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TRANSLATOR TRADUCTOR अनुवादक TRADUCTEUR TAGASALIN ÜBERSETZER

TRANSLATOR TRADUCTOR अनुवादक TRADUCTEUR TAGASALIN ÜBERSETZER

Monday, December 10, 2007

2014 Best Free Photo Recovery Software (Really, No-Kidding!)

(Article last updated February 23, 2014)

If this information helps you, please pay it forward, and share this article with others who may be experiencing the same problem.   Your help in sharing will be appreciated, and karma will prevail!

The photo recovery software listed here are truly "no-kidding" freeware.  Try any of the eight below linked freeware photo recovery software programs. With this software, it's usually no problem at all to recover your lost pictures and videos.  There's no catch. They are, no-kidding, FREE, and have been verified by CNET to be safe for your computer.   

For those of you with corrupted memory cards, or state that a format is required, please scroll down and see the corrupted card located procedures near the bottom of this article. 

Note that these programs may require the use of a card reader, so think about getting one if you don't have one already. They're VERY inexpensive these days, and may be found on Amazon). What's a card reader? See this other article on card readers from the blog.

Example USB SD Card Reader ( $2 with shipping on Amazon)
If you own a camera, there's no reason not to own one of these!


For Mac Users: One of the listed programs works on both PC's and Mac's (PhotoRec).  PhotoRec is an excellent program, and will likely recover your files.  If PhotoRec doesn't interest you, then see this blog review of other data recovery freeware for the Mac.

PC Free Recovery Software Performance Comparison
The below listed table outlines the current results of performance comparison of the software listed on this site. This comparison was made using an old 64MB SD card that had been previously erased, formatted, and reused many times. I no longer use this card, and hold onto it only so that I can run head to head comparisons of recovery software. I utilized "deep scan", "surface scan", or "intensive mode" where applicable/selectable, to give each software its best shot at recovery.


And here's my video review of this software.
 

IMPORTANT point to remember before using any of these programs:  Always remember to save your recovered files onto a different memory device than the problem device.  This will prevent accidentally overwriting your lost files before the program has had a chance to recover them.  For example, if your lost photos are on a SD memory card, set the program to save your recovered files onto your computer's hard drive or a flash thumb drive, and NOT back onto the same memory card.

If you have trouble installing any of these programs with Vista or Windows 7, remember to right-click on their installation file and select "Run as Administrator".
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#1: PhotoRec by CGSecurity.org (Windows 2000 though 7, Linux, Mac OS X and many more)
This is absolutely by far the most powerful and most effective freeware photo recovery software that you can find/use. As expected, in the performance comparison it came out on top. It not only recovered all photos, but also their thumbnail files. It also found one additional mp3 file that MiniTool missed. The only drawback of PhotoRec is that it does not have a graphic user interface, and is command line prompted (thus it's portability across many operating systems).
FREE PHOTO RECOVERY PHOTOREC
This may scare the average person from using it. They shouldn't be, as it is not too difficult to use. As proof, please see the following tutorial on how to use PhotoRec for  photo and video recovery.  You'll see that it can be easy.  The latest version of the PhotoRec may be downloaded directly from CGSecurity here. The program also comes bundled with another program (TestDisk) which isn't really needed for photo recovery (ignore it if you're only interested in recovering photos from your memory card). But it is a superb program for those of you attempting data recovery of your hard drive or other devices.
PhotoRec Video Tutorial


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#4: Digicam Photo Recovery (Windows 95 through 7)
Digicam Photo Recovery used to be here.  Unfortunately, Digicam has gone payware since when this article was originally listed, and as such has been removed from this article.  But this spot is being left open, as there are several other freeware candidates that I plan to include here in the near future. 



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#2: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition (Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7)
This software came out in 2011, and I have to admit, it is very good. Note that this program allows 1GB of recovery for free, but anything more requires the payware version I've  listed it in this article as 1GB may be satisfactory for most people.  Ran a performance comparison of all the listed software, and it came in second, recovering nearly all known deleted images, videos and mp3's on the card. Albeit, it did miss some unneeded thumbnail files and a single mp3 that PhotoRec caught. But it remains one of my favorites as it's almost as powerful as PhotoRec, yet has an excellent GUI that should make it easy for the average person to use. It's also very quick, and relatively easy to use. You may download MiniTool Data Recovery Software from the vendor here. Again 1GB of recovery is free, and any more requires the payware version. And here are simple instructions that I've written showing how to use the program.

FREE PHOTO RECOVERY MINITOOL



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#3: VAIOSoft Recovery Manager (Windows 95 through XP)
If none of the above options worked for you, then here's another fine example in free recovery software. Not as simple as some of the others, but it definitely gets the job done. In fact, it came in third in my performance comparison of recovery software! It was able to recover all the known deleted images on the card as well as 4 known erased mp3's. However, one of the recovered images may have data from a video embedded into it due to its unusally large file size. But still, this program did better than most others evaluated. It's 3.2 megs in size and requires an install. Although CNET says it's good for up to Windows XP, I was able to install and run it on Windows 7. Download VAIOSoft Recovery Software from Yahoo here. Windows 7 useres, remember to right-click and run as administrator for this type of installation. And here are some simple instructions that I've written showing how to use this program.
FREE PHOTO RECOVERY VAIOSOFT



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#5: PC Inspector Smart Recovery (Windows 95 through 7)
NOTE Windows 7 users must right-click and select "Run as Administrator".
Had to add this one to the list. This will recover files from flash card reader, hard drive, or just about any drive (but not directly from a camera). It's slower than all of the above BUT and I mean BUT this software is thorough. This one will very likely work in recovering your photos if the others had failed. It was able to recover all known images on the card. However, one of these images obviously has other data embedded with it due to its large file size. The program was not able to recover the known deleted "MOV" video on the card, and does not have mp3 recovery capability. As such, it came in as #5 for still being able to recover all of the known deleted images. You can download PC Inspector Photo Recovery Software from the vendor hereWindows 7 users, remember to right-click and run as administrator for this type of installation.  And here's some instructions.

PHOTO RECOVERY PC INSPECTOR



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#6: Recuva (Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7)
This software package includes a good Wizard interface. The program is good, and will likely recover (Recuva?) your files. But for best results with this program, I found that I needed to select "Switch to Advanced Mode", and then adjust the "Actions" tab settings. Once I did that, previously missing files would suddenly show up with this program. But even with "advanced mode" and running a "Deep Scan", the program was only able to recover 6 of the known 10 images. Although ranked #6, it performs at a tie with Pandora, which also ran a "Surface Scan" to recover the same 6 images as Recuva did. You may download Recuva from its vendor here. And here are some instructions for its use.

FREE PHOTO RECOVERY RECUVA




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#7: Pandora Recovery (Windows 2000, XP, and Vista only)
This one is also good and works under Vista too, which is always a plus. You can do intensive deep scans for those deleted photos from long ago (though it will take time, results will vary), or you can do simple scans for those easily recovered recently deleted files. This tied with Pandora, as it was only able to recover 6 of the 10 images on the card. You can read about Pandora's features here. And you can download Pandora Recovery from SoftPedia here.

FREE PHOTO RECOVERY PANDORA



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#8: SoftPerfect File Recovery (Windows 95 through Vista)
Ahhh, the beauty of simplicity (can work with most OS)! This one is very tiny (276kb) and recovers any file type by specifying searches for "*.jpg", "*.avi", "*.mov" etc... It's very fast too! It's a single executable file that does not require installation. Controls are simple and minimal. Manually highlight the files that are to be recovered, and right click to save them to a folder. Unfortunately, this program seems to work best (and maybe only) for recently deleted files. Also unfortunately, it wasn't able to recover any of the photos on the 64MB test card, possibly because I had done a quick format in the past with this card. As such, it may not be capable of recovery for anything more than simple deleted files. But for most people who just accidentally hit the delete button, that's all they may need. So it still may be of use, and I keep it listed here. Download SoftPerfect File Recovery from its vendor here.

