Then I thought late last night that I might as well do a scan of the computer's harddrive. I had scanned the external harddrive before, because that was where everything seemed most likely to have survived, since I still hadn't even touched half of the 160GB memory. There is only some 6-8GB left free on the harddrive of the computer, and that after exporting lots of material to the external. So I didn't think I'd find anything there, given that I was re-using that open memory space so much. Now, when I had recovered the files from the external harddrive, I had recovered a total of 4700 JPEG files--both those that were still visible on the drive, and those I'd erased, because the program grabs everything it can find. So you can understand why I took some time having to sort through all of them to see which ones I needed. This morning, I woke to find that the computer had finished its work of recovering files from the computer's harddrive while I slept. And had recovered over 18,000 JPEG files alone. Holy Freaking Moses.
I had clip art photos by the hundreds that I'd never looked at. I had seemingly-endless photos in what must be the Mac's help files showing how to use everything Apple puts on these computers or can sell you to attach to it. And I had everything left in months of internet randomness, sitting in the memory caches: everyone's LJ icons, eBay auctions I looked at in February, on and on and on. There was nothing to do for it. The work had to be done now, so that I could use the memory of the computer without losing anything that the search might have turned up at this point. So I just spent the whole day going through all 18,000+ photographs in one sitting.
And then I saw a photograph from Joe's wedding. And another. And then a photo with Grace that I'd forgotten about but that hadn't turned up in the previous search. It was all scattered around with no logic whatsoever: I could look through hundreds of photos and find one from the wedding, and then find dozens clustered together. But I suppose in the end, it made the last nine or ten hours worth it. I found 87 pics from my brother's wedding, nearly 200 of Grace, although I know lots of those I do already have, and a mere 18 for Haley, because the second kid never gets as many pictures (and her Mom just doesn't have much time to send me sets). Haley's baptism is still pretty much gone, then, but Leslie will have bunches of those, too. The wedding is largely recovered, and that was the most important of the lot--I really felt the loss of that--so that makes things much better, and it looks like I managed to get into August of 2004 this time around. A pretty good resolution.