Find your files on a hard disk
Q I have recently bought a new
desktop computer. My pictures were stored in
3 on the old computer but when I installed this on the new one I found that
I have lost the most recent five years worth.
How can I get them back? I can see no way of contacting Google, which makes the Picasa program.
A Picasa actually refers to two things. There’s the Picasa photo-editing software, which sounds like what you have installed on both computers. This does not store your pictures. It merely indexes them so that they’re easy to find on the computer.
The pictures are stored on your computer, usually in the My Pictures folder (which is just called Pictures if you’re using Vista). Users of Picasa who want to move their pictures to a new computer need to make a backup of them before changing computers.
If you still have access to the old computer the process is simple. Start it up and load Picasa, then click the Tools menu and select Backup Pictures. You can find a full guide that explains how to do this at Google’s website.
You can then use the Restore feature, which is saved on the backup disk with all of your pictures. More instructions are available at the web link above.
If you no longer have access to the computer then the sad news is that your
pictures cannot be recovered.
It’s very important to keep regular backups of important files, including pictures. Even if you never intend to change computers, you always run the risk of a hardware failure destroying your collection.
In the event that you already made a backup of your Picasa album from the old computer or you were backing up your Documents folder or your entire hard disk you should still be able to recover the pictures and put them on the new computer.
Instructions will vary depending on the software you were using – consult the user manual or website for your backup software in that case.
Picasa also refers to a website, Picasa Web Albums, which allows you to store photos online. In some cases this synchronises with the pictures on your computer.
If you have been using Picasa Web Albums your pictures are still there online. Log in with your Picasa or Google account details and the pictures will be there just as before.
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