Sign In | My Account Live chat by SightMax 1.866.839.5875
Search by: Products Computer
Check Out  Check Out
Sales & Specials
To learn about sales and specials, sign up for the OEM Newsletter!
Email
 
OEMPCWorld.com recognized by BizRate Circle of Excellence 2009


Company Profile
Notebook Memory Desktop Memory Apple Memory Flash Memory

Take Advantage of our no hassle Eco-Friendly BuyBack program where we buy your old memory (RAM and Flash) - You can $ave an additional 20-30% off for a total discount savings of over 60% - Save More Today -

Even if there is no value to your old ram we will discard it in an environmentally safe and toxic free method that will remove lead from our landfills.

Honeymoon Photos

by CNET forums: Community Newsletter: Q&A (Copyright ©2007 CNET Networks, Inc.)

Community Newsletter: Q&A: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator - 1/25/07 5:02 PM
Post 1

1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator - 1/25/07 5:02 PM

Question:

I need your help desperately. I have an xD-Picture Card (memory card) that I'm trying to retrieve my photos from. Normally I just insert the card into my card reader and transfer the photos to my computer. However, this time when I inserted the card into the card reader, it froze my PC so I had to do a cold reboot to get it going again. Once rebooted, I tried numerous times trying to get the PC to read the card, but was unsuccessful. So I tried it on another computer and it also failed to be recognize the reader and the content on the card also. My last attempt was connecting the camera to the computer and retrieving using that method, but every time I insert the memory card into the camera, the camera would display "Card error" and proceed to ask if I want to format. Reformatting is not an option. All I want is to be able retrieve my precious photos from my honeymoon in the Caribbean. Are there any other methods--software or hardware that I use to try to retrieve these photos safely? Please help, any recommendations or advice will be appreciated!

Submitted by: Irene D.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


Hi Irene, you have my sympathies--this is my worst nightmare. There are a couple of techniques I use to mitigate these kind of disasters. I tend to use several smaller capacity memory cards, rather than one big one - at least that way, if the worst happens, I only lose a small portion of my pictures. Also, whenever possible, I take a laptop with me and download my images at the end of each day. Of course, none of this helps with your current problem.

Health warning! I've never had to recover a memory card in anger personally, so I can't give a definitive answer; only suggest actions you might want to try.

Be VERY careful from here on in; you don't want to compound the problem. This is especially important, because xD memory cards (I use them) don't have a write-protect switch like some SD cards do, so you must double-check that any method you use to try to access the card is READ ONLY.

Looking at your post, there are a number of possibilities for the error. When you download images from the card, do you copy them to your PC or move them? I would always recommend copy, and delete them from the card when you have a verified copy on your hard disk. If you move them, you are effectively writing to the card and if you get an error, the card's Partition Table or File Allocation Table may be corrupted. This can happen if you are copying and get a hardware error but it is much less likely.

Anyway, since your camera is detecting an error and suggesting a reformat, it sounds as if the FAT is damaged. It may be possible to overcome this if you can access the card on a PC - the embedded operating systems in digital cameras are less forgiving because they don't have as much space for error recovery routines. You are absolutely right not to reformat the card. Your strategy at this stage is not to modify the card in any way while you try to get the images off it.

The other point in your post that is of concern is "So I tried it on another computer and it also failed to be recognize the reader and the content on the card also."

The piece that concerns me is that the other computer "failed to recognise the reader". That would suggest that maybe the card reader has developed a fault - this could explain why your original PC hung up and how the card came to be damaged. Do you have a spare card (with nothing on it) to try in your reader or do you know anyone who also has an xD compatible card reader? If so, try to read the card in their reader. You might be lucky and be able to copy the pictures off but likely not. Success here would be for the card to be recognised on the computer, albeit with the errors.

If you can access the card, then there is a plethora of software tools that may be able to recover the data - Some work by ignoring the errors in the FAT etc., and do a low level scan of the card for readable logical sectors and try to reassemble the images. They then allow the successful ones to be copied to the hard disk. Others attempt to dump the whole memory card on to the hard disk and then carry out a similar process there. There are Freeware programs available and a lot of commercial ones, most of which have a free or trial download available so you can see if they will be able to recover the images before you buy them. I've included a few links here but you can Google many more:

http://www.cardrecovery.com/
Download and Free Trial
http://www.digitalleo.com/photo_recovery.html
Free Demo USD 27 to buy
http://www.pcinspector.de/smart_media_recovery/uk/beschreibung.htm
German site, English text

http://www.softwarepatch.com/software/smartrecovery.html
Freeware

I would also recommend you take a look at http://www.ultimateslr.com/memory-card-recovery.php which is a discussion forum for this topic. Some of the links on the site are dead but there are some useful ones, e.g.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2002/05/21/ecrbtcm21.xml

that are helpful. The site helps to understand the problems you may encounter as well as suggesting possible approaches to recovery.

Let me repeat, though, make sure that any of the tools you try are READ ONLY - the descriptions say if they are - if it doesn't say, assume they are not.

