S4 Phone Auto-Deleting Pictures (Why/How)? and Recovery?

This is a discussion on S4 Phone Auto-Deleting Pictures (Why/How)? and Recovery? within the Rescue Squad General forums, part of the Android Rescue Squad Support Forum category; Yesterday (2015-01-09) I took a bunch of pictures on my Samsung S4 phone and for causes unknown they were "auto deleted" ... in fact I ...

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Thread: S4 Phone Auto-Deleting Pictures (Why/How)? and Recovery?

  1. #1
    Android Lurker Shawn3B's Avatar
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    Jan 2015

    S4 Phone Auto-Deleting Pictures (Why/How)? and Recovery?

    Yesterday (2015-01-09) I took a bunch of pictures on my Samsung S4 phone and for causes unknown they were "auto deleted" ... in fact I now realize all pictures back to 2014-12-23 were lost. I'm REALLY bummed by the pics lost yesterday - some really nice pics. Everything up to Dec 23 seems unaffected. I last backed up manually on Nov 04 and pictures are saved to a 64G microSD -- and I just backed up the card again so I can troubleshoot and fix this issue without losing anything more. Need help please.....

    It's almost like there was some corruption of the files. It saves the pics, I was looking at the pics after taking them and via the default "gallery" app. A short time later (~30 minutes) when I was looking for some pics, I noticed most were a black icon indicating a "broken"/ missing picture/file... but a few still worked. I then restarted my phone and no change... then after some time all the pics were gone, back to 2014-12-23... If I take new pics now, that behavior repeats... the picture saves, I can upload them (send email, post facebook, SMS, etc)... but within a short period they disappear from the phone filesystem. I have G+ auto backup pics, and when looking the only pics are 2014-12-23 and prior also. I took pics on 01/01, 01/07 and misc other days... so I'm not sure when this problem started exactly... hoping someone can help me with that...?

    I've removed the 64G microSD and mount to a windows system - no files show past 2014-12-23 there either.

    The (DCIM) folder has 3599 files now. Is there a maximum? (3600?) My memory could be very wrong... but I really thought I once recently noticed I had some 5000+ pictures in the gallery... though may backups aren't showing a gap in an early analysis/diff of the files. I'm thinking of making folders for years so current pics will go in the root DCIM folder, and I'll have sub folders for years prior... is that a good idea?

    I am getting NO system errors or messages.
    I don't want to mess with writing to the SD card just yet... in hopes I can recover some pics -- if they indeed have been deleted and not overwritten... I've taken 3 or 4 new pics since I saw this yesterday and they repeat this same cycle... the pic takes, seems to save, I can see in gallery... but within an hour or as little as 5-10 minutes, the file is gone.

    Please help...
    1) Any apps that can "audit" picture file access? log file deletions?
    A log of permissions changes and app updates?
    ... I do not recall installing any new apps since 12/23, but I do know many apps have been auto updated... and I do recall some new permissions that I granted... and I think one or two apps recently got picture access, but not sure which.... any way to learn that?
    I fear a rogue app... not sure where to start with that though..?

    2) file recovery... Windows software to recover files from a microSD mounted via USB adapter?

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator cali's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    329 times
    Welcome to the site. Hope someone can help with this.

  4. #3
    Android Lurker Shawn3B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    I pulled the 64GB SanDisk microSD -- backed-up and I will be attempting file recovery.
    In the meantime, I put a new microSD card in the phone... and I can take pictures without any issues. So that seems to rule out an app to me. But now I have something more to work with... I'll try to recover deleted files first, then put the SD card back in and repeat the picture taking... it would seem either a file system corruption issue / max files in picture folder, etc... I'll be able to determine that.

    Still would like any good apps that can help "audit" Android permissions and system access history, etc.
    Or any good Windows file recovery apps.

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