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Old Jul 19, 2012, 6:03 AM   #1
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Default Recovering Images from an Unreadable Card - Solved!

We recently experienced a small nightmare of sorts during our vacation. After a furious day of taking photos at Jungfrau in Switzerland, the Transcend SDHC card in our Canon T1i suddenly and without warning decided to quit - The read "card access" light would not go off for several minutes. Eventually it did but I immediately knew there was a problem. I back up every day on a vacation, and the card failed on me literally on the last picture I took that morning.

As soon as we reached our hotel, I spent the whole afternoon trying to search google for how to recover photos from damaged sdhc cards, and downloaded at least 3 different software programs that claimed to help in such situations. After a while I realized that I was in deeper trouble because the card would not MOUNT in the camera or the computer or any other device (I tried my son's 3DS), and thats when I realized that this is a hardware problem.

I continued searching, and realized that there are possible hardware solutions to this and all hope need not be lost yet. I finally sent my card by FedEx to Recoverfab in Germany and they recovered my photos! This was a great learning experience for me in many ways. The key thing is as long as the card is not physically damaged to crack the memory chips inside, the data can be recovered. Most google searches only return software recovery solutions, which were pretty useless in my case and I suppose in many other cases. If the card cannot be mounted as a drive on a computer, it means the controller of the card is likely bad but the memory chips may be safe! This was exactly the situation in my case. Hope this post is useful to some others like me. Thanks!
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Old Aug 18, 2012, 7:27 PM   #2
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Had a similar problem after my sister's family came over for a 1-week visit to Vancouver Canada. When I took out the Patriot 8GB Class 6 SD card from my EOS 60D SLR and inserted it to a PC, the PC won't display the card contents. (Note: The PC did not report that the card had to be formatted; rather, it did not detect that I inserted a card in the first place.)

Tried the same on another PC & a Mac & Linux, and also on a dedicated SD card reader, but they still won't detect the card. I tried to re-insert the SD card on my SLR and 2 other digicams, it didn't detect the card at all.

I tried downloading software such as TestDisk, PhotoRec, Recuva, Zero Assumption (ZAR), Low-level disk checker from Patriot, nothing worked because these software rely on the PC to first detect the SD card so that they could access it.

I also visited a reputable data recovery service in the city, the technician said he couldn't do it because the controller inside the SD card was damaged, and there was very slim chance of recovering the pics. When I learned this I felt devastated.*

Still, I kept googling for a solution and based on what I've read at some forums my last resort was to find people who could open the SD card and directly access the memory chips inside (of course, I kinda figured out early on this wasn't going to be free). I noticed this website*http://recoverfab.com/*in a few forums and people had said good things about it. So I sent the card via regular mail (postage is about $5 from Canada to Germany), and after a week I received an email saying that they received the card. The next day I got another email saying they were able to recover 365 pics!*What surprised me wasn't the price (the website shows the pricing up front), but the fact that I now had the chance to retrieve all my holiday memories back and in such a short time.

I learned my lesson now; #1: backup your pics everyday (don't wait until the last day of vacation to backup all the photos!) and #2: try to exhaust all the free solutions you could find (info from forums, free data recovery software, etc.), and #3: don't lose hope because as my experience has shown it is still possible to recover the data.

I*just want to share my experience for the benefit of other people having the same problem.
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 6:46 AM   #3
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It looks like someone is trying to promote business in a subliminar fashion throughout this forum!
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 3:27 AM   #4
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There are still some file recovery software that are powerful enough to recover photos or files from unreadable card.
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Old Sep 18, 2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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I'd recommend that you follow some step by step guide, I was having the same problem last time and I found a step by step tutorial:
how to recover data from corrupted memory card

The tutorial is easy to follow and works well for me. hope that it helps you too.

Last edited by angelam9; Sep 29, 2013 at 9:21 AM.
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