Quote Originally Posted by teklife View Post
what is the likelyhood that the files under the dd'd mac hd to the external can be recovered?
dd? Wow, why did you do that? If it dd'd over anything you want to recover, the only chance is some sort of forensic data recovery service (which will require a professional, $$, and no guarantee of results).

I'd give TestDisk a try on the original HD with the photos before you give up that. But that external HD's data is probably a goner if it was overwritten with dd.