Thread: CF problem
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 12:48 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

There might be something. It sounds like Windows sees the card but the driver is crashing.

Don't format it again using the Windows defaults though. That's going to use a 32 bit FAT which isn't compatible with the original format. You need to select FAT from the drop down list of file systems types when you format a card less than 2GB in size.

In any event, that's not going to impact your ability to recover images using some utilities (and I would not reformat or write anything else to it in the interim).

There are a number of popular utilities designed to recover images that you could try.

One utility to try is Digital Image Recovery (it's free).

You can download it using this link, unzip it and run it.

Make note of the drive letter you see when the card is inserted in a reader (you'll find it under "My Computer"). Then, load this program and select your desired language (English is one of them).

Give it the drive letter for the card reader, select a folder on your PC to save the recovered images to, leave everything else at default settings, and press Start. Your photos will be saved to the folder you select.

Here's another popular Utility you can try:

Another choice is a free open source program called photorec. It's a command line utility (no graphical user interface). It's designed to work with severely corrupted file systems by looking for header information specific to many image types in order to try and reconstruct them. It works with over 80 different file types now (including most popular image formats). You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the page.

If for some reason these won't find them, here's a commercial program designed to do the same thing (not free). You can download a demo version to see if it works before buying it.

If these can't get it back for you... there is something else you can try. You could boot into a Linux Live CD system and recover the images using Photorec (you'd need to use a Live CD that already has it installed). The Linux drivers may not crash, even though the XP driver does.

Try those utilities and see what you get first using Windows. If they all fail to work, there are some other options. I've had cards that appeared to be bad that I got working again by recreating the partitions using some utilities available from some of the LInux recovery CDs. Sometimes bad partition information can cause drivers to crash.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote