I'm in recovery mode......digital that is. So, the hard drive guy emailed back that when he looked at it he determined it was too damaged, so then he sent it to CA for them to look at and he says they say the same thing. The hard drive is on it's way back to us via FedEx.
So, bummer there wasn't anything that could be recovered on it. DH takes pics with his phone. Then he would transfer over to his external hard drive (like daily, since he was taking so many pics of the house build). When the external drive crashed I specifically remember looking at his icloud account/backup online. There was like 10 pics on it. I figured he must not have been set up to sync to that. But, I just looked again and there were 849 pictures! Starting back when he got an iphone (back in like 2014), to Sept 2018. I remember him getting notifications that his memory was full and not backing up, quite awhile ago. Now, I'm in the process of figuring out how to download all those photos to his new external hard drive.
When he did all his house build videos he put music to them. Songs purchased mostly via Amazon. Well, I found out I can re-download every single song ever purchased. Some go back to 2009, LOL. I'm working on that right now.
He also uploaded to YouTube like 60 videos he's created, using Windows Movie Maker. He creates the video in that program. then in the program he saves it to a mp4 file. Then uploads to YouTube. I found out you can download back all the videos as mp4 files. So, that is next to do. That will take awhile I'm sure. I wonder if he can then open/edit the videos again with his Movie Maker program? Maybe he can resave pictures put in that program. Something I will look into.
Years ago I remember my IT expert son was able to recover deleted photos from a digital camera sd card. Said nothing is ever truly deleted. I just downloaded a program that will supposedly recover photos and videos from an sd card. I'm using it on his drone's sd card. Again, he would take his drone videos and pics with it, then copy to his external hard drive and delete. I ran the free version (that just recovers pics) and it recovered 453 pics from his drone sd card (every pic, I'm assuming). So, I went ahead and paid the $35 for the "pro version" and now it is scanning for all the deleted videos. It's already found 22 files and it's only 10% done.
This website I got the sd card picture/video recovery program from also has a free program to recover deleted pics/vids from phones. Gonna give that a try, too, and see what I can find on his phone. That would be a big score....as all the house build pics were taken with his iphone. Like all the pics he wants that he took of where all the wiring and plumbing is, etc. Wish me luck! If I get those, too, I'll have recovered probably a good majority of all his pictures and videos.