OK, so what if that doesn't work? Your next recourse would be to one of the specialist companies that attempt data recovery. Again, there are a lot around, I've included a couple of links but these are for UK companies which may or may not be of use, depending where you live.

http://www.diskdoctorsdatarecovery.co.uk/ (Mail in Service)
http://www.disklabs.com/data-recovery-contact.asp

Be aware that these companies cannot guarantee success but if they can't retrieve the data, probably nobody can. Also be aware that they can be expensive - always get a quote from 2 or 3 before you buy. For irreplaceable pictures, such as yours, of course, you may consider the cost well worth it. Many of these companies offer a phone-in diagnostic chat, where you can discuss the specifics of your problem and they can give a more informed opinion.

Finally, you could try your local photolab, where they may be able to print your pictures - you'd need to scan them in again but better than a total loss. Chances are that the print machine will have the same problem reading your card, though, that your camera has.

A note of caution. Many of the recovery products claim to be able to recover images from reformatted cards. Theoretically, it might work with some cards and cameras but I have done a few tests with my camera (a Fujifilm Finepix S304) with three of the recovery programs. In all cases, if the files were deleted, they were able to recover them. BUT and it is a BIG BUT, NONE of them were able to recover the images from a reformatted card. Now this may be because my Fuji camera creates a three level directory structure when it reformats a card and the recovery programs can't interpret this correctly but obviously, I can't recommend this method. Olympus cameras, that also use xD cards, may be different.

If everything else has failed and you are facing a total loss, you might want to consider risking it. If you do, I'd definitely recommend you experiment with a spare card before you even think about touching your damaged card.

Good luck and I do hope you are able to recover at least the majority of your precious photographs.

Submitted by: Sav. M. of the United Kingdom


Post 2

Honorable mentions

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator - 1/25/07 5:31 PM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

Answer:

Dear Irene,

You should be able to recover all or most of your photos, using freely available software.

Do not re-format or write anything to the xD card: That will destroy your chance of recovering the pictures.

(Some recovery software suggests re-formatting the memory card before trying to recover the photo images. However re-formatting an xD card seems to completely wipe its memory.)

1. What Went Wrong?
------------------------------

The card's file allocation table (FAT) has probably been corrupted, possibly due to an incompatibility. However, the actual photo files should be OK. Some of our xD cards were corrupted by an
(incompatible) xD card reader at a well known high-street photo shop.
I later managed to recovered most of the photos.

2. Compatibility of the Three xD Card Types:
------------------------------------------------------------

There are three different types of xD card. Not all cameras and not all card readers are compatible with all types and sizes of xD card:

a. "Standard" or "Type S" xD cards: These were the original type; made in sizes up to 512MB. Most cameras and card readers were compatible with sizes up to 128MB; later cameras and readers worked with all sizes up to 512MB. Unfortunately, manufacture of these cards has ceased.

b. "Type M" xD cards: Usually, these are marked eg. "M 1GB" for a 1GB card. These replaced the "Type S" cards. They offer larger sizes but are slightly slower than "Type S" cards.

c. "Type H" xD cards: Usually, these are marked eg. "H 1GB" for a 1GB card. They are faster than "Type M" cards.

The Olympus and Fuji web sites have compatibility guides for their cameras, adapters and readers. Some cameras need a firmware upgrade.
Unfortunately my Olympus C-60z (aka X-3) can only use the now un- obtainable "Type S" xD cards; Olympus offers no firmware upgrade.

It is harder to discover the compatibility of third party adapters and card readers: The xD card readers built into our HP T830 and Compaq SR1519 desktop PCs apparently work only with "Type S" cards, but an external USB2 card reader (G Tech CR-1920) seems happy with "Types S and M" (I have not yet tried any "Type H" cards.)

3. Recovery Tools:
---------------------------

You need a camera or a card reader which you know is fully compatible with that type and size of xD card. You also need some data recovery
software: Mine was freely available on the Internet.

I used my G Tech CR-1920 card reader and the following software:

a. Zero Assumption Recovery from
http://www.z-a-recovery.com/digital-image-recovery.htm

(Recovery of hard drives requires a licence, but recovery from photo cards is free!)

b. Smart Recovery (free) from
http://www.pcinspector.de/smart_media_recovery/uk/welcome.htm

c. Photorec (free) from http://www.cgsecurity.org/

d. Media Recovery Pro (Retail)

With my xD cards, the (free) Zero Assumption Recovery (ZAR) program produced the best results. The commercial package, Media Recovery Pro, found very few files.

4. The Recovery Method:
-----------------------------------

Ideally, try to recover your files without altering the xD card in any way. This will allow you to use other software until you have extracted all possible images.

- Download and install the recovery program.
- Connect the reliable card reader.
- Check that the contacts of the xD card are clean, insert it into the reader.
- If any Windows programs start, stop them. (If necessary, press "Shift" while inserting the card, to disable "Auto-run.")
- Run the recovery software, instruct it to save all images to a new folder on hard disk.

With large xD cards, the recovery process takes a long time.

When the recovery program has finished, close it and then check each image. I found that some images displayed perfect Windows "thumbnails" but were actually corrupted. (The lower part was
missing.) I used (free) Irfanview (http://www.irfanview.com) to open and check each image.

If some images are missing or corrupted, try again or try a different recovery program, putting the recovered files into a different folder on hard disk.

