Sd card!lost photos!

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 35,758
Re: Sd card!lost photos!

dvennor wrote:

dear all, this is a cry for help!i have a transcend 32 gb sd card with some most treasured wildlife shots on.about two years worth and like the idiot I am I didn’t save them else where.Now unfortunately the canon camera won’t read it, neither will the laptop. No evidence of physical damage to it, the lock button is off. Even bought a card reader for the lap top thinking it may be the computer but still nothing!would really appreciate some advice as I really don’t want to lose those pictures! Many thanks

Try all the available card recovery programs, but if the card cannot be "seen" by the computer, then there is a problem. Best now is to put the write lock switch on while using recovery programs, off again if attempting a quick format of course.

Cards (and SSD drives) are fragile things in that their memory fades over time and fades without power applied occasionally - but that is a long time indeed. Your card seems to have simply developed a fault, which also can happen to any card at any time, but relatively rare if a good brand and not some eBay cheap clone fake.

First step is to determine the behaviour of your camera. Get a good card, format it in the camera, then take some new pictures and format it again in camera and then test the various recovery programs to see if they can find your new shots (as well as old stuff that will still be on the card).

If that works then you know that the camera does not destroy the images when it formats, or if the card undergoes a quick format in the computer. Just the filenames are lost.

That all leads up to - if the computer cannot even "see" the card at all then some attempt to do a quick format on the card via a camera could get it "seen" again to allow the recovery programs to work.

All I know is that Sony cameras destroy the data when they format but most other cameras leave it safe and simply destroy the file references to where the files are.

That is what the recovery programs do, read all sectors and reconstruct any files found and give them new sequential numbering. Some recovery programs are not so clever with video files or with raw files so it may take a few trials to get one to do what you want.

Most have a free trial that may show you what's there but then have to pay to actually get the files safe. There may be free ones that can do the job.

In very early days with my Olympus cameras and those dreadful xD cards I had many problems and the xD cards at times became completely unreadable by camera or computer. They needed to be formatted to recover, and in those days I found that a Fuji compact was the only camera that could format the xD card so it could be used again or recovery attempted.

So somehow getting the card to the state where a camera or a computer can actually "see" that it is a card may be your main problem.

Sometimes tricky things like that can be solved by using the Disk Management program in Windows but I've never had to deal with a bad card for years so don't know what to expect with it.

The usual "too late" advice is never ever trust cards for long term storage, back them up to multiple places each night or end of each session and start again with a camera format of the card. Try to avoid deleting images in the field as it can make the card progressively more messy.

If your card ever does recover, mark it and never use it again as it is always a case of "one strike and you are out" with cards. Maybe if it happily passes a full long slow format where it writes to every sector and wipes out everything then it could be set aside as an emergency spare but never to be trusted again.

I wish you good luck!

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