FREE PHOTO RECOVERY SOFTPERFECT




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Now that you know how, go recover those "lost" pics of Aunt Lucy! Also, please remember to vote in the poll in the right column on which software worked best.
Thanks and Good Luck!
CR



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Corrupted Card Procedures
or For Memory Cards that state that formatting is required.
The following describes procedures for those with corrupted cards. Most of you should not need to conduct these procedures. These procedure are intended only for people with cards that are not being recognized by either the computer or the camera, with either stating that a format of the card is required. If you do conduct these procedures, please leave a comment stating how they worked (or did not) work for you. These procedures are new, and I'm still modifying them for this article:
It is common for a memory card to become corrupted. This usually occurs if the card had never been formatted prior to use in your camera. It may work fine at first, but with time, as many files are added, problems with the card will inevitably crop up. There are several other reasons for a card to corrupt, but the above is the most common.
When a card corrupts, files may start to disappear that you know are on the card. Sometimes the card may also become totally unrecognizable by both your camera and computer. You may receive notification from both that the card requires formatting. You may become alarmed that if you do format the card, you might not be able to recover your pictures.
In actuality, it all depends on the type of format that you conduct. A FAT32 "Quick Format" conducted on your PC will not overwrite the data on the card. Thus recovery is still possible using the recovery software listed in this article. Similarly, if your camera allows you to DESELECT "low level" format, then you should also be able to recover your files after a non-low level format (CAUTION: "low level" format WILL overwrite your files. Stated again, it's important to deselect or uncheck "low level" format in the camera menus).
The following illustrates the steps to take for either your PC or your camera (A Canon is used for this example) to conduct a format that will still allow you to recover your files. Before proceeding, if you're using a SD card, ensure that your memory card's write switch is in its upper "unlocked" position. Then insert the card into your camera, or your computer (using a card reader).
Lock Switch in Upper "Unlocked" Position
Camera Quick Format
If using a camera, find the format menu in your camera. It's usually in the "tools" or "settings" menu. If unsure where its at, look for a selection that states you cards memory size and select it.

Camera Format Menu Selection

Look in the camera's menu to see if it has the ability to deselect (uncheck) "low level" format. Uncheck this selection, and then select and conduct a format. If your menu does not allow you to deselect "low level", then look for a "Quick Format" option. If your camera's menu doesn't have either option, it might be better to skip this step (avoiding an inadvertent low level format) and instead proceed to quick formatting by using your PC. Once your camera completes its quick format, attempt to recover your photos using any of the software listed above.

Low Level Format shown UNCHECKED in menu
PC Quick Format
Your card can also be quick formatted in your PC. But after you've recovered your photos, you should still format the card in your camera to prevent this from happening again. Place your card in a card reader, and if using a USB reader, insert the card and reader into your PC. Wait for the reader to be recognized by your PC. Once your reader is recognized, right click on its selection in "My Computer" or "Computer", and select format.
Once the format menu comes up, double check that the card reader is actually selected in the upper bar of the menu, and that you didn't accidentally select one of your other drives (that would be very bad). Once you verify that the card reader is showing in the menu, select "Quick Format" by checking the box in the menu, and then press start.


Quick Format Box "CHECKED"

Once the quick format is completed, you should be able to directly proceed to recover your files using the card in the reader with the software listed above. AFTER you've successfully recovered your photos/videos, remember to format the card once again IN YOUR CAMERA using the camera's format feature. This may help prevent what just happened to you from reoccurring again in the future.
CR

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

You saved my life! My mother would have killed me. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

sigh, the 3 sites didnt help..hopefully thelast one does...

Anonymous said...

Incredible. This saved me from the indefinite wrath of my wife. I will never touch her camera again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have no idea what happened to my pictures. All but four were gone. This has brought most of them back. The ones I really wanted were some of the first recovered.

Tp said...

A great soft is TESTDISK/PHOTOREC.it recovers ANY data accidentally erased from FLASH/MEMORY cards and HARDDRIVES (MICRODRIVES).TESTDISK
is freeware but is some hard to use if not reads the instruccions,but makes a great work!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TestDisk

sorry for my bad english,is not my native languaje.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million. SoftPerfect File Recovery worked a treat, I managed to retreive most of my photos.

Christie's Commentary said...

do you know of any programs compatible with macs?

Anonymous said...

Windowns cant see my card at all, and my camera says card error, can anyone help Please

Camera Repair said...

anonymous,
Did you try the program "PC Inspector Smart Recovery" listed in the article above. It supposedly will still scan your card even if windows will not recognize it. You will need to use a card reader with this program.

CR

Anonymous said...

I accidentally hit "OK" rather than "Cancel" and began the formatting process BUT cancelled it. The MB's used still reflect the original content, however I have taken two more pics. Do I have hope? Shall I attempt recovery? Thank YOU!

Camera Repair said...

Of course there's hope. You may have lost some of your photos, but you may still be able to recover more than you lost. As mentioned above, recommend starting first with PC Inspector Smart Recovery.

CR

morpheo said...

PC-inspector _does_ read from a camera - IF the camera can be put in harddrive-mode. (the nikon d300 does it without any complaints)

amateur photog said...

I've been successfully downloading photos from my Sony Cybershot DSC-W150 for several months, and all of a sudden iPhoto is saying "there are no items to import", when there are lots of pics still on the camera. I tried a card reader with the same results.
Help please!

Camera Repair said...

amateur photog,
First attempt to recover the photos using "PC Inspector Smart Recovery" in conjunction with a card reader. This program will definitely recover your photos as long as you did not conduct a low level format of your card. It will be a slow process but well worth it. Let it run overnight if needed.

Now AFTER you've recovered your photos, use your camera to format the card. This should help prevent this from happening again. Note that this will also totally scrub the photos from your card, so again do this only after you've recovered them. Look in your user manual to find out how to format.

CR

The Lutz's said...

I've tried all four sites and have had no luck recovering any pictures. I've got the Canon Powershot A710IS and reformatted by accident. The pictures were of the first four weeks of my daughters life. Pretty important and the wife is currently not speaking to me. Is there somewhere I can send the disk?

exabopper said...

I discovered by accident a great lightweight utility that recovers files from memory cards. It's called Rescue by Pixo (they make the little 15-in-one card readers). You can download it here:
http://www.pixo.de/p/c_d_download.htm

It works in Windows 98 and above, and it basically reads every file on the card, erased or not, based on filename, and copies them onto your hard drive. Pretty painless and works great.

exabopper said...

I heard about this program called PhotoRec:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

It's from the same people as that TestDisk program that TP mentioned.
It looks very user-unfriendly, but it works on several platforms including Linux and OSX.

http://hackaday.com/2008/11/12/recovering-photos-with-photorec/

Niall said...

Hi Ok Im soo mad. I accidentally deleted some pics on my M2 Card. Then i used some web app's but it didnt recover the most recent ones(last 12 pics) so then on an online fourm i was told to reformat the card. And so i did and now i can even get the old pics.

The m2 card is being read on windows explorer but is showing as the whole thing free space.

I heard that nothing is ever deleted off the memory card.

Do i have a chance of getting the pics back? Means soo much to me

Camera Repair said...

Niall,
Use PC Inspector Smart Recovery with a card reader. In the "File" menu you'll see "settings". Select "intensive mode". It may take all night, but let it run. If this doesn't work, then I'm afraid you've done all that you could.
CR

Niall said...

hi i dont have a card reader . does it matter if i use a card reader or just do it through a plug

Camera Repair said...

I've yet to find a camera that will work with these programs directly through the camera. Card readers are cheap these days. Here's a nice cheap one at Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Best one I found is advanced photo recovery available at http://www.advancedmediarecovery.com

Anonymous said...

I wanted to use smart recovery but I keep getting error 339 and It won't work the first program recovered pics but alot of them where half grey or blank...someone help me why isn't smart recovery running properly? my email is mn_211@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you. I accidently erased pictures off my digital camera from me and my girlfriends's trip to philly for her birthday. Let's just say if I hadn't found this site it would not have been good for me. Vaiosoft recover worked best for me. It even restored files I had forgot about like old mp3 files that were on the card.

Sidra said...

wow i had no idea pics could be recovered- i'm never taking naked pics with my camera again!!

gossip whore said...

omg thank you soo much i love you lol seriously you saved some of my precious photos cos my stupid friend accidentally delted them thankss =D
xxx

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for taking the time and posting this blog. My parent's vacation pictures were saved! So, THANK YOU!!

At first I didn't realize I needed a Memory Card Reader, because I skimmed through your blog. But once I purchased one for just $20 bucks all the programs worked for me.

However, I would like to inform others that the Arts Recovery program charges $20. The Inspector program wasn't compatible with my Windows Vista, but worked on my older computer. As you said, it is much more thorough as it was able to save a few more pictures. All in all, I was also pleased with the VAIO Recovery program as well.

Thank you again! And, good luck to everyone else :)

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for pointing out that Art Plus has started charging (bleh). I'll remove it from the list, and replace it shortly. There's been a few better freeware programs that have hit the streets since I first put up this article. Guess it's time for an update!

CR

Camera Repair said...

There, have included the new program Pandora Recovery. It's very impressive. Make sure that you all read the features link to see what it can do.

CR

Nikita said...

Will an internal card reader work?

Turan said...

hello
i wonder if there is a program which recover my camera's internal memory which cannot be seen as a memory driver(like with a letter) but a device like a mp3 player. i cant reach the camera's memory with programs none of above.

thx and great work btw

Rockie said...

None of the four programs worked for me, but http://www.pixo.de/p/c_d_download.htm did. Thanks, exabopper.

panyoosung said...

