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[ale] HDD Locked Up - Wife business pics in it!

Hey, just for the future (hopefully there is no 'future' for you for this, :) ) your first course of action should always be dd or ddrescue to make a copy, and only then running commands like photorec/testdisk/fsck. 

The idea behind that is that for a failing HDD, you only have a small window of time for recovery before the drive really dies for good, and photorec/testdisk/fsck/et c. can all run off of a disk image but not a dead drive. Your first order of business, then, is to "make a copy and ask questions later." Plus, before running something (potentially) destructive, you can make a copy of the image before proceeding should you make things worse.

Just some tips. Sorry to hear the result. I think most of us on the list have had one story like yours happen before "BACKUP!" became imprinted on our brains...
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