Skip navigation

Aperture referenced library; External HD failure

836 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Sep 6, 2012 11:45 AM by Kirby Krieger RSS
bgraydaisy Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 30, 2012 5:03 PM

My external HD with my RAW referenced files on it tanked, no backup, what can I do? I have sent the HD to a recovery specialist, but I'm wondering if there is any way for me to at least pull JPEGS out of what is left in Aperture? The cost has been quoted from $750-$2400 for full data retreival, and thats only IF they can do it at all. I tried exporting, but no go.  I can drag them onto my desktop, but they are only 60 KB.  Anything better than that is great at this point.



  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2012 7:15 PM (in response to bgraydaisy)



    The only thing left in Aperture is your Previews (and any Originals that were Managed -- worth a look).  The Previews are whatever size you set when they were made.  The current setting can be seen at "Aperture➞Preferences➞Previews".  60 KB seems small -- but I don't know what size and compression you used.


    As long as your HD is physically intact, you should be able to recover all but a small amount of data.  You might ask around for other prices and/or methods.  What was the diagnosis of the failure?


    ***All drives fail.  Never go to bed without at least one copy of anything important to you.***

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2012 10:22 AM (in response to bgraydaisy)

    The data recovery price range is what I am accustomed to. I would like a reference to the $750 quote in fact.



  • e2photo Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)

    Every morning, at 4 am, my computer wakes itself up, superduper launches, and backs up three different drives, and then quits. once every two weeks I archive.. Backup the backup drives.

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    The "JPEG only" option may mostly mean "image files of one type only." Ask them if you can ask for your RAW file type only (e.g. .NEF, .CRW or whatever).


    We need to know what file types you originally captured in (RAW, RAW+JPEG, TIFF, JPEG) and your capture workflow and settings in precise detail to have any idea of what JPEGs may be on the failed external drive.


    For instance I use a Referenced-Originals worklfow and capture in RAW+JPEG so both file types will be on the external drive that the Aperture Library references to. If I only shot RAW then only RAW would be pointed to on the external drive, and whatever JPEG Previews Aperture created would be on the same drive as the Aperture Library (apparently the internal drive in your case).





  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    So I would be very specific with the data recovery folks about only recovering your specific RAW file type because any JPEGs that exist will be those Aperture created as Previews, and those will be on the Library drive. I would think that recovering any specific file type should be similar for .NEF as it is for .jpg files, except for the much larger RAW file sizes.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,830 points)

    How did the drive 'tank'? Did it still spin up? Did OS X see it? There are a umber of Data recovery applications out there, Google Data Recovery Mac to find them.


    Depending on how the drive failed and what has been done to it since, one of these options might be of help. I know of a number of users who have used these apps and have had success.


    The one thing working in your favor is that as referenced masters the files were (are) just sitting there in a normal folder configuration. No complicated data structure to have to try and drill into.


    good luck


    Message was edited by: Frank Caggiano - Also remember if worst comes to worst you should still have the Aperture previews in the library. Depending on your previews settings these, while not RAW files, might still be useable for most applications.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 11:45 AM (in response to bgraydaisy)

    "Size" in the phrase "1/2 size Preview" refers to the pixel dimensions, not the bytes required for storage.  The bytes required for storage are determined by the pixel dimensions, the bit-depth, and the file format.  The most significant part of the file format is whether compression is applied, and how much.  Aperture's Previews are all JPEG.  Just below the drop-down list of sizes (at "Aperture➞Preferences➞Previews") is a slider for quality.  The higher the quality, the less the file is compressed.


    It is not usual for a half-size JPEG of a  6 MB Original to be 100 KB.


    Fwiw, one of the reasons for the settings I use is to have an additional (though smaller) copy of my work should I lose an Original and all copies of it.  I set all Libraries to make Previews of every Image, 1440 x 1440, quality 10.  I am happy to purchase the storage space this requires.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.