Hi CR,
I'm using Olympus FE320.
I've recently just taken few pictures and it suddenly show picture error on the camera and those pictures have gone.
I've tried using several programs.
Pandora and VAIO are good, but they couldn't find the pictures. It did can search for some old deleted pictures, but not the one that I wanted.
As you have highly recommend PC Inspector, I do not own a card reader and also I'm using Windows Vista. So shall I buy a card reader? And it is possible for me to use this program as some mention that it is not compatible with Windows Vista.

I've tried using the trial version of CardRecovery V5.30.
It managed to find the pictures that I wanted but it needs to pay. I can't afford to pay for the license.

So, can you advise me on how I shall do next?

Camera Repair said...

panyoosung,
I recommend retrying Pandora. If your photos were stored on the camera's xD card, you will need to use a card reader. They're very inexpensive these days on Amazon, Dealextreme, and even eBay. Just make sure that you purchase one stated capable of reading xD.

Do not use the Pandora Wizard. Instead manually select the card reader in the left column of drives. Then select "Surface Scan" from the menu directly under the icons. A surface (deep) scan is your last hope. If s deep surface scan doesn't find the files, they have been written over and can not be recovered.

CR

Camera Repair said...

panyoosung,
Forgot to mention that there's one more freeware that I haven't had a chance yet to include in the reviews of this article. Recommend also trying Recuva. You can download it from here.

CR

Anonymous said...

When I insert my locked SD card and card reader into my PC . It is not recognising it and therefore I cannot use any of programs. ( I have downloaded PC inspector).The card reader is working with other SD cards.Any ideas?

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
Have you tried unlocking the card? Please see this other article on this blog.

CR

panyoosung said...

Thanks CR for your recommendations..
I've tried almost everything but still I couldn't recover my lost pictures.
Most of the programs, such as Pandora, Recuva and Recovery Manager manage to find back most of the old deleted pictures.

However, my "lost pictures" this time were not deleted by me. It was my memory card's (most probably) problem..
It suddenly showed "Picture Error" on the camera screen and the memory card is corrupted.
So far, only CardRecovery is able to find back these pictures but how sadly, it is not a freeware..
And as I mentioned before, I couldn't afford to purchase the registration key of CardRecovery..
I guess it's time for me to give up these pictures as I've wasted few days trying to recover them back.

However, your tips on recovering deleted pictures of camera are very useful.. Thanks for the tips..
I really learnt a lot from your blog =)

Doug said...

Awesome page, thanks a bunch! PIXO is the one that worked for me. Unfortunately PC Inspector Smart Recovery doesn't seem to support Windows 7; I tried to install it but it wouldn't run. Pandora Recovery didn't find any files to recover from my card, nor did Recuva. PIXO Rescue took somewhat longer to run, but found 284 files. A few of the files were corrupted, around 5% of the files, probably my fault.

I think my card got corrupted because I took some photos while my camera batteries were almost dead. (Canon Powershot A1000). Will try not to make that mistake again!

The direct link to PIXO that someone posted earlier didn't work for me. Just go to www.pixo.de and look for "PIXO RESCUE" in the downloads section.

Angelica said...

CR, I appreciate the post.

Unfortunately, I have tried the various freewares you have recommended, along with several others. Some have problems detecting the xd card in the first place. Others have located the removable media, but I have been unsuccessful in running any of the freewares for the simple reason that each program detects the xd card has 0B on it. I know that there are pictures on the card, and that I didn't format it.

Any advice, or is this a lost cause?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say thank you. Pandora is a great service and found nearly every picture. I'm so thankful I found your blog!

Becky said...

Oh my goodness, I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for this! I've been on the internet for 2 hours now trying to recover photos and thanks to the PC Inspector I got all of them back!

Thank you thank you thank you!

I am forever in your debt!

Jarr said...

I'll join the multitudes of praisers with my bid of "thank you." We rarely take pictures but we'd made a concerted effort over our last vacation to take a bunch of our family. I then in turn formatted the card accidentally with my clumbsy fingers on the camera's touch screen. I had some trouble getting PC Inspector or Soft Peferfect to work, but Pandora did the trick. I was able to restore roughly 200 of the 212 pictures we had lost. Your sight just saved me some personal sanity and family memories.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!!! OMG I feel like crying now(tears of joy). The PC inspector got back most of my pictures, but some is better than none. I am extremely happy. Thank god I didnt isten to the people at wal mart who said there was no way for to get back the pictures. Once again, thanks a bunch.

eden and david said...

im so sad right now. im trying to recover a video off my sd card, somehow it got deleted (nobody is saying who did it). when i perform the recovery i get the first screenshot of the video but not the whole video. am i doing something wrong? hopefully i can get it back.

eden and david said...

hi CR,
im so sad right now. im trying to recover a video off my sd card, somehow it got deleted (nobody is saying who did it). when i perform the recovery i get the first screenshot of the video but not the whole video. am i doing something wrong? hopefully i can get it back.

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I was really irritated and sad when I thought I lost my recent vacation pictures (that were on my NEW memory card). I used the Pandora download and recovered my photos.

Anonymous said...

Thanks mucho! :)
Pained me to format my card with 500 holiday pix on it but it wasn't gonna work any other way. Used Pandora Recovery and hey presto!...
Thanks alot for posting this.

Cat said...

i have no idea if you're still keeping up with the comments on this blog, but i just HAD to check in and tell you how much i appreciated the review on the file recovery! i just finished downloading and running PC Inspector. can i say WOW!? worked just like you said it would - and saved my marriage (it was my hubby's pictures that i deleted by accident!). now i can't wait to check out your other posts. i have a camera that needs a little work too! thank you!

Judith said...

I accidentally did a "low-level format" on my camera and now all my photos are gone. Is there any way to recover the photos from the card?

Anonymous said...

hey wondering if you could do a update on programs as im unsure if i cant find my images using these programs because ive got windows 7 or if they are just gone.

Anonymous said...

Well... after trying the first 3 with no recovery, thank god for PC Inspector Smart Recovery! I was able to recover all my Thanksgiving family photos and videos. Thank you for this site - you are truly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

PhotoRec works for me and its free.

Tried Rescue Pro, PhotoRescue and PC inspector to retrieve photos from my corrupted CF card. PC inspector was able to retrieve the photos but 2/3 of the photos were damaged and unusable.

Anonymous said...

You made me the happiest girl in La la land right now... i would kiss you!!! i deleted all my pics from new years and my birthday and with your help i have them back! thank you thank you thank you!!! Muah!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. The info you took the time to assemble proved extremely useful. Softperfect was a great success - as you say beautifully simple.

GingerT said...

Thank you sooooo much I recovered a valuable photo using Recuva. I'm sooo thankful. It was so easy to use.

Jodi said...

THANK YOU so much. I used the PC Inspector Smart Recovery and it recovered nearly all of my lost pictures from holidays, family events, of my daughter, etc. There were a few that weren't recoverable but I got back all the ones that I really wanted. I actually cried I was so happy. THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

the best programs FREE is :
photorec.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! I never comment on blogs, but this information was a life saver, my cousin accidentally erased over 200 pictures from my aunt's sd camera, she came flew in to the U.S from Spain and cried for over an hour when she thought she had lost all those pictures. I called our local photography store and they wanted $40 and an entire day with the SD Card to recover the missing files. Thanks to your site and did it all for free and in a few minutes. Thanks again for taking the time to share your knowledge!

- Ivan
Colorado, USA.

Anonymous said...

Successfully retrieved all my photos using Recuva :) THANKS SO MUCH!!

Mia said...

Thank you!
Pandora recovered almost all my jpgs (some came up corrupted, but really no big deal). Pandora dos not recover avi files, unfortunately... so:
Now I am using Inspector Smart Recovery to try and find those AVI files on my erased SD card. Hope it finds them in this century :)
beware of RecoverManager - it says that it will erase your SD while recovering... so I didn't even attempted to use it!

I also appreciate all your other tips - you are in my "favorites" now!

Anonymous said...

I delete the picture of my 2 lovely gals from mirco SD using my handphone. Is that anyway to retrieve all back?

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
There also are card readers for micro sd. You could use such a card reader with the software listed above to recover your photos. Here's an example of a micro sd reader.
Good Luck!
CR

John Zhang said...

Hi, CR.

For those users who use Mac OS X and accidentally deleted files, Time Machine should be the first option to recover from backup. The second option is by relying on a data recovery utility. TestDisk & PhotoRec does work great under Mac, but it's a command line tool without GUI which may be a little hard for general users to handle(especially without tutorials). As a matter of fact, there is another completely freeware called Exif Untrasher which worked nice to rescue those lost photos from digital media. See this post "Truly Free Mac Data Recovery Software to Rescue Files on Mac OS X" from my blog post. I hope it will do a little convenience to general camera users who often come to your blog.
--John Z (a person who live in data security and often come visit your blog)

Camera Repair said...

