tried 5 different programs designed to handle this problem. One of them said it found 140 photos and then wanted to charge me $2.50 each to try to recover them. Another tried unsuccessfully, and finally reported that there were no photos to recover. The other three successfully recovered photos: Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery 3.1 recovered 112 photos, 7 of them being partial photos. This is the free version of commercial software. DiskDigger recovered 120 photos, including 6 partial photos. DiskDigger is free from Recuva recovered 112 photos with no partial photos. It also identified and saved 30 additional files with names indicating that they were JPEGs taken with an HP camera. Nothing could open these 30 files. (I tried opening them with all of my graphics programs as well as Internet Explorer and Firefox.) An online discussion gave me the idea to use a hexadecimal editor to replace the first 128 bytes of each of these 30 files, to try to rebuild the file headers. (I copied the first 128 bytes from the header of a good JPG and pasted it in place of the first 128 bytes of each of the 30 files.) This allowed me to recover another 4 photos and one partial photo. This is very labor-intensive for the results achieved, but may be worth a try if you desperately need to recover a lost photo. The hex editor I used was HxD Hexeditor from So the vRecuva + HxD combo (and a lot of time) allowed me to recover 116 photos plus one partial photo. Each of these progams is free, and all can be run without installation. My final judgement? In my experience, DiskDigger was best, followed by Recuva. Of course, results may differ with different users.


Blogger Alan said...

You might consider putting your powerpoint presentation of various programs available from the LDS gateway on the archives of the yahoo group FHCNET.

I made the same presentation about two years ago - but in Spanish.

You probably already are familar with FHCTech. But I enjoyed your blog and will be referring a few bilingual folks to it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 10:18:00 AM MDT  

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