5. Windows Error Checker:
---------------------------------------

Finally, or if all else fails, try using the Windows "Error Checker"
to "Automatically Fix File System Errors." However, this will alter the xD card and cannot be undone.

(My Computer --> Right click on the card reader --> Properties --> Tools --> Error Checking.)

After Windows fixes the FAT file errors, Windows Explorer should be able to see and transfer the photo image files. However, do not rely on the Windows thumbnail, open and check each image.

6. Precautions for the Future:
----------------------------------------

To minimize future problems:

- Use only the recommended xD cards.
- Ensure that your card reader is compatible.
- Never format or write to the xD cards using a PC; do these only in the camera.
- When re-using an xD card, reformat it in the camera.
- Carefully follow all directions for inserting and removing xD cards.
- Handle and store the xD cards carefully, avoid touching the gold contacts.

Best wishes, and good luck with the recovery.

Submitted by: Richard S.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


Hi,

This sounds like it may be a problem with the card contacts possibly being dirty or distorted. The contacts can eventually become oxidized or have a greasy film build up on them, making it difficult or impossible for the card to be read. If this is the case, you would probably not be able to reformat it, even if you wanted to.

I don't use XD but I had a similar problem with an SD card. I cleaned the contacts using rubbing alcohol and some kitchen towel paper and haven't had a problem since.

If the contacts have been damaged in any way, then you'll have a harder job to rectify them, although it can be done using fine tweezers or micro-tipped pliers. Be very careful not to force them too much as they are liable to break or distort further . However, if you are able to insert the card into the slots on various devices without too much force, it is less likely that damage to the contacts has occurred and the cleaning process may be sufficient.

There is one final solution to overcoming damaged contacts and salvaging important files and photos but it requires some technical hands-on skill, or have a friend help out. You need to obtain another XD card ....any low capacity one will do. Carefully open this card, preferably from the back end (opposite the contacts). Now, carefully disconnect and remove the innards (but don't discard them) then, using a fine tipped soldering iron (not a gun), solder very fine wire to the back of the contacts on this card, making sure you take note of which wire goes where. Carefully close it again then solder the wires to the exposed contacts on the damaged card without opening it. , using the same wiring configuration. If you've managed to do this properly, when you insert your new card, the device should actually read the old one, hopefully allowing you to retrieve your files.

This all assumes, of course, that there has been no damage caused to the memory prior to, or during, the soldering process and it is essential to use heat very sparingly. Once all files have been downloaded, you can either try to install the faulty card's innards into the new card shell, or reinsert the new card innards and at least, you should have one card available for future use.

It's a bit of a long shot, but with the right tools, a steady hand and a prayer, you may be able to recover everything.

As a side note, I had a real problem with a multi card reader which I had bought at Sam's Club. The first one would not allow my SD card to be fully inserted, so I exchanged it for another, took it home and in process of trying to insert the card, it virtually snapped. I returned to the store again, and they said I was using too much force which was not the case, so after much wrangling with the manager, he agreed to give me a replacement card and another reader. Before leaving the store, I tried the new card in the new reader and it was stiff also. So I asked the manger to try, as he had doubted my story from the start, but guess what ....... he snapped the new card also. So I got another replacement card and a refund on the card reader and haven't bothered with another one yet.

Hope all this helps and good luck with your card.

Regards.

Submitted by: Alistair D.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


Irene,

A corrupted media card is not an unusual occurrence these days. There is a chance that the media card can be recovered to normal use, but it is more likely than not that the card will not be usable in your camera anymore. The good news is that there is a way for you to recover the photos of your honeymoon from the card. You will not need any additional hardware, but I have used MediaRECOVER to retrieve photos from cards for many people, with 100% success on retrievals so far. There are currently two versions, the standard and pro versions. The standard version is $30 to purchase and the pro version is $50. Either one should work in your situation, the choice of which one to use is yours. You can find MediaRECOVER on CNET's Download.com at

http://www.download.com/MediaRecover/3000-2248_4-10577515.html?tag=lst-0-1 f

or the standard version and

http://www.download.com/MediaRecover-Pro/3000-2248_4-10249370.html?tag=lst-0-2

for pro.

The software is very easy to use and guides you through a step by step process. I would suggest that you go into the Tools menu first and perform a format. The format just attempts to correct corrupt media, the Wipe tool is the one that will erase what's on the card forever. This step may also make the card usable in your camera again. Once you have formatted the card, run an Advanced Scan on it to recover photos from the card. If after you have recovered your photos the camera still says "Card Error", try using the Wipe tool on the card. If you still get "Card Error" after that, the card is no longer usable with your camera.

There is one tip I would like to give you that I have learned over the years taking digital photos. Always have and use at least two cards when you are taking pictures, especially at important events. As you take pictures, switch between the two (or more) cards to spread your photos out. This way if you have a card that takes a dirt nap, you have only lost the photos on that card if they cannot be recovered. Another idea along the same lines is to purchase two or three cards for an event and label them. Once you are done taking pictures at the event and have downloaded the photos, store the cards in a dry, safe place. This way you have the originals in tact on the card and this will be like a backup, but it is not meant to replace burning your photos to a CD/DVD before you edit them, as a backup.