Thanks for the help John. Nice article! Have bumped your link up into the main article.
CR

Liz Wiz said...

My niece loaded all her pictures to her new cell phone . Unfortunately the phone took a Rollercoaster ride. Yes it went off the track into several pieces, and we cannot find the memory card. She is devastated !
Option two is the flash drive. She had downloaded some of the pictures on . She gave it to a friend who wanted to copy the pictures….she couldn’t get any pictures off the drive…flash drive is bad .. so the geeks tell her. Any way to recover that ???
Last option is the hard drive on her home computer ( yes she deleted them off the hard drive) . The computer needs to have a destructive restart done. Running very very slow no memory left. We are now in the process of backing up files.
So far she is not having a good summer. I hope we can make it better. Like she said what else could go wrong. I am crying and loosing sleep for her. HELP!! Can we recover on flash drive and hard drive???

John Zhang said...

Hi, Liz

This is John, a fan of the blog :) I read your problems carefully and hope I can do something to help.

For Option 1: Sorry, the only way is to find the pictures is by getting the memory card back as those pictures should be stored on the card. Once you lose it, you lose everything insides.

For Option 2: There are many possible reasons may lead to flash drive bad (or corruption we can say), but it’s highly possible for you to recover pictures insides. First I’ll suggestion you give a try one of the data recovery programs suggested in the post above like Recuva or Pandora Recovery etc. If you have nothing to harvest, then format the flash drive (under Disk Management, better not use third-party formatting tools). And re-use data recovery apps to see if you can recover the pictures. Note: quick format won’t be necessary to erase all data.

For option 3: take the hard drive out of your computer and connect it to another computer to perform data backup.

I hope my answer can be of some help to you. Best regards. – John Z

Camera Repair said...

Based on John Zhang's input, I did some experimentation with formatted cards to see which actually were recoverable, and which were not. The result is that I've included within the article safe formatting procedures for those with corrupted cards. Hopefully with these procedures, they'll be able to format their corrupted card so that they can proceed with using the recovery software to recover their pictures. As these procedures are still very new, would appreciate feedback (good or bad) on how they worked for those with corrupted cards.

Thanks,
CR

zoeylewis said...

Some off the photos on my SD card are corrupted. My Fujifilm camera did not have any options for formatting except to erase everything, so I tried connecting my memory card to my PC and formatting it, but it wouldn't let me, saying it 'cannot formt the drive'! I've closed all my programmes, but it won't work. Please help!

Camera Repair said...

Zoey,
Wanted to make sure that the first thing that you have tried to do, is to save and back up whatever files/photos that you have on that card onto your computer. If you couldn't do it directly by attaching your camera to your computer, you should use your computer's card reader. If the card reader doesn't recognize your card, and your computer is more than a couple years old, see below about purchasing a USB card reader.

But if all of the above has been tried, then give the computer quick format one more try.

There's two possible causes that may be preventing the quick format. The first is that you may have accidentally placed the tiny write switch on the side of the SD card in the locked position. Could you first check to make sure that it's in the upward "unlocked" position (toward the terminals)?

The second thing I can think of is that the card may be a 4GB or higher SDHC card, and your computer's reader may be too old to recognize SDHC format. Have you ever been able to read this card in that reader before? If this is the first time you've tried to use that reader, and your computer is more than a few years old, chances are that it can only read standard SD cards (2GB or less). In that case, just purchase an inexpensive USB SDHC card reader (they're only a few dollars). Try an Amazon.com search for "USB SDHC card reader".

If an old card reader was the problem, SKIP formatting the card for now, and attempt to recover your photos directly using the USB card reader. After recovering the photos, then format the card in your camera to prevent this from happening again. That option is there, usually in the "Settings" menu, just below the "Reset" option. Just tell me your model, and I'll tell you exactly where you can find it.

Finally, keep in mind that some of these individual corrupted photos once recovered may only be partial photos (bottom part of photo may be cropped off). This is because the write process may have been interrupted or stopped, for whatever reason, preventing saving of the entire file. There's nothing that you can do in that case. But keep in mind that formatting the card (after you've tried to save/backup/recover the files) should prevent this from happening again.

Good Luck
CR

Anonymous said...

Thank you loads, you help save an important memory in my life.

cj said...

Any advice for recovery if the camera and computer/card reader won't even recognize the card?

It's an SD/HC card in a new camera. I guess I needed to format it, I didn't realize. I took about 70 pictures, and some of them started to have errors on the camera. I tried to download the pictures onto my computer, after which the card stopped working entirely. Now the camera just says the card cannot be used, and none of the recovery programs even recognize the card.

Camera Repair said...

cj,
Has your computer's card reader ever recognized your card in the past (have you ever inserted in the reader before)? If not, and if your computer is more than a couple years old, chances are the reader may be designed only for standard SD cards, and not SDHC. No problem though, as USB SDHC portable card readers are very inexpensive (check Amazon). If the reader still won't recognize the card, have you attempted the quick format outlined in the corrupted card procedures in the article (after which you'd use the recovery software)?
CR

cj said...

Thanks for the fast response. It's a brand new sd/sdhc card reader, I bought it today based on this article's advice. Also, because it won't recognize the card existing at all, it won't let me reformat it. The computer says "There is no disk in drive E:" when I select "format." The camera (Nikon Coolpix) says "This card cannot be used" and does not allow me to access any of the menus to format.

Any other ideas??

Camera Repair said...

hmmmm, sounds like the card might be damaged. Check to make sure that the write protect tab on the side of the card is slid toward the unlocked position (toward the contact points).

Another thing to check is those tiny gold contact points on the card. Check them for any signs of dirt or corrosion, and possibly consider cleaning them with a q-tip, and a very small amount of rubbing alcohol. If that doesn't work, not sure what else to try, other than maybe trying to read it/format it in someone else's computer or camera.

CR

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I formated my SD card on the computer and used Recuva. The first time, it did not work. However, when I used Recuva's deep scan, I got back everything! Thanks again :D

Anonymous said...

Out of nowhere one day I could not access the pics on SD card. I followed your instructions, formatted the card on the computer first and then ran Recova. It worked except 24/202 pictures are rather messed up looking...is there any way to fix them? Would another program maybe be able to?

Thank you very much for sharing your info!

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
It's doubtful that another program could recover those 24. It's likely that their data had been partially overwritten by other photos.

CR

Shunmugha said...

WooW! Such an in-depth insight.Really appreciate it.Would be helpful to all.And thanks for the mention :)

I also had in mind to list down the best,free softwares when it comes to data recovery.I will do that soon.Stay in touch!

Anonymous said...

Tried out Pandora, thanks to your recommendations and recovered everything on an SD card that I had inadvertently wiped within the camera - worked perfectly, and saved my bacon! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! Mini tool power works with me.

Anonymous said...

Can't thank you enough but I am going to Facebook you enough - to my entire friend list and tell them all about your blog - I can't be the ONLY one who accidentally deleted 275 pics from her son's baseball tourney!!

Anonymous said...

Had over 300 hundred pics on sd card.COUld not view them,was getting card error display.Tried lots of things that I read on internet,didnt work.Found this site,used the minitool and I had my pics back it minutes. Thanks alot, Dave

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! PhotoRec by CGSecurity.org worked like a charm.
I first used the #2: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition but it made some noise and distortion in some of the recovered pictures whereas PhotoRec recovered at 100% the quality of the photos! Thanks again!

DigitalCameraRecovery said...

Hi, CR

To be honest, I have impressed your blog the first time you helped me fix my Canon camera lens errors a year ago. You are really such a great digital camera fix-man and genius, I have to say. But I have to admit it is really a loss or kind of disappointment for your blog fans since you haven’t added a new post for about over 2 years. You should know how it feels each time visitors come back to your blog eager to learn something fresh about digital camera. :) hah. Ok, back to the topic I wanted to add 3 points to this blog or this post.

#1: Suggestion to the SEO of your blog. I noticed that all your posts begin with your blog title “Do It Yourself Camera Repair…” This is not friendly for Google as you know Google only displays the first 65 bytes in title, but your blog title already takes 24 which means you don’t have much space for the real post title “Absolutely Free Photo Recovery…..” If you want to attract more SEO traffic, the title is crucial. So remove or swap the blog title in each post. It’s pretty easy. Search the term “swap blogspot post title” you’ll find how to do.

#2: About when camera shows format errors. When this kind of card corruption happens, I think the right steps should be like this: use photo recovery software to recover the photos before quick formatting, then format it and re-use the program to see if more files can be harvested. As you know, though a quick formatting option won’t be necessary to get rid of files permanently for a short moment, chances of format recovery won’t be 100%.

