SD card pic recovery - help - not the usual

Soldato
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Hi guys

I've got an SD card that I need to recover the pictures from BUT...

It's not the usual answer I'm afraid...I've already tried three programs for recovering the photos and all have failed because the card can't be seen by Windows...when it's sat in the card reader it just says to "insert a removeable disk in the drive".

Anyone any ideas how I can get the card to be read at all?
 
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You wouldnt happen to be trying to use a SDHC card in a non compatible sdhc card reader would you? - thats the error it would give if that was the case.
 
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Zero Assumption Recovery has a dedicated memory card recovery section, though I presume it too is reliant on Windows seeing the drive first.

There's a free trial (whether it lets you recovery or just tells you whether you can or not, I don't know), but it's worth the small fee necessary to buy it. Best recovery software I've used by some distance.
 
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damn, i swore that would be the problem :/ - good luck though, could it not be however just very busted and therefore non readable?
 
Soldato
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What you could try doing is putting the sd card in a digi cam and formating it to see if Windows recognises it. Or try right clicking the drive and performing a quick format within Windows. 99% of the time you can recover data after a format however try this as a last resort though.
 
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Thanks very much for the posts and suggestions guys, I'll give them a go this evening.

I can't say I fancy the idea of formatting it again, especially as it's not my card! :eek:

Fingers crossed on the software!
 
Soldato
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Curses curses curses

Well I've tried all those programs to no avail unfortunately...ZAR in particular looks like a very good indepth program but none of them can see the card because Windows can't see the card.

I've just looked at Windows disk management and it's showing nothing there either...drive just appears empty :(

Any ideas?
 
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Thanks very much for the posts and suggestions guys, I'll give them a go this evening.

I can't say I fancy the idea of formatting it again, especially as it's not my card! :eek:

Fingers crossed on the software!

I've recovered data from a hard drive that has been formatted 3-4x after the original data was on there. I had even written several GBs of data to the drive before trying to recover but I could still recover pictures. Formatting doesn't do much damage to data. I had It's when you actually overwrite the data by zeroing the hard drive or use a program to write over the drive. I assume it's the same with flash memory.

Curses curses curses

Well I've tried all those programs to no avail unfortunately...ZAR in particular looks like a very good indepth program but none of them can see the card because Windows can't see the card.

I've just looked at Windows disk management and it's showing nothing there either...drive just appears empty :(

Any ideas?

Sounds like the SD card might be knackered :(. Have you tried the SD card in a digi cam or similar device, do they recognise and 'accept' the card?
 
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Associate
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Dowload the trial version of r studio from rtt - it may see the data regardless of the os not seeing the cardeven after many formats - per the post above...http://www.r-studio.com/

Also leave the card in the reader for as long as you can - many hours, it may eventually show up in windows.
 
Soldato
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Many thanks for all the help and advice guys, this is the situation so far...

Tried the card in all the software recommended as well as three other pieces of recovery software...no joy. Not surprising really as Windows can't see it.

I have tried the card in a camcorder that accepts SD cards to take stills and it just comes up with "card error" so it knows it's there, and also that there is a problem with it...this is progress, it's the first device that's picked it up!
(I tested the card on two card readers as well to make sure it wasn't the reader at fault).

The camcorder will format the card...this leaves me with an interesting dilemma...

Is Meatballs idea of formatting it a stroke of unbridled genius?
Or will formatting it completely kill any chance of getting anything back...I'm fairly sure that formatting won't overwrite much, just make the card reuseable again...and theoretically I should be able to recover the images then.

Or...should the card be sent to one of those fancy but eye wateringly expensive data recovery places such as Ontrack.

Dilemma!
 

Pho

Pho

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Provided it's only a 'quick format' and not a 'deep format' (or rather, one which attempts to destroy all data) you should be fine. Once formatted don't try and take any pictures, put it straight in your PC to maximise your chances.

edit: don't blame me if it goes wrong though :o
 
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Associate
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I think you have nothing to fear in formatting the card, then windows may recognise it and then most of the software mentioned above will have a good chance of recovering files - I have recovered files after may formats, it writes you have to worry about.

As to whether you send it to a data recovery specialist - up to you, I don't think any of them are cheap.
 
Soldato
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I think formatting is going to be the only options, I'd just like to clarify on format options...looking at what Microsoft say:

"When you choose to run a regular format on a volume, files are removed from the volume that you are formatting and the hard disk is scanned for bad sectors. The scan for bad sectors is responsible for the majority of the time that it takes to format a volume.

If you choose the Quick format option, format removes files from the partition, but does not scan the disk for bad sectors. Only use this option if your hard disk has been previously formatted and you are sure that your hard disk is not damaged."

Source - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=302686

When it says "files are removed from the volume", it just means marking them for deletion doesn't it...?
 
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