I wish you the best in retrieving your honeymoon memories.

Submitted by: Chris S. of Tucker, Georgia

***********************************************************************

Answer:


My answer is kind of short, but it is very simple.

Your memory card has suffered a bad data transfer issue that not only affects these cards but all disks including your hard drive, but much less often. The problem is the File Allocation Table FAT has been destroyed. The pictures are usually there but the file names have been destroyed. There is a small possibility that the pictures are lost, so be prepared just in case. Memory card data loss happens usually because of the following:

1. Not inserting the card COMPLETELY before trying to manage data. This has caused me the most problems. The FAT part of the disk is corrupted, making normal reading impossible.
2. Trying to read and write data at the same time on a memory card. They only can do one thing at a time, unlike a hard drive. This can happen while two programs are trying to transfer data.
3. Using a USB 1.1 cable, hub, or port while trying to read a USB 2.0 Card or device. Though compatibility is supposed to be good, any low speed device between the card and the computer can cause data transfer malfunction and information hang up, caused by the speed difference between devices.
4. Power surge or dip can also cause errors on all computer devices (not using a battery backup).
5. Any number of unknown factors including removing and re-inserting a USB device or cable quickly without waiting for the computer to acknowledge each action. Always verify the card is being read before you attempt to transfer data.

SOLUTION:
I have used a program called Photo Rescue ($29) at http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/ This program has saved me from lost photos 5 or 6 times in three years and I just recently recovered photos from another card that had been erased to make room for new pictures. The program found ALL the pictures including old ones they had erased 2 years earlier. This program is AWESOME! I carry it with me on my pocket drive everywhere I go. The program can also recover normal files, but this process is less accurate.

Submitted by: Mrc7734

***********************************************************************

Answer:


There are many possible causes to what you describe and, without a lot more info, there is no way for me to conclude a solution.

Here is what I would do in Irene's case:
1. Insert the xD card into the camera.
2. Shoot a few pics (2 or more).
3. "If the card allows the shots and storage?", power off the camera making sure there is lots of battery life remaining.
4. Open "My Computer" (Computer in Vista) and right click on the "C" drive and select Properties; Tools and then click on "Check Now..."
5. Select both options (1) Automatically fix... and (2) Scan for and attempt...
6. Restart the PC. This procedure can take a while depending on the size of the drive and the errors that might be present.
7. When PC is restarted, shut down or exit from any scanning software, turn off any firewall and close any file sharing software.
8. Plug the camera's USB cable into a USB 2 (if possible...USB 1 if not) slot on the PC and power on the camera.
9. The computer should now recognize the camera's xD storage and the camera's imaging/transfer software should invoke.
10. If you are able to upload the most recent images and not the old images, then you have a corrupted file on the card.
11. If you are unable to upload any of the stored images, the card is damaged or corrupted.
12. In the case of a corrupt/damaged file or card you will need a file recovery utility to recover your images.
There are many available file recovery programs available on the internet as freeware, shareware and brand-name products. Shop around for reviews on the software to see what others say in regard to the performance of the recovery program before making a decision as to which program to use.
Install the software and attempt a recovery of the images.

Hope this works for you.

Submitted by: TaC

***********************************************************************

Answer:


My daughter, used to using an external 120gb hard drive in a windows based laptop made the mistake of removing the USB lead after having using the same hard drive on her newly purchased Apple Mac instead of "ejecting" the drive. Subsequently, the directory of the hard drive was then corrupted, resulting in error messages that the drive was not formatted and "offering" to do so with the click of a button. This occurred in both the Apple and Windows PC.

The following worked for us and just may work for Irene.

1. I purchased a copy of BadCopy Pro from http://www.jusoft.com. Very inexpensive!
2. Even though the computer still indicated an unformatted drive using the Windows Explorer, running BadCopy Pro successfully recovered an unbelievable number of recovered files totalling in excess of 21,800! The computer worked away for over two days in this task and obviously selected files that had previously been deleted and also resulted in some "duds" along the way.
3. Prior to running BadCopy Pro, connect an external USB card reader, this would then allow the PC to recognise the connection in the form of a drive letter. Trying to "read" the card will most likely result in a failed attempt, however selecting the drive when prompted by BadCopy Pro to "Rescue Lost Files - mode #2" will see you on the way to success as was our experience.
4. During the save process following the recovery of lost files (in our case precious photographs and university assignments), I heard my daughter explain as I passed by, "I love this program!"
5. A word of warning. Ensure that you have sufficient space on your main drive as it appears that a rather large "swap file" may be used.

Good luck and may your experience be equal to ours.

Regards.

Submitted by: Kevin B.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


I think...

Windows (by that I mean Microsoft operating systems) probably tries to automatically mount anything it sees. Obviously it detects your card.
However, there is either a hardware problem (in which case you are probably out of luck) or a format problem.

If it is a format problem I would try one of those "undelete" programs.

If that doesn't make sense to you consider this... Flash cards are formatted much like a disk. They have memory locations set aside to allocate space for files. These memory locations act like a map of the card. If these memory locations are corrupted, you need to rebuild them. Hence the suggestion to use an "undelete" program.