#3: Regarding the free photo recovery software. As far as I know (I am sure I tested more photo recovery software than you did :)), MiniTool only allows to recover data less than 1 GB for free. Recuva is not so good to recover data from those formatted drive. PhotoRec works through command line which most users are not comfortable. I mean each software is not perfect as data recovery is serious business and no providers can guarantee 100% recovery. The fact is there are some good recovery tools out there though not free. Also the best way is to prevent data loss, so the concept and consciousness of "data backup" is important nowadays.

These are some suggestions for your blog, in return for your ever kind help for me. Hope your blog will help more and more camera users like me. Best regards.

- Victoria, a photographer who just hosted this site Digital Camera Recovery together with my partners, aiming to help camera users ever suffered data loss like me to recover precious memories back.

Camera Repair said...

Victoria,
Thanks for the tips and comments. Also, sorry that there's been no new posts for a while. I've tried to limit the blog to items that the average person can do short of actually opening up the camera and firing up a soldering iron. Also, there's only so much that the average person can do short of professional repair. But I do monitor and try to keep the existing posts updated, especially when a reader provides an excellent tip.

As such, thanks for the tips. Will try to incorporate them. As for the freeware listed here, the intent is to help the average person who would first like to try freeware options to avoid being deceived. Not sure that you noticed, but there are many recovery software that claim to be freeware (or similarly claim "free trial", or "free download"). They do indeed scan and tantalize the user with recovered "thumbnails". But they then show their true colors by charging at that last moment when attempting to save the recovered pictures. This angers people, wastes their time, and is just very wrong. Hence this blog post.

Please note that I do not have anything against payware recovery software. That is as long as the intent is not to deceive, and the software is truly innovative, and not simply repackaging of freeware algorithms with a different GUI.

I do acknowledge that there are very good pay recovery software, and the developers of such should be rewarded for their hard work in producing such. Maybe that should be my next post, a review of top payware recovery software?

But again, thanks for your tips, and good luck with your endeavor!

CR

Camera Repair said...

Victoria,
Sorry, I just looked closer at your site. Guess you've already done what I had proposed for my next post. Never mind :-)

CR

erinf said...

Can i just tell you that the only program that worked for me was Recuva! You should move that one to the top. The first one on there didn't even recognize drive F for me and the second one only lets you recover 1GB.The other ones didn't work at all. Digicam shoudl be taken off because their download doesn't work. It says access denied and to go download the most recent version from their sight... but there is not most recent version. Anyways I really like Recuva it got all my 474 of my pictures that I deleted by accident back.Thanks!

Camera Repair said...

erinf,
Thanks for the heads up. I've temporarily removed the link to Digicam, and have also alerted its publisher of the problem. Hopefully, they'll fix it, so that I can reactivate it in the near future.

CR

Camera Repair said...

I must say that was fast! aliensign Software contacted me, and said they fixed the bug preventing the program from running. Have included a direct link to the program from their website. Will update it to CNET when that link becomes available.

CR

Anonymous said...

Hello CR, i have an 8GB silvermt SDHC memory card which is showing Memory Card Error in the camera and the computer does not recognize the photos either. I have tried to do the "format" steps you mention, but "format" option is unavailable in the tools section of the camera...any idea of what i can do to recover the photos and use the card as well?

Camera Repair said...

anonymous with the 8GB silvermt SDHC,
Have you been able to use this card successfully before, or is this a brand new card. If a brand new card, and your camera is more than a couple years old, chances are that your camera is not capable of reading or writing to SDHC (although it may have seemed like it was trying to write). In that case there are no pictures to recover.

However, if your camera is a newer camera, and you have used it successfully before, then we'll assume that its file structure become corrupted. In that case, we need to conduct a quick format for the recovery software to work. If the camera is not recognizing the card, then we have to use the computer to conduct the quick format.

If the computer's card reader does not recognize the card, the computer and its card reader might also be older than SDHC format. In that case, consider purchasing an inexpensive portable USB SDHC card reader from Amazon or Walmart to conduct the quick format, and run the recovery software. SDHC USB card readers cost about $5.
Good luck,
CR

Traveler said...

A true lifesaver. Recovered pics from a family reunion vacation at Disney with "PhotoRec". Thanks so much for this site.

Albert said...

Purchased a Targus usb reader and have attempted to do use all programs, no pictures found. I then try to quick format the memory card and get message that windows cannot format the card. The camera has a few hundred pictures and just stopped working one day. What else can I do? Thanks.

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
Am concerned that the computer couldn't conduct a quick format. That shouldn't be. Either the card is faulty, or it also could be the card reader. Looked into Targus readers, and based on the reviews I've seen, wouldn't trust that reader very much. Do you have any friends that have a computer with a different card reader that you could try?

One other thing to try is to clean the contact points on the card itself. Try using a Q tip, very slightly moistened with rubbing alcohol. If you don't have that, try a pencil eraser.

CR

Camera Repair said...

Albert,
There might be one other thing that would prevent you from conducting the quick format. Make sure that the tiny slide switch on the side of the card is positioned in the upward "unlocked" position.
Good luck,
CR

Annas Malik said...

I love You :) Thank you very very very much .... May Allah Bless You ...

Annas Malik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a problem with my Sony Cybershot T100 camera where some of my photos on my memory card 'disappear' and when viewing on the camera, are replaced with a blue screen reading "File Error". On the computer, when viewing with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, it reads "No preview available". When I read the file properties, the "archive" box under Attributes is ticked.

I have not done anything to these photos other than view them once on the camera.

Is there a way of recovering these photos? I've read your article and I'm not sure which category this issue goes under as these are not deleted photos, and I don't think the memory card is corrupted since it works most of the time.

Thank you

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
Have you ever formatted your card in your camera (using the camera's format feature) as Sony recommends? This sets up the proper file structure on the card. Additionally, do you use file delete often to rid your card of unwanted photos? Answers No and Yes to the above two questions will likely lead to file corruptions. Recovery of the lost files may be possible through the use of the software listed on this site. But if you've taken many photos since, some of these corrupted photos may have been overwritten, and may be unrecoverable.

DO NOT use the corrupted card procedures listed here as your camera and computer can still read the card. But I would first recommend that you save every photo that your computer can read onto your computer's hard drive if you haven't done so already.

The software tool that you'll need should be capable of fragmented file recovery since I suspect that you've been using delete a lot without regularly formatting the card. As such, would recommend 1 through 5 (PhotoRec through PCInspector).

If the number of problem photos are under 1GB, would recommend trying the free version of MultiTool to selectively recover those photos. But if the number of problem photos are significant, would recommend trying Digicam, and following the instructions in the Digicam video.

Finally, after your best attempt at recovering your photos, consider formatting the card in the camera to rejuvenate it. Keep in mind that this will also erase the card. So only do this after all photos have been stored or recovered to your hard drive.

One more final note, it is not recommended to use your camera for long term storage of your photos as corruption is possible as you've discovered. Instead, regularly save and backup your photos on your computer, and regularly format your memory card to erase and rejuvenate it for future photos.

Hope this helps,
CR

Rito said...

I have formatted my card with a canon camera with the low level format uncheck. Card still has memory card error. What should I do now?

Camera Repair said...

Rito,
Sometimes a card just fails. The final thing to try is cleaning the gold connectors on the card with a q-tip lightly dipped in rubbing alcohol. If your computer still can't see the card for the recovery software to work, then that's about all that you can do. It would be time to consider purchasing a new card. They're only about 5$ for a 2GB SD card on Amazon. Note that 4GB SDHC are also inexpensive, but they do not work with older cameras.
CR

Rito said...

If I check the low level format option to format the card. Will I lose the photos that are on there?

Camera Repair said...

Rito,
DO NOT check low-level format if you ever hope to recover the data on that card again someday. Low-level format overwrites and effectively zeros all data on the card, making any data on that card unrecoverable.
CR

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I posted this in the wrong place initially.

RE: Camera Repair

Thank you so much for your help, I finally know why I keep getting so many "file errors".

I have tried the "MiniTool Power Data Recovery" program - it works very well with recovering deleted photos, but unfortunately I have not been able to find my damaged files.

Thanks again for your help.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I am unable to see my SD card in the device list....help me please

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
Need to know a little bit more info. Look on your card.

-Are you using a 2GB or less SD card, or is it really a 4GB or larger SDHC card?

-How old is your computer?

-are you using the computer's built-in card reader, or is it a portable USB reader?

-Is the reader SD or SDHC?

-Also what operating system does your computer use (98, XP, Vista, W7, mac?)?

I ask these questions as usually the main culprit is that newer 4GB SDHC cards will not work in older computers or readers (or cameras for that matter). In that case, purchasing a simple $2 SDHC USB card reader usually solves the problem.

CR

AllyPal75 said...

