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Old Nov 29, 2011, 12:26 PM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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Originally Posted by penolta View Post
This looks good, and I have downloaded it to use if I ever need it, but for accidentally deleted images I have used successfully Sandisk's Rescue Pro which is a free download that comes with some of the higher grade Sandisk SD cards - it works on other brand cards, too, and is very simple to use.
Yep. The Sandisk program should would work fine in most cases.

Not having a GUI is one thing some people don't like about photorec. But, that does let it work on multiple platforms (linux, os x, windows); and it's quite powerful.

It also recognizes a lot of different file types (even if the FAT is missing or damaged so that you can't retrieve the original filenames or attributes), and the author adds more on a regular basis. See this page for currently supported file types:


Another nice thing about it is that you can use it on disk images (not just physical cards or disks).

Sometimes, when there are physical problems with a hard drive or memory card (i/o errors with timeouts), versus just FAT corruption, most recovery utilities will "choke".

So, in situations like that, you can use specialized utilities to get a disk image copy of a card (or failing drive). I use gnu ddrescue under Linux for that purpose, since it's smart enough to work through areas with "hard" errors, and lets you make multiple passes against a drive or other storage until you get the best possible copy of it. It also lets you do things like let a drive or card cool off between passes, as temperature can often impact what you can get from a failing device, only reading the areas that it didn't read OK with previous passes if you use a log file with it.

Then, when you get the best possible copy, just use photorec against the disk image file and it will find any images in it.

Here's an example of that kind of thing from a while back:


But, for accidentally formatted cards, deleted images, or when you just have file system corruption issues (versus a failing component), you don't need to go to that much trouble in most cases, and photorec can handle it without using other tools.
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