Next time...

Always store your SD cards in your device or in a static protective container. Never handle them extensively unprotected. And never handle them under conditions where static electricity build up is possible.

Remember...

You wouldn't expose your undeveloped film to light. You shouldn't expose you SD cards to static electricity. Good advice - even if you don't think that's what happened.

Techi stuff...

I would actually give up on Windows and try Linux where I would have better control over the mounting of the SD card. I would use utilities to make (if there isn't a hardware problem with the SD card) an ISO image copy of the SD card's memory and start looking for pictures in the data.

Submitted by: Stuart

***********************************************************************

Answer:


I've three suggestions:

ONE: there are newer xd cards out there with the suffix "m" or "h". The manufacturer states that old xd card readers may not read them correctly. So you may co-incidentally be trying to read the card with incompatible hardware readers on each machine. You could try a newer reader. It could also be coincidence that you camera to pc lead is damaged as well. That's a lot of coincidences but sometimes everything goes wrong!

TWO: You may have removed the card from the camera with the camera powered up. My camera (a Fuji F30) expressly forbids this as it can corrupt the card data (according to the manual). The power must be off and the camera closed down properly (i.e. not stopped due to a flat battery). If the camera has a flat battery, the battery must be charged up, the camera started and stopped properly and then remove the card. I think this is to make sure all the data is written to memory properly with the indexing up-to-date.

THREE: clean the gold contacts on the card with a pencil eraser. This sometimes kicks dirty or damaged contacts into life.

From reading your letter closely, it looks like the second option is the more likely and the card will need formatting in the camera to get it working properly. There are programs on the net to get damaged data from discs, cd's and memory cards. I've tried a few but the outcomes aren't always positive...It depends how much you want to pay against the real value of the pictures to you.

Submitted by: Martin R.


Post 3

Other additional advice from our members

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator - 1/25/07 4:53 PM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

Answer:

Dear Irene,

I am so sorry to read about your misfortune with your xD-Picture Card. To suddenly lose your Caribbean honeymoon photos, how awful!

When it comes to flash memory, there is a free program called Smart Flash Recovery that I use. You can download it here:

http://www.smartpctools.com/flash_recovery/index1.html

Install the program on your local hard drive as you would any ordinary program. Insert your picture card, then launch the program. I'm assuming your computer has a multi-reader (for different types of memory cards), so you may need to know which letter corresponds to the drive with your xD-Picture Card. But hopefully you won't, as the program automatically detects flash media and singles it out.

In Smart Flash Recovery, click the drop-down button directly below where it says, "Flash drive," select the letter that corresponds to your xD-Picture card, then click "Options." In the new box that pops up, click the button on the right with the ellipsis (...), and choose the location you would like to restore the pictures to (The best place would be in My Pictures or something. Better yet, create a new folder inside My Pictures called "Caribbean Honeymoon [use Windows Explorer to create the folder]." Just make sure you choose a location other than the card itself, otherwise you'll wind up overwriting pictures.), then click "OK." Now click "Save."

Back in the main program, click the "Find" button. In the new window that pops up, verify that the drive letter is the right one, then click "Find" again. Be patient; depending on the total capacity of your card and the speed of the drive, this could take up to a few hours. If an ad window pops up, just click the "Close" button (unless you're interested :-) ). Also, when a "Hint" box pops up, saying the free space is about to be analyzed, click "Yes."

Select the files you want to restore by checking the boxes, click "Restore," then click "Yes." Click the "Close" button, then close the program. Check your restored pictures from their new location. If you are satisfied, you can now format the card and reuse it.

My personal experience with Smart Flash Recovery (and also its cousins, NTFS and FAT) has truly been a positive one, indeed positive enough that I could have justified paying $100 for it. It is my sincerest hope that this program will enable you to successfully recover every last photo from that card. Congratulations and blessings to you and your husband!!!

Submitted by: Eric S.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


Regarding the following (abbreviated) question:

I need your help desperately. I have an xD-Picture Card (memory card) that I'm trying to retrieve my photos from. Normally I just insert the card into my card reader and transfer the photos to my computer. However, this time when I inserted the card into the card reader, it froze my PC so I had to do a cold reboot to get it going again. . . .

I suggest you try the following: Visit the PhotoRescue website at:
http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/index.htm

and download and run their "Demo" program. If it shows that you have "rescuable" photos, buy the program (I suggest the "Wizard" version for $29), for which they send you an activation code to it "unlock" the program for actual recovery. What you see is what you get--the demo actually appears to be essentially the full-fledged program and they guarantee that, if the demo shows recovered photos, buying and unlocking it will recover those photos.

My actual experience: I bought a new Konica Minolta Dimage A2 (my first digital camera) with two 512 MB CF memory cards in June 2004 for a three-week vacation trip in July. Not being totally "up to speed" on the camera, I had one photo that was in the wrong format (I thought)--landscape vs. portrait--and I discovered the "Format" menu item. I applied it to what I thought was that photo on the half-full card (140 odd photos on it at the time). Oh no!!!