Was too scared to attempt the command line prompted PhotoRec by CGSecurity.org so first tried Digicam Photo Recovery - This wouldn't install on my PC so moved onto MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition. The MiniTool worked like a dream, it took a while (about 30-40 minutes) so I went to make a coffee, but during that time it recovered approximately 300new photos from my camera SD card that I thought were lost as had not previously downloaded them before I got 'card error' message on my camera. The MiniTool also recovered approximately 600 old photos which hadn't been overwritten by the new photos, but which I'd previously downloaded to my PC so didn't need to save these. Was very easy to use and I would highly recommend it. I didn't need to use a card reader, just plugged my camera into PC and away it went. Thanks for the tips CameraRepair, I am VERY grateful!

Camera Repair said...

AllyPal75,
Glad it helped. By the way, for those having trouble installing any of these programs with Windows 7, just right-click on their installation file and select "Run as Administrator".

CR

xoxmwa said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH. i spent all saturday looking for a programme and finally, on sunday morning i found this blog, and it solved my problem. I used the second programme, as the first one was a bit difficult.

thank you yet again

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!! I thought I had lost my photos forever until I found this blog. Thanks to you and PhotoRec I now have the first 400 photos from my trip to India that I thought I'd never see again. ETERNAL GRATITUDE!!!

Anonymous said...

you are just a completely awesome person!!1 thank you so much...i had tried a ton of sites before i finally founds yours which was ACTUALLY FREE!!! Thank you!!!!

Rugbyian said...

Thank you sooo much for the excellent advice on the free software available out there, I went for the Photorec after my son deleted all of our daughters friends photos off of her camera by accident and she was so upset but thanks to you and your wonderful site all 538 photos were recovered and world war three was averted.
Many thanks, Ian.

Sharon said...

I was so hopeful that your ideas would work, but so far, they haven't. I know that if i give you info, you will be able to help. I used my Canon power shot sx 200 on our vacation. My battery was low on power at one point, so I think that is what went wrong. While taking pictures, i got a memory card error notice. It also saw at the bottom that the card was locked. I checked the card. It is not locked. I moved it to locked, then unlocked. I tried the MiniTool Power Recovery, with the SD adapter you suggested, also with the camera, in the computer SD drive...with no avail. Help!!! MY ENTIRE vacation pics are on this SD disc.--Sharon

Camera Repair said...

Sharon,
Were you able to open your card with your computer using the SD card reader? Or does the computer also have difficulties opening the card, even with the reader? If so, the card has likely become corrupted. In that case you may need to consider trying the corrupted card procedures located at the bottom of this article. If you do attempt these procedures, follow them very carefully, making sure to select/check "Quick Format". Afterwards try the recovery software again, recommending PhotoRec, Digicam, or MultiTool for your first try.
Good Luck,
CR

Cristel said...

Digicam is the best! Thank you. And it work clean and fast (961 images recovered in almost 6 minutes!)

Karen said...

Ugggg I used Testdisk/Photorec and it recovered a bunch of "pics" but put them into text document format...why would it do that and can I fix it?

Camera Repair said...

Karen,
I'm not sure, have never seen that problem. Just tried to duplicate it by using various PhotoRec selections, but couldn't. Make sure that you follow the steps exactly as shown in the instructional video. But if you did, my next recommendation is to try Digicam, especially if you only need to recover photos. Digicam is the simplest to use of all the programs listed, yet for photo recovery, it's as accurate as PhotoRec.
CR

Anonymous said...

photo Rec worked miracles.. I was on d verge of tears when I accidentally formatted a partition of my comp instead of my new ext hd.. what an ass I was.. The pics my friends had copies of, trips we made and all of those I can get from them too.. but my exclusive pics n stuff.. ma entire life, man.. never again never again.. I will never click format ever again.. Thumbs up for photo rec.. absolutely godsend..

LadyLovelyPeace: Freedom is Peace said...

Hi CR,

I have found ur blog so very helpful! Thank you for sharing ur camera wisdom!

My issue is looking quite similar to comment "cj- july 2011". A friend accidentally deleted all of my pics from my memory card. I downloaded 2 of the suggested programs (PC Inspector File Recovery and MiniTool) but my computer will not recognize my SanDisk Memory Stick Pro Duo 1.0GB at all. It recognizes just fine in the camera. I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-W230, and when I tried to format the memory card in the camera, it simply says "this action will delete all images." I do have a card reader, which i usually use without problem- Ive made sure it is not my USB ports- and I tried another memory card in the reader to make sure its not the reader. Ive looked at the card to make sure there is no debris. I have also tried using 2 different laptops, and my MAC. Still no haps. The computer doesn't even acknowledge that there is anything in the port. Is there anything that I can do to get the computer to recognize the card so that I can try to recover the lost photos/videos??

Also, there is a small black folder with 101 in it on the top of the screen icons on the actual camera. I looked up the meaning in the manual and it says it is a "playback folder". Well when I look into the folders menu, it doesnt show. I dont know if there is a secret place where the deleted pictures are sent.. Of course I googled that with no success.. :) Any suggestions for me? I just want my pictures back! LOL

Thanks in advance, ur so awesome!

Chante'

Anonymous said...

digicam photo recovery worked for me .......it saved me from getting killed
thanks a zillion

Anonymous said...

thanks for saving my life!!!! So Awesome :)

Anonymous said...

OMG THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! Number 4 did the trick and it was so simple.

Yvette said...

Need more help! - Please!? *First, THANK YOU for the FREE info and tools!!! Used all of the suggested recovery options. Between PhotoRec, Digital Media Rec, and VAIOSoft, I was able to recover all movies.MOV and all pics.jpg but a few... more than I wanted! LOL Here are my remaining issues... 1) Is there a way to recover the few that showed as 'Not Available', and 2) Some of the recovered pics are corrupted; ie: only part of the picture was recovered. Is there a way to fix them? The pics (no movies) I'm trying to recover (and fix) were ALL taken on 4/12-4/14 and accidentally deleted from my 256mb SD Card this morning (4/16/2012). Sheesh, seems like everything else comes with a Recycle Bin, why can't the SD Card! ugh. Please advise, and, Thank you in advance.

Camera Repair said...

Yvette,
The symptoms sound like partially overwritten files. Those pictures that were deleted the soonest should be the easiest to recover. But if you took any additional movies or photos after deleting them, you may have accidentally overwritten some of the files. You could also have accidentally overwritten if you utilized the software to save the recovered files onto the same card (vice your hard drive).

Would recommend trying one or two more of the programs as they accomplish recovery with slightly different algorithms. Based on the ones that you've tried, would recommend PC Inspector next setting scanning for "jpg's". Before scanning, select "File/Settings" and select scanning in "Intensive Mode". If this doesn't work, then I'm afraid it may be time to consider hanging it up.
Good Luck,
CR

Anonymous said...

Thx very muchfor your precious help, we owe you one :). Photo Rec saved my engagement photos

Anonymous said...

I tried Digicam Photo Recovery, but it didn't work, since it didn't find my SD card. I have an SD card reader port in my computer, so I put my card in there, but it didn't recognize it. Do I still need to get a USB SD Card Reader in order for it to work or what might be the problem?

Robin in VA said...

THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH! My daughter accidentally deleted all the photos on her camera she had taken of her big brother's prom. She was very upset. I used Digicam Photo Recovery and all the photos were restored. THANKS SO MUCH for your effort and time to review these programs and put them in one place. This was an answer to our prayers. My daughter is happy again. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

to Anonymous of April 22nd,
This is CR replying to you from a portable device. If your computer is more than a few years old, chances are its card reader is not capable of reading the newer 4GB and higher SDHC cards. Yes, you would need to purchase an inexpensive, but new portable SDHC card reader for the software to see your card. They're only a few dollars on Amazon.

CR

Anonymous said...

5/3/12
1. Photorec worked flawlessly
2.Lately I've adopted a pretty hopeless view of our dismal planet and humanity in general. Greed has run amok and has changed the way everyone thinks and feels. The fact that there are people out there who still take the time to find solutions to problems and offer them free to everyone, provides a glimmer of light and hope to me. A sincere "thank you" is an understatement.

Meg said...

PhotoRec was amazing! Took a bunch of pics at the Theory of a Deadman concert last night, and then I went to put them on facebook tonight and my computer said the memory card needed to be formatted. I thought I had lost all of my pics. THANK YOU FOR THE VALUABLE INFORMATION!! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so so soooo much. I was able to recover all my pictures. I formatted my micro SD card from my cell phone, only to find out that all my 1,000+ pictures were deleted. I was so mad at myself I wanted to cry, but you are my hero! Thank you!!!!

P.s. I used PhotoRec

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I downloaded the Digicam recovery system on my laptop and it worked wonderfully. I was able to retrieve photos from a very special occasion that I thought were gone for good.

Anonymous said...

Great information & software! Highly recommend using Recuva! IT'S AWESOME, i deleted my entire gallery on my camera & went completely crazy, but thanks to this, i received EVERY last picture back! THANKS SO FLIPPING MUCH :DD

Anonymous said...

