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How to rescue photos from a formatted or damaged memory card.

It's happened to most of us; accidentally formatted a memory card, inexplicably corrupted - either way - this is what to do and what you need, to recover your photos for free.
5 years ago, August 18th 2011 No: 21 Msg: #142019  

In response to: Msg #84970

I just used Zero Assumption Recovery to try to recover my corrupt SDHC card but then as I got to the step to save the files my pc display went dead and I couldn't get it back up. After I restarted the computer I tried ZAR again but this time instead of data fragments it's all become red dots (bad sectors)... I tried a different card reader but still the same, any advice/help?

Devastated... Reply to this

5 years ago, December 8th 2011 No: 22 Msg: #148513  
I have used memory card recovery software to recover accidentally deleted photos from my CF card. This software can also recover lost photos from different types of memory cards like MMC, XD cards, CF cards, SD cards, memory stick etc. This software also has an ability to recover lost photos from accidentally formatted memory cards. Along with photos, this software can also recover lost audios, videos, text files etc from memory cards. You can download free demo version of this software, where you can preview recovered photos. If you find your lost or deleted photos then you can use full version to save recovered photos. Reply to this

5 years ago, December 27th 2011 No: 23 Msg: #149394  
Formatting won't make the files on a memory card erase permanently.Those erased photos are still stored on your memory card, it's just invisible or inaccessible.You can recover them with memory card recovery software. But once the deleted photos were overwritten by new data,they are gone for good.
I used this one and it worked.Anyway,you can download it and scan your memory card for free to preview whether your photos can be recovered.By the way,it will show you the file name,type,date and size of your files and thumbnails for your photos that it found on your card.Give it a shot!
Here is a helpful tutorial for you.
How to Recover Photos from Memory Card?
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5 years ago, December 27th 2011 No: 24 Msg: #149398  
B Posts: 5,181
Lots of replies on this from people representing their software.

TIP: Try the free options first!

For most of us - this will be a one off event - not worth paying to fix - for those working in data-recovery or PC repair - please support software developers and buy the software after researching which is best.

Good luck! Reply to this

5 years ago, February 20th 2012 No: 25 Msg: #152150  
N Posts: 7
I have a flash memory, capable of withstanding are different extreme conditions , so I'm copying all data from a flash card at first, as possible. Reply to this

5 years ago, March 21st 2012 No: 26 Msg: #153526  
Try Wondershare Photo Recovery. It's free for 30 days. They offer both Windows & Mac version. You can preview how the photos appear when recovered before hitting the "Recover" button. Details here:http://www.wondershare.com/data-recovery/photo-recovery.html Reply to this

5 years ago, July 20th 2012 No: 27 Msg: #158998  
N Posts: 1
Hi, thanks for the advice. I had a problem where my SD card was actually snapped. Thankfully http://recoverfab.com managed to recover all the pictures for me! So don't give up hope! All may not be lost. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 21st 2012 No: 28 Msg: #162322  
In my experience, there are two kinds of data loss from SD card. The first is a simple case of the files being logically deleted or formatted, and this can be easily fixed. In this case, the actual files are still present on the memory card, but cannot be properly read by the camera or default software. There are many free or inexpensive pieces of software which will allow your computer to access the files, such as zero assumption recovery (http://www.z-a-recovery.com/) and wondershare photo recovery (http://www.wondershare.co.uk/data-recovery/).
The second is a technical fault with the SD card, meaning it cannot be read at all. You'll know if you have this problem, because even when trying to use one of the pieces of software mentioned above, it will not even recognise the memory card. For example, it may say 'unknown device' or something similar. In this case, there is probably a fault with the controller, which means that no software will be able to read it.

There is, however, a solution. There is a company called Recoverfab (http://recoverfab.com/) who are based in Germany. What they do is to actually open up the SD card and solder the memory chips onto another form of reader in order to read the data. This gets around the problem of the faulty controller. They then save the files from the memory chips and send it to you via FTP or via a DVD. Understandably, it's more expensive than just a software based recovery, but they got back many photos that are very precious to me when I thought the situation was lost, and I don't know of any other companies who offer the same service. Reply to this

4 years ago, January 11th 2013 No: 29 Msg: #165058  
When you delete pictures (or any files) from a memory card or USB memory device the data itself isn't deleted, just the file system pointers that says where the data for those files is located. The area where the deleted picture data was stored is also now marked as free space so it is available to the system for any new files to be written there instead.