I contacted Konica Minolta for help, as follows:

Question is: I accidentally selected FORMAT from a menu. The CF card had (has?) about 100 photo files on it but, of course, they no longer show up in the camera. I shut the camera off immediately, removed the card from the camera, and have not used the card since this happened. Is there any possibility of recovering these photos (file recovery software, on-site service, etc.)? I am fairly computer knowledgeable and have more expert help available, if needed. Thank you for your assistance.

Answer is: Recovery software such as Zero Assumption or Photo Rescue can be used to retrieve deleted files. Konica Minolta cannot support or guarantee these programs.
I sent them a "follow-up" report that reported the happy conclusion:

Thank you for your reply regarding recovering from an accidental format on the Dimage A2. For your information, I tried the free Zero Assumption image recovery software without success: It spent about an hour analyzing the 512 MB CF card and didn’t find anything.

Then I tried the demo of Photo Rescue, which produced thumbnails of all 142 photos on the card in about 15 minutes. I bought the `Wizard` version of this software ($29) using the RegSoft payment option and recovered the photos almost instantly once I entered the registration code to unlock the software. The purchase time, from clicking the link to start the process until I had the E-mail with the code, was only about ten or 15 minutes. Thank you VERY MUCH for your help.

As you can see, I was very happy with Photo Rescue!

A bit of additional info: The recovered photos may not be suitable for reloading onto your camera's memory card. They weren't in my case, as I wrote the Photo Rescue folks:
Thank you for a great product--well worth the $29! I recovered 142 images from my accidentally reformatted 512 MB CF card in only 15 minutes (not counting another 15 minutes to buy and unlock the program).

I have one question: The recovered files cannot be displayed in my Konica-Minolta Dimage A2 after uploading them back to the camera. They are there, but the camera says it cannot display them.

I found that I had to reformat the card after recovery before it would work properly. I tried uploading files (previously downloaded to the computer from a different CF card which didn't need recovery) to the recovered card and they worked properly.

Is there something I did wrong or didn't do or is this due to some change in the file during the recovery process?

Their reply (which arrived only four minutes after I sent the question!):

The camera expects a specific directory structure and a specific set of filenames, different from cameras to cameras of course... That information is lost (if it wasn't the pictures probably wouldn't need to be recovered in the first place) but can be recreated manually if you want. This is however beyond the scope of our program (and very camera specific).
I highly recommend PhotoRescue--it worked for me very quickly and rescued every photo, as I recall.

Regards.

Submitted by: Jerome H. of Gaithersburg, Maryland

***********************************************************************

Answer:


If you touch the gold contacts on the card while handling it, the oil from your fingers can eventually cause problems in the detection of the card by the camera or your computer. Sometimes this can be corrected using a pencil eraser and gently ‘erasing’ any residue from the gold contacts. If it works, avoid touching the gold contacts in the future.

Submitted by: Andrew E.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


I had a similar problem causing serious distress – the family lawyers were being called just about – when I accidentally reformatted a memory card and lost Disney World pictures and many, many more family pictures. I took the card into a great camera store (Henry’s in Toronto –

http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PageDisplay?dest=frames.jsp&currency=CAD&storeId=10001

They have memory card recovery software and were able to retrieve about 99% of the images, including dozens and dozens that I had deleted intentionally previously. No doubt it’s the same software that can recover information off a computer’s hard drive).

Short answer is, therefore, fear not. Take the memory card to a top notch specialized retailer – and hopefully you will have one nearby – and they should be able to solve the problem. My wife wept when I delivered the pack of recovered photos and a CD with all the recovered images, and it was a welcome relief to move back in from the doghouse. Good luck!

Submitted by: Mitch A. of Toronto, Ontario

***********************************************************************

Answer:


Hello,

I had a similar problem. My card reader worked well with Fuji XD cards but not my Olympus M series. This displayed all the errors you describe. In the end I was forced to buy a secondhand Olympus Camedia USB reader/writer called MAUSB-10. This reads all my XD cards. This may not be the only solution of course, but it works for me

I hope this helps.

Submitted by: Pascal

***********************************************************************

Answer:


My first thought would be to check that the card is not locked to prevent loss of any data. On the card, if like most, there should be a little slide that can be moved up and down for this purpose. Like myself , I have made the mistake of moving this slide into the position where nothing can be recorded, moved or tampered with.

I hope this helped.

Submitted by: R. C.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


You cab try to recover the data with the following freeware: http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/welcome.htm.

But this will only work if the card is not fried. There are many other data recovery programs – just Google ‘recover lost data from an SD card.’ If you try EVERYTHING and it fails, go for the format so that you can at least read the card, then run the recovery program. I have done this from a formatted card and got back 30/30 pictures. So long as you do not write more data to the card (you recover the pictures to the hard drive of your PC).

Here is a site on CNet with loads of recovery tools to help you:
http://www.download.com/3120-20-0.html?qt=recover+picture+card&tg=dl-20

Good luck!

Submitted by: Nigel F. of Edmonton, Alberta

***********************************************************************

Answer:


This seemed to solve the problem for a friend of mine recently. I think he used the free demo of one of the programs.

http://www.pcstats.com/ArtVNL.cfm?articleID=1869

Submitted by: Geoff M. of Scotland

***********************************************************************

Answer:


Dear Irene,

I am so sorry to read about your misfortune with your xD-Picture Card. To suddenly lose your Caribbean honeymoon photos, how awful!