I had taken some pics in Jpeg and some in RAW format using my canon 550D. Suddenly my camera says no images on card. my macbook also failed to recognise the card.
THen i tried to recover using photorec but it didnt recover any and kept giving me error msgs like - error 34567, 50678 etc and in the end said 0 files recovered.

What should I do now.

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous with the 550D,
It sounds like the card is corrupted. Did you try the "Corrupted Card Procedures"? (They're located near the bottom of the article.)

CR

Generic said...

Can you help me please? I had a 16 gb mini sd sandisk card that I had used in a few phones like my AT&T; just recently purchased the Samsung Android Straight talk phone; had it for a few days no problems; then today I saved a pic and now my computer won't recognize or pull up the SD card and my phone won't format it and says files are missing or corrupted. What should I do?? Pleae and thanks. I downloaded photorec; but since the card doesn't show or read on my computer I can't do anything. Any and all help would be much appreciated. Thanks

Generic said...

Hello It's me Generic aka Heather again. Update; I found my card reader; unlocked the adapter and put the mini card in then plugged it all into to my usb port; right clicked on the removable disk clicked format; and it says there is no disk in drive E. Ahhh omg I am freaking out now. I have researched this all day to no avail and your site is the best on the web!! Please help me.....I almost feel like giving you my cell number haha; but seriously

Camera Repair said...

Heather,
Have you ever been able to read the card (using your card reader) in the past? If not, the reader may be the problem, as it might not be SDHC compatible. Some of the very inexpensive ones are not (that's why they're $2.00). Also, are you using a dedicated mini SD reader, or are you using an SD card adapter with an SD reader? The adapter could be the problem also. Finally, check all gold points on your card or its adapter for any signs of discoloration (corrosion), and clean it if you see any with a pencil eraser, or a q-tip with a little rubbing alcohol.

Good luck,
CR

Heather Nowlin said...

I am using a reader, and itall works with other cards just doesnt work with the corrupted one. It shows it has no media and wont let me fotmat when i right click. What else should i try?

Heather Nowlin said...

CR, I hate to keep bugging, but I tried te photorec, it wouldn't work because the card isn't read. I even right clicked on the card while it was in my computer got into the properties and tried restoring it backing it formatting it, nothing works. I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions? I would and need the data, pics and everything. Please and thanks

Camera Repair said...

Heather,
Are you using a Mac or PC? In the meantime, recommend this video. It might help.

CR

Heather Nowlin said...

Thanks so much CR for your advice. I have a dell laptop. All of the equip works properly, I tried i with other cards. My dell doesnt show the corrupted card. I right clicked on the card got into the properties and tried formatting restoring backing it up, tried using photo rec, nothing worked. my android phone will sometimes read the card, but it wont let me format restore or back it up either. It says files are missing corrupted or wrong format. I think all is lost at this point, sadly. I really just want to redo the card erase it and start over. But I haven't been able to do that either. Shoot!

Heather Nowlin said...

Omg I am o sorry my phone was acting up and posted this like 5 times and I couldn't delete the extras

Anonymous said...

Using a Lexar 4Gb SDHC card in a Canon PowerShot D10 gave "memory card error".
The card could not be read by a PC - "the disk in drive I: is not formatted".
Tried PhotoRec, Recuva and Pandora - no files recovered.

Tried Minitool - used the option of "damaged partition recovery". Successfully found, previewed and recovered all 46 photos (6 photos were corrupt though).

Minitool was excellent and with the 1Gb data allowance I did not even have the buy the software.

Full marks to the brillant camerarepair.blogspot.co.uk website.

Anonymous said...

My camera and my PC display the message that my SD card needs to be formatted.

I have been using the same 512 MB SD card in my Kodak Easy Share CX7530 camera for many years.

Other than your website, I have been coming across websites giving instructions on how to recover deleted files from an SD card. I have not formatted my SD card because I know I will delete my pictures. So, I was hopeful when I found your website specifically addressing my issue of cards that are not being recognized by either the computer or the camera, with either stating that a format of the card is required.

I followed your instructions for PC Quick Format. You stated, “”Quick Format" conducted on your PC will not overwrite the data on the card.” However, when I select the Quick Format box and then select Start, I still get the message stating, WARNING: Formatting will erase ALL data on this disk.

Now I am confused. Should I go ahead and select Format as you stated or what?

Please advise. Thank you in advance.

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
Note that a "Quick format" WILL erase your card, but the files will still be on the card, it's just that you won't see them. What's important is that the quick format will also make the card usable again, and thus readable by any of the recovery software. You would then be able to use one of the above software to recover and save your lost photos onto your computer. Recommend trying one of these programs immediately after conducting the quick format.

CR

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I trying to use the PhotoRec by CGSecurity.org. First off, when I accessed the testdisk-6.14-WIN folder, it did not have a PhotoRec to select. I selected testdisk_win because it had the word Application beside it and it seemed the only logical choice.

I can get to the step that has me select None for Non partitioned media and then the next step on your video states to select Unknown for unknown partion, however, the screen to make the Unknown selection does not display. The following screen displays:

[Analyse] Analyse current
partition structure and
search for lost
partitions
[Advanced] Filesystem Utils
[Geometry] Change disk geometry
[Options] Modify options
[Quit] Return to disk selection

Note: Correct disk geometry is required for a successful recovery.
'Analyse'process may give some warnings if it thinks the logical geometry is mismatched.

Help again! I am really trying hard to do this.

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
There should be two different programs in that folder, photorec_win and testdisk_win. You've been running testdisk_win which is for recovering files from a computer hard drive. It is a little bit different as you've discovered. But again, look for "photorec_win". It definitely should be in that same folder. If not, download it again from here, and try again. I just tried it, and photorec_win is definitely in that folder.

CR

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
It so worked. All my jpgs and videos were recovered.

As for me not seeing the photorec_win vs. the testdisk_win, I am a visual person and in your instructions you stated to look for "PhotoRec" Program. So leave it to me, my eyes were scanning for a capital "P" and a capital "R" and only the word "PhotoRec". Then I saw the testdisk_win and went for it.

I can't wait to share your website and instructions with my daughter-in-law. She went on a mission trip to Africa and has the same problem with the SD card she used on her trip. Only problem may be that she already took it some place and they could not retrieve her files. I hope they did not permanently erase them.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I deleted 500 pics from my camera. Holidays, birthdays, special moments, ALL GONE! I found this blog easily and used Digicam Photo Recovery from CNET. It was super user-friendly and had them all back in 5 min! Yay!

Jaclyn said...

Am I spinning my wheels? I have come to the conclusion that I must of not turned my camera off while changing from one lens to another. Shame on me..I did not realize it til I was done shooting and noticed all the photos taken with the first lens are gone and only the photos taken with the second lens show up on the card. Are the others gone forever??? Is there ANY way I can get those back?

Anonymous said...

I went out to CA for a friends wedding and shot almost 400 photos over the course of a week. When I tried to put the card in my computer I got the needs to be formatted notice. I put the card back in my camera and got the same thing....I thought all my pictures were lost forever until I found this blog. I followed the instructions for a quick format and then used PhotoRec to get them off my camera and got all 400 back. Thank you soooooo much, I was so upset thinking I had lost all my beautiful pics.

Pedro Andre said...

Photorec worked for me! Thanks a lot!

Pedro Andre said...

Photorec worked for me! Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

thanks a million, i have tried and tried, and was about to give up until i found this, VAIOSoft Recovery Manager worked miracles for me, i successfully recovered all 110 of my photos

Kelsey said...

Hi CR,

I want so badly to recover some summer photos and my SD 256MB is not reading properly. I've reviewed your articles and posts and have come to the conclusion if a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol doesn't do the trick, I'm SOL. Currently, my card is not recognizable from either my camera or computer.

Any other ideas? There are very special photos of my grandfather and I that I would love to be able to save. Thanks so much!

Kelsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelsey said...

Correction: The camera recognizes the card but only says "Memory card error" and "Card locked" (which it is not). When I attempt to format the card, the format option is not available (not highlighted on the camera menu to select). My computer is not recognizing the card at all.

Thanks.

Camera Repair said...

Kelsey,
Have you tried Fixes 4 and 4a from this other article on the blog?
CR

Kelsey said...

CR,

I followed the steps (4 & 4a) and the card is still not working properly. Is there any other possible way to get these photos retrieved? Any use in taking it somewhere?

Thanks again!

Kelsey

Camera Repair said...

Kelesy,
Request that you try a recovery program not listed in the article (ZAR), and follow the steps in this link.

If ZAR doesn't do it, then try this program to attempt to format the card. If the program succeeds in formatting, attempt to use the recovery program PhotoRec from this blog to recover the photos.

Finally, if the sd formatter program didn't do it, then your final option is physical recovery. Both this company and this company can physically remove the chip from the card and recover data. It ain't cheap, but depending on the data, it might be worth it.