If and when that happens, then it is not too late to recover your deleted pictures, try this way: http://www.any-data-recovery.com/product/photo-recovery.htm Reply to this

4 years ago, May 28th 2013 No: 30 Msg: #171151  
I had the similar problem last time with my digital camera's memory card, suddenly shows memory card not formatted error, I did a lot of research and tried many software including those mentioned above, but none of them worked before I found this memory card error solution. You may see it from:
Fix memory card error and get back files

hope that this helps if you also encounter memory card error problem. Reply to this

3 years ago, August 6th 2013 No: 31 Msg: #173757  
In my experience, there are two kinds of data loss from SD card. The first is spoken about in this article, and can be solved using software. However, my problem was that my card could not be read by any software, it just said 'unknown device'. I just purchased Vibosoft card data recovery, i have to say it really perfectly, I'd like to share it with others.http://www.vibosoft.com/disk-utility/retrieve-photos-from-formatted-micro-sd.html

I was looking at about 600 photos. I had taken half last week in Bali, and the rest at a Drag Racing meet. Had some really great photos. While viewing them, don't really know what happened, but it said my card was not formatted. Couldn't veiw them on computor or camera. All recovered now. Worked a treat.
[Edited: 2013 Aug 06 17:25 - Tinashuffle:271724 ]
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3 years ago, February 6th 2014 No: 32 Msg: #179148  
Recover lost photos from formatted damaged memory card, I suggest safe and risk-free solution, you can use Kernel for Digital Media Recovery Tool. This software is one of the top file recovery utility for sd card, memory card, cf card recovery . It supports almost all memory card including SD Card, CF Card, xD Picture Card, Memory Stick, MicroDrive, SmartMedia Card, MMC, MicroSD, MiniSD, SDHC. For more details : http://digitalmediarecovery.blogspot.com/2013/12/recover-corrupt-photos.html Reply to this

17 months ago, February 13th 2016 No: 33 Msg: #195265  
Well there are lots of way to rescue your data from a formatted or damaged memory card. In this case, you can also make use of Card Data Recovery Software. This is the best recovery tool to recover deleted data from formatted or damaged memory card very easily in just a few steps. Please follow the link below to get your data back:

http://www.carddata-recovery.com/blog/how-to-recover-photos-from-erased-or-damaged-memory-cards Reply to this

16 months ago, March 18th 2016 No: 34 Msg: #195735  
Try this. worked for me and even got back data I lost Reply to this

16 months ago, March 21st 2016 No: 35 Msg: #195765  
You can try <snip>file recovery software. Download and install from the website.
[Edited: 2016 Mar 22 06:40 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No URL addresses please]
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14 months ago, May 24th 2016 No: 36 Msg: #196673  
As for me, I always use card data recovery tool, it is such digital media recovery software that is specially tailored to recover deleted, formatted or lost photos, videos & audio files from a variety of CF Cards (produced by SanDisk, Samsung, PNY, Kingston, KingMax, Canon etc.) and types (Extreme I, II, III, IV, Ultra I, II and Standard) on the market. Note: the file preview function enables you to see scanned files, pictures etc in advance without getting them recovered.

For more you can visit: <snip>
[Edited: 2016 May 24 16:53 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No URL's please]
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11 months ago, August 26th 2016 No: 37 Msg: #197829  
I have used memory card recovery software to recover lost photos from CF cards. This software is able to recognize and recover different types of files based on their unique signature. This software also supports different types of memory cards like MMC, SD cards, XD cards etc. If you have accidentally formatted your CF card then also you can use this software to recover lost photos from CF cards. First, you can download free demo version, which will display a list of recovered photos. If you find your lost photos in that recovered data list then you can use full version of this software to save recovered data.
[Edited: 2016 Aug 26 12:29 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No URL's allowed]
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7 months ago, November 29th 2016 No: 38 Msg: #198844  
Any moment you may get into situation of data loss because of reason such as accidental deletion, virus attack, improper handling, card damage, and things like that and you may lose access to important files stored on your camera. If you come across any sort of data corruption issue then do not panic and stop using your device until you recover your previous files because new data can overwrite previous data and remove the chances of recovery. The best option for this situation is Card Data Recovery Tool which is professionally formulated to restore lost, deleted or formatted data from SD card on Mac or Windows.
[Edited: 2016 Nov 29 11:45 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No URL's allowed]
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7 months ago, November 29th 2016 No: 39 Msg: #198847  
In response to: Msg #38295
"Good to see your post on data recovery software list. It is a very helpful information for the users. I would also like to suggest you one more best data recovery software name as Disk Drill data recovery software (available at <snip>, which can recover data from formatted or damaged hard drive.

[Edited: 2016 Nov 29 12:43 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No URL's allowed]
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7 months ago, December 21st 2016 No: 40 Msg: #199066  
In response to: Msg #38295
I am not actually a big fab of recuva. I was trying to recover some of my important raw camera files but none of them actually recovered them all. Some were not able to read it, some read only a few of them. The only software that seemed to work for me was Disk Drill, definitely better than others! Try <snip>
[Edited: 2016 Dec 21 13:02 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No URL's allowed]
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