When it comes to flash memory, there is a free program called Smart Flash Recovery that I use. You can download it here:

http://www.smartpctools.com/flash_recovery/index1.html

Install the program on your local hard drive as you would any ordinary program. Insert your picture card, then launch the program. I'm assuming your computer has a multi-reader (for different types of memory cards), so you may need to know which letter corresponds to the drive with your xD-Picture Card. But hopefully you won't, as the program automatically detects flash media and singles it out.

In Smart Flash Recovery, click the drop-down button directly below where it says, "Flash drive," select the letter that corresponds to your xD-Picture card, then click "Options." In the new box that pops up, click the button on the right with the ellipsis (...), and choose the location you would like to restore the pictures to (The best place would be in My Pictures or something. Better yet, create a new folder inside My Pictures called "Caribbean Honeymoon [use Windows Explorer to create the folder]." Just make sure you choose a location other than the card itself, otherwise you'll wind up overwriting pictures.), then click "OK." Now click "Save."

Back in the main program, click the "Find" button. In the new window that pops up, verify that the drive letter is the right one, then click "Find" again. Be patient; depending on the total capacity of your card and the speed of the drive, this could take up to a few hours. If an ad window pops up, just click the "Close" button (unless you're interested :-) ). Also, when a "Hint" box pops up, saying the free space is about to be analyzed, click "Yes."

Select the files you want to restore by checking the boxes, click "Restore," then click "Yes." Click the "Close" button, then close the program. Check your restored pictures from their new location. If you are satisfied, you can now format the card and reuse it.

My personal experience with Smart Flash Recovery (and also its cousins, NTFS and FAT) has truly been a positive one, indeed positive enough that I could have justified paying $100 for it. It is my sincerest hope that this program will enable you to successfully recover every last photo from that card. Congratulations and blessings to you and your husband!!!

Submitted by: Eric S.

***********************************************************************

Answer:


Hi, try putting the memory card into a printer and transfer the photos that way. The readers in the printers seem to be more reliable.

Submitted by: Laurie O.


Post 4

There's always this option

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator - 1/25/07 3:18 PM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

Answer:

I'm really sorry to hear about this Irene. I don't have a technical solution for you, but to only suggest going on your honeymoon again. :-)

Submitted by: Barb P.

*********************************
Answer:


Now there's your excuse to go on your honeymoon again!

Submitted by: Kirk

*********************************
Answer:


Go on your honeymoon again...

Submitted by: John M.

*********************************
Answer:


Most probably it is problem with the card. I suggest to visit some pro in this field, there is some equipment needed to fix this.

Or - buy new card and give the pleasure to both your wife and you - visit the Carribean once more! ;)

Submitted by: Oskars E.

*********************************
Answer:


Sorry for your trouble. However, ditching the old card for a new one and taking a second honeymoon is always an option. MAKING memories always beats reminiscing.

Submitted by: R. W. T.


Post 5

Recovery software recommendations from our members

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator - 1/25/07 6:03 PM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

Below is a list of photo recovery utilities recommended by our members. The software titles are ranked according to how many members pitched these titles in their submissions.

1. PC Inspector Smart Recovery

2. Photo Rescue

3. CardRecovery

4. Zero Assumption Recovery

5. BadCopy

6. Smart Flash Recovery

7. MediaRECOVER


Post 6

File Scavenger from Que-tek

by MarjAZ58 - 1/26/07 7:16 AM
In reply to: Recovery software recommendations from our members by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

I can whole-heartedly recommend this software for data recovery. I have not used it on photo cards, but have recovered data from CDs, flash drives, and a damaged hard drive and it worked like a miracle! It is well worth the $49.00 for the personal license.


Post 7

Avoidance techniques

by TonyGore - 1/26/07 1:49 AM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

Many people have posted how to solve the problem, but I thought it might be useful for a few people to know how I try to preserve pictures e.g. my son's wedding.

Firstly, I have a Canone EOS (Compact Flash) and my wife has a smaller Canon (SD). Unlike film, taking duplicate pictures only costs money when you print out (to a first approximation).

I have two cards for both cameras; rather than waiting until a memory card is full, I swap the memory cards at a convenient point in the picture taking. This lessens the risk of a card being the single point of failure.

As luck would have it, I have a Fujitsu-Siemens Loox PDA. This just happens to have both a CF and an SD slot. Thus, I can also copy pictures from one card to the other - a crude way of both checking the pictures and making a backup.

For my son's wedding, I also had the laptop along in the hotel, and wrote the pictures out to CD between the wedding and the reception, saved them on the laptop hard disk, and also used a small portable USB disk as yet another copy. These were all put in different places in our luggage in the hotel - to guard against loss through theft.

As I tell my IT customers, all people fall into two categories

- those who have lost data

- those who will

I hope that Lee is able to get his photos back - other posts have covered what I would have suggested, but for those who have yet to lose their pictures, especially anyone who is planning a priceless event, maybe some of my suggestions may help them take precautions.

