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Is there any way to recover photos from a corrupted SD card?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
The SD card on my parents' camera started giving an error code before they were able to download the photos. They're upset since it has shots of a recent trip they took with my nephew.

Mom took the card into the local camera shop. It's a good place that's been around 50 or so years and caters to hardcore photographers - you can still get processing chemicals and an array of film there. I have them doing a CLA on my Nikon at the moment. Anyhow, they were not able to recover the card.

Since Head-Fi is geeky and into cameras, I was wondering if anyone had success in recovering a card. Tips and techniques are welcome. If anyone knows of a good data recovery service, please pass their contact info along. They'll happily pay for a recovery, as well.

Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 17

Can you mount the SD card?

 

If so you could try to use a freeware file recovery tool e.g. Recuva, PC Inspector File Recovery on the Windows OS. There should be something similar for Macs.

post #3 of 17


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjinh View Post

Can you mount the SD card?

 

If so you could try to use a freeware file recovery tool e.g. Recuva, PC Inspector File Recovery on the Windows OS. There should be something similar for Macs.

http://www.piriform.com/recuva yup recuva's pretty good!
 

post #4 of 17

On PCs running windows or linux, there are tools that search a block device ("disk") for a jpeg header and then read until they find an end-of-file marker. So, even if the allocation tables are completely erased, images can still be recovered (file names, of course, will be utterly lost).

 

There is probably something like it for mac.

 

This is a good windows tool of that nature that was free when i downloaded it, which was later appropriated by a pack of thieves and sold under a different name, who ultimately gave the author a wad of money to take his free version offline and go away when he threatened to sue. Since it was free when i downloaded it, legally speaking, this version is still free, even though some jerks sell a different version of it for money.

 

If the card itself is unreadable, it may just be a bad solder joint inside the card. It's a delicate job, but i have chatted online with people who have repaired them for fun and profit. So if you know someone who has surface-mount reworking experience . . .


Edited by ericj - 10/23/10 at 9:23am
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post

On PCs running windows or linux, there are tools that search a block device ("disk") for a jpeg header and then read until they find an end-of-file marker. So, even if the allocation tables are completely erased, images can still be recovered (file names, of course, will be utterly lost).

 

There is probably something like it for mac.

 

This is a good windows tool of that nature that was free when i downloaded it, which was later appropriated by a pack of thieves and sold under a different name, who ultimately gave the author a wad of money to take his free version offline and go away when he threatened to sue. Since it was free when i downloaded it, legally speaking, this version is still free, even though some jerks sell a different version of it for money.

 

If the card itself is unreadable, it may just be a bad solder joint inside the card. It's a delicate job, but i have chatted online with people who have repaired them for fun and profit. So if you know someone who has surface-mount reworking experience . . .


Is that link correct?

 

I downloaded and ran the program but all I could see was a command prompt window opening and closing.

post #6 of 17
oops, sorry, link fixed
post #7 of 17

EDIT


Edited by blackbird - 10/23/10 at 7:52pm
post #8 of 17

Free, effective, open-source. Works for any lost file. Saved my butt countless times. Good luck!

 

PhotoRec


Edited by patsyleung - 10/23/10 at 7:51pm
post #9 of 17

I have heard Recuva is good too!

post #10 of 17

PC inspector has worked well for me and you can't beat the price!

post #11 of 17

No love for Handy Recovery?

 

Out of all the different software I have used, this one works the best with memory cards.  It's simple to use and worth the cost imo.

post #12 of 17

I know this may sound silly and you may have already tried this but..........

 

I have a 2GB SanDisk which failed to show the photographs in Windows. The card was corrupted.

 

I was able to recover all the lost pictures by an Apple Macbook then to a USB stick!

post #13 of 17

I forgot to mention that I used the camera to USB connector and not a card reader.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsyleung View Post

Free, effective, open-source. Works for any lost file. Saved my butt countless times. Good luck!

 

PhotoRec



I like PhotoRec as well. It's helped me out in the past.

post #15 of 17

I have personal experience with trying to recover cards...

 

Is it a "brand name" card?

 

IF so, Lexar, Sandisk, Kingston...they all have their own proprietary recovery software.

 

(On some high-end cards of theirs, the recovery software came on the cards for customers to download BEFORE formatting and using their cards.)

 

Now, if it is a "brand name" card, but you don't have the recovery software:

  1. Contact their customer service line.
  2. Explain that you finally got your parents into the <digital age> and that you are now their lifetime IT support.
  3. It is up to you to get those images!
  4. Customer Service may be kind and "grant you" an unlock key + a link to the download site for their proprietary recovery software.
  5. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Good Luck, Uncle E!!

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