Good Luck
CR

CullenandKatie Vlogs said...

Thanks for this great tutorial!! I downloaded photorec, ran it, and it said it recovered 164 files and and it said they could be found in the "testdisk-6.13/recup_dir" directory. But I can't find that (or my files) anywhere on my computer! Any suggestions?? -Katie

Camera Repair said...

Katie,
Look in the same directory where you opened photorec_win. There should be another folder there labeled "recup_dir". Open it and your recovered files should be inside.
CR

Anonymous said...

My SD card can't be detected in my camera the message was " please insert your memory card" and even in my card reader also. but I am sure its was working properly before I insert the card..
is their any solution for this can you please message me in my email at
Roces_Edimar_009@yahoo.com
thank you

Jan Andersson said...

Thank you so much! Digicam Photo Recovery just recovered 3196 out of 3226 photos from a SDHC card incl a lot of pics from the first year of my sons life!

Anonymous said...

hey man,i have sandisk 4gb schd memory card when i insert it in my comp. having os7 it compels me to format it , i start formating but after formating my comp. denies it;i even try opening it but it shows error ,pls provide me some possible sol.i also have tried formating it in all formates i.e FAT32,NTFS etc..

Anonymous said...

Tried PhotoRec and Digicam Photo Recovery. Neither was able to recover my RAW files. Do you know of any recovery software which recovers RAW image files?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is thank you thank you thank you! I got back all of my pictures and videos!!!

Kanemochi said...

I was so devastated when my pictures and videos from an event I covered were all gone! I must thank this blogsite in posting very helpful infos, as well as Christophe Grenier for creating the most reliable recovery software - PhotoRec. Amazing! Keep helping others and time will come, you will reap all the goodness you have sowed. Once again, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

In 2010 i went to Justin Bieber concert. The next day my friend delleted all the pictures. I found your site and tryed out couple of softwares. It broughed back many pictures but none from 2010 why???

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous,
Unfortunately, each of the photos that you took after the original photos were deleted were overwriting the deleted photos. Once overwritten, they can not be recovered.
CR

Anonymous said...

Amazing, it works perfectly. Thanks a lot. I have tried few softwares before, they were not useful at all. This is little bit tricky but superb performance. Thanks a lot again for creating such a nice software and leave it free download for everyone. I like your service. Happy New Year.

Nag
Germany

Camera Repair said...

Nag,
From your comments, I'm guessing that you used PhotoRec. Christopher Grenier is the author of that program. My blog just let's people know that very good freeware options actually exist for photo and file recovery. Happy that it worked for you.
CR

SG7 said...

Just a warning to those trying to use other software available for restoring from SD card. I didn't have success with Undelete Plus. The free analysis found all my jpeg files and my mov files. I hadn't used the card since the deletions. It showed them all to be "excellent." As usual, I had to purchase the software to get the restoration done. Afterwards, NONE of the mov files and less than 10% of the jpeg files were restored. The eSupport company answered my query by stating it can't guarantee the outcomes. I had a chance to see before buying. Not true -- deceptive -- and no money back. BEWARE. You can't tell what the outcome will be from the initial analysis. The proof is in the final restoration.
Good Luck!

SG7 said...

A continuation of my comment above:
PhotoRec saved the day! All of my jpeg images were restored and usable. All of my mov files were restored but I can't open them. I have tried Windows Media Player and Quicktime without success. At least I have the *mov files and can work on them from here. Any suggestions?

Camera Repair said...

SG7,
Am sorry that you discovered the hard way that the preview option on many of the payware programs is just a marketing ploy. It merely shows that the thumbnail preview info is still on the card, but this does not guarantee that the actual photo info is still there. As for the MOV files, had you ever been able to view them before on that computer? If not, may I suggest an alternative viewer, VLC Media Player? As for editing of your MOV videos, may I also suggest any of the three freeware editors listed here?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
My name is Vassil and I have a problem with Canon EOS 60D. We made a lot of photo but the memory card just as sudden gave a message that it needs to be formated. I didn't do it of course, but now I can't open the card. i watched your video and understood that I used to format the card in the beginning, but I didn't do it. So my question is should I format the card and try to recover the images (they are about 30 GB)? If so should I format it on the camera or on the PC? Is it sure that I will be able to recover all of my images? Which software to use?

I will be very happy if you will answer me.

Respectfully,

SG7 said...

I tried the VLC Media Player and it wouldn't open the mov files. Any other suggestions? It's great to have recovered the large mov files but it's a trick to open the treasure chest!
SG7

Elena Deesa Armstrong said...

Hi, thanks for your article. I'm hoping you'll assist with Photo Rec. When I try to download the Win7 64 bit version, I just get a zip file. There is no icon and option to right click and run as administrator.

Can you give more info on how to get access to this program?

Thanks you!

Elena

Camera Repair said...

Elenea,
You should have Winzip installed on your computer. You'll need it to unzip that file onto your hard drive. Unzipping will create a testdisk folder with all the needed files inside. Within that folder is a program labeled photorec_win.exe . That is the program that you should run.
CR

Anonymous said...

This worked without any problems! thank you soooo much! i thought i lost hundreds of pictures.

Anonymous said...

I have a Canon PowerShot SX150IS given to me as a xmas gift. I have only used it for the last month. I have previously downloaded pics. The SDcard is a SDHC class 4 8gb. I have tried everything including the celotape step but not taking the camera apart. My computer does not recognise it even through the card reader and so I used the cable to connect to PC and Wizard says there are no pics on it. The camera says memory card locked, memory card error. Could you please advise and clarify for me as to which step I should do first: 1. first attempt to recover images using your recommended software or 2. in camera formating avoiding the low level option and to try and recover using the recommeded software after the formatting step
? Please specify, as I don't want to loose our holiday pics etc. 3. or send it in for a warranty repair?
Thanking you in advance.

Anonymous said...

Re Canon Powershot SX150IS - I thought I'd do some more investigations so checked and followed the instructions in the manual for formatting the memory card. It bypasses that step in the menu selection, you can see it but it won't let you activate it, the selector skips it. So I can't even see what the formatting options are, nor can I activate it. Please help! Thanks again.

Camera Repair said...

MM,
Before sending it in for warranty repair, try a different SDHC card. If it still acts up with a different card, then yes it is time to consider warranty repair.
CR

Anonymous said...

kudos to you.. You help me alot!! May Allah bless u..

memluke said...

I used the Minitool (your #2 rated program) to try to recover some pictures and video from an SD card that suddenly failed. It apparently recovered all of the pictures, but did not recover all the videos. I was happy to at least get back the pictures.

Aubrey said...

Vacation photos were saved!!! Thank you so much for your expert advice!!!

Anonymous said...

You helped me save some honeymoon photos that were irreplaceable & not backed up. Thank you so much!!!

Leah said...

Thank you!!!!! Photorec recovered deleted photos. :)

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Thank you so much I did download the TestDisk earlier and your right I got a little freaked when the dos screen came up.

Thank you for your youtube video. I google circled and tweeted it. I'm your newest follower :)

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!! MiniTool recovered the photos I thought were lost to a "memory card error." They were photos of my infant daughter's first taste of table food...priceless! I also did not know that I should format the card for the new camera and make sure my card is high-speed enough. Such great info that I'm sure will help prevent any future losses! Thank you again!

Ruth said...

I have used the photorec software and when it's scarrning it says it finds 800+ jpgs, when I go to the folder there are about 20 in there. Any ideas why it's doing this, I ran it again and there wasn't even a new folder with images in!

amiee said...

Hi, I tried using photo rec on a macbook but it won't read my memory card in order for me to retrieve the photos. It's an SDHC card and when inserted in my camera, says memory card error. I have never formatted my card before in the past and am afraid to lose my vacation photos! Any advice or help would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have a question. If I am to format my SDHC card because it is corrupted, do I need to use a card reader when I format or can I just insert it into my SD slot on my PC and format the drive directly?

Camera Repair said...

Although they look the same, SDHC is very different than SD. So it depends on if the card reader on your computer is recently made (made after SDHC format came out). But if your computer is more than a few years old (such as Windows XP or older) then it's unlikely that its card reader will be able to recognize an SDHC card. In that case, you'd need to purchase a USB SDHC card reader (about $7 on Amazon).
CR

Joey said...

Finally,I had found all my photo but why some of my photo cant be seen?
BTW you have saved some of my photo~Appreciate

Bibi Hussain said...

Thank you so so so much for your very useful posts! I did recover my SD cards :') *using PhotoRec*
But I'm still facing problems with one of my micro SD cards. I was wondering if I can contact you by E-mail, please..
Thanks again ^_^

Emma said...

This is absolutely amazing. Thanks for going to the effort of doing all of this. Photo Rec saved my life!!

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