By the way, at least there are techniques. I once returned from a trip to Hawaii (a long way from the UK) to find that one old fashioned film was faulty. Fortunately, we had some pictures on a digital camera - not the same quality, but better than no pictures at all. I sometimes snap additional pictures on my mobile phone - not great quality, but if it is a case of no picture at all, it at least preserves the memory.


Post 8

Do you???

by r_rayjr - 1/26/07 2:08 AM
In reply to: Avoidance techniques by TonyGore

I do not have anything else to suggest trying to get your pictures back. But I was just wondering, do you usually use the same disk over and over again?

If so I would recommend that if possible when ever you download from the card to your computer to to do a full format of your card after you are sure that you put a copy of all of your picture onto your Computer.

My Aunt who was having problems getting picture off of a couple SD cards. I was able to get some of the pictures off and then taking it to the photo place at Walmarts they were able to take a couple more off the cards. The card some how became corrupted. But after getting as many of the picture off the card that I could I did a full Format of the card a couple times to make sure that the card was all cleared as mush as possible. Because as you may have read in some of your post even after formatting your card or even a floppy disk or hard drive, you can recover stuff from them as long as nothing was written on the card/drive/disk. So since I got every picture off of the card that I could get. I did like 3 full formats to write over everything, including the area that was corrupted. My Aunt has not had a problem withe any of the cards so far. I told her to try and do at least one full format everytime she downloads from the card to the computer to clear all picture from her card to reuse the card in the camera again.


Post 9

Data recovery

by foxhaven - 1/26/07 2:42 AM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

In the past I have used Convar <http://www.convar.com/default.htm?Language=1> to good effect.

Cheers Barry GB


Post 10

Retrieve your memory card

by Gunawan Budihardjo - 1/26/07 2:56 AM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

Hi Irene,
I have once experienced the same incident as yours, you might try this.
Put your card in and try to scan it with an anti virus because it might that when you plug it in the computer it was hit by a virus.
Also clean your computer at the same time. After that try again, I hope it will work this time.


Post 11

YES!!! THat reminds me!!!

by r_rayjr - 1/26/07 3:15 AM
In reply to: Retrieve your memory card by Gunawan Budihardjo

You might want to do what this person said, check for viruses. I forgot all about this. Also take your camera, and if you have an new or unused card put it in the camera and take a few pictures with it, then take and put it in you card reader and do a scan on this card.

After reading this remark about virus, it reminded me that a year or two ago there was a few items that shipped from the factory that uses SD cards and it some how was shipped with viruses in the product. I could be wrong, but I think on of the things was a camera. But I do remember reading that some of these companies had a recall because of this and fixed these items that had the viruses in them that was being downloaded onto computer thru the SD cards when used in the products and then taken out of the product and placed the SD card in the computer card reader. For a while they tried to say that the viruses was in the SD card, but it later turned out that the virus some how was in the different products and being loaded onto the SD card when the product was used.

So anyway, I would check this by doing as I said above take a new unused SD card and take a few pictures and then put it in you computer card reader and DO NOT DOWNLOAD it yet, but instead scan it with your Anti-Virus Program to make sure that a virus in not in your camera. If you do not have a new, unused SD card,then scan an empty card in the reader and check it first to make sure it does not have a virus on it, and if all clear use in your camera to take a couple unimporant picture, and then rescan in your card reader to check for viruses. If it turns out that there is a virus in you camera, I would contact the camera's manufacture and tell them what is going on and see what can be done.

Good luck with the camera, and getting your pictures!!!


Post 12

picture recovery

by steve_lyt - 1/26/07 5:02 AM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

if you can still see the pictures on your camera
yo may be able to copy from there by using a usb cable

hope this helps


Post 13

Try MediaRecover

by shepujw - 1/26/07 5:29 AM
In reply to: picture recovery by steve_lyt

Irene,

I feel your pain. Something similar happened to me, but the problem was on my hard drive. I lost all of my photos past August of last year. I downloaded the trial version of MediaRecover. After a scan I went through the files one by one and seen that it found some so I bought the $29.95 version.

I let it run again and it found around 90% of my lost images. I even tried the software on a SD memory card after I formatted it and it found all of the images.

My suggestion is to download the trial version of their software and see if it finds anything. The best part about their software is that it shows a thumbnail of the recovered images. A lot of the other software that I tried did not do this. If you are able to see any thumbnails of your images, buy the software and recover your photos. $29.95 is a very low price to pay to recover priceless memories.

Good Luck!


Post 14

Picture Card Recovery

by Jim Griggs - 1/26/07 5:38 AM
In reply to: picture recovery by steve_lyt

I just bought a 4gb SanDisk Extreme III card and it came with a recovery disk in the package. You might call SanDisk for help and get a copy the recovery software. If all else fails call a data recovery company. It will cost but they have special methods for recovery.

Also, I had this happen to a cf card and tried a different computer with a different card reader and it worked.


Post 15

Recover My Files

by Many - 1/26/07 6:25 AM
In reply to: 1/26/07 Help! I can't retrieve my honeymoon photos from my memory card! by Lee Koo (ADMIN) Moderator

I have been lucky with Recover My Files at www.recovermyfiles.com



See more posts from this thread on CNET forums: Community Newsletter: Q&A