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Yesterday I filmed an interview and copy/pasted the files from my SD card onto my iMac, then imported the files into Premiere Pro to view the footage. Everything looked good, so I ejected the card and formatted it for another shoot. The files and Premiere Pro project were fine. I imported my next project, no problem.

However today when I opened the first project to begin my edit, I found that all of my files and the folder they were saved in had disappeared:

/users/adam/documents/DSS/Amanda/Amanda Video/Rushes

The "Rushes" folder and its content no longer exits, and was instead left with an empty "untitled folder".

I've searched finder, trash, everywhere for the "Rushes" folder and "MVI_0538.MOV" onward (up to 0570).

If it weren't for the Premiere Pro file path it seems that there would be no evidence of the files ever existing - is there any way of recovering them or finding any trace of them? Perhaps by using the terminal?

Thanks, Adam

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  • Does your iMac have a magnetic HDD or an SSD?
    – Fyrefly
    Oct 14, 2016 at 17:19
  • 512gb flash storage - I think that's SSD? The expensive one.. My iMac is pretty much brand new
    – Adam
    Oct 14, 2016 at 17:35

2 Answers 2

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Assuming the files are actually gone there are two potential solutions I can think of, neither of which necessarily rely on Terminal (which will allow you to see invisible files, but not deleted files). The first of which requires that you are using Time Machine. If Time Machine was connected to your backup drive yesterday after you imported your files, it would create a new backup every hour including any files that were new to the system since the previous backup. Simply open Time Machine, navigate to the folder where your files were previously, and go back to a time when they were still there. Highlight the file(s) and click the Recover button.

The second solution requires third party software. When files are "deleted" they are usually only removed from the "catalog" or "index" of the file system. This means according to the index the space where file X used to take up is now empty and available to be overwritten at any point in the future when it needs to save new files. Data recovery software simply ignores this index and scans the actual blocks of space on the drive to see if there is any data there. I don't endorse any data recovery software in particular however, as its been years since I've used any. Searching the web will find various titles, both commercial and open source, and you'll likely need an external HDD to recover found files onto. Best of luck.

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  • As a side note, data recovery software can be used on either the computer or your SD card, but from your description I assume the SD card has been overwritten.
    – Fyrefly
    Oct 14, 2016 at 18:21
  • Unfortunately I'm not using time machine - a good fast external hard drive is on my to-buy list.
    – Adam
    Oct 17, 2016 at 14:13
  • I did a reshoot today as it was only a standard interview set-up.. Thanks for your responses! I'll be sure to look into Data recovery if I need to in the future (hopefully it won't come to that again)
    – Adam
    Oct 17, 2016 at 14:15
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It sounds like you may have accidentally deleted or moved the "Rushes" folder and its contents on your iMac, which contained the video files you need for your project. If you've searched your computer and can't find any trace of the files, there are a few options you can try:

  1. Check your trash: If you haven't already, check your trash bin on your iMac to see if the "Rushes" folder or any of the video files are there. If they are, you can restore them to their original location.
  2. Use a data recovery software: There are a number of data recovery software programs available that can help you recover deleted or lost files. These programs work by scanning your computer's hard drive and searching for any files that may have been deleted or lost. Some popular options include Disk Drill, EaseUS Data Recovery, and Recuva. Note that data recovery software may not be able to recover all lost files, and the success of the recovery will depend on a variety of factors, such as how long ago the files were deleted, and whether they have been overwritten by other data.
  3. Contact a data recovery service: If you're not comfortable using data recovery software or if you're unable to recover the files on your own, you may want to consider contacting a data recovery service. These services specialize in recovering lost data and may be able to help you recover the video files you need. However, note that these services can be expensive and there's no guarantee that they'll be able to recover your files.

In the future, it's always a good idea to back up your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage service to avoid losing important data.

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  • How does this provide more information than the answer already given? It’s totally fine to list new answers to questions asked in 20216, but please make sure the answer brings new insights/solutions.
    – nohillside
    Mar 2, 2023 at 6:47

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