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Old Jul 8, 2009, 8:09 AM   #1
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Default Memory card

I store some pictures and videos on an 8gb SDHC card having first downloaded them onto my hard drive and then transferring them onto the card.
This has worked well for months and the last time I looked at the card there was no problem. Today I get the message that the card has not been formatted and it wont open. Have I lost these phots/vids or is there a way to get round this? Any advice gratefully received.
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Old Jul 8, 2009, 8:25 AM   #2
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Chances are, the FAT (File Allocation Table) became corrupted when you copied the files to it. Make sure to use your Operating System's "Safely Remove" or "Eject" features when you copy files from a PC before you remove a memory card. Otherwise, you can end up with writes being cached in your Operating System's memory that haven't been written to the card yet, depending on the driver and it's setup (which can easily corrupt the FAT).

I'd suggest that you download and install this software for the operating system you're using (Windows, Mac, Linux). It's free. You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the main page. Then, just click on the desired operating system to download it.


Use a card reader if possible, and select your memory card from the list of media it finds (hard drives, memory cards, etc.), and give it a place to save the photos to on your hard disk when you are asked "Where to Save Recovered Files: (it defaults to saving recovered files in subfolders under Photorec, where the software is installed on your hard drive, but you can change it to something else if desired). Note that this product does not retain the original file names (but, you may not care about that), since it ignores the file allocation table entirely.

Don't worry about changing any of the other options. Just leave everything else at the defaults (Partition type, file types to recover, etc.) and it will try to recover any files that haven't been overwritten yet (and don't try to do anything like take more photos or you may overwrite some of them).

Here's a page showing you how to use this software:


After you recover your images (and make sure you can see the larger images, not just the thumbnails), I'd make sure you format the card again before using it, using the camera's menu choice for format (not your PC).

I do that every time I reuse a card (format it again using the camera's menu choice for format). That way, the card always starts out with a fresh FAT (File Allocation Table), just the way the camera expects it, since the camera is performing the format.
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Old Jul 10, 2009, 6:45 AM   #3
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Something sort of similar happened to me. Twice. I just got my camera in April-Canon EOS Rebel XS, so I was a little new to the operation. Formatted the memory card-a 2gb. Went to Florida in June and took lots of pics. Some for practice, some to keep. The camera suddenly stops working and I can a card can not be formatted error. Being the newbie I am, I turn the camera off, turn it back on and get a cannot create new folder error. I turn it off again and leave it off (I was doing a nature hike and was extremely hot). After an hour or so, I turned the camera back on. It was working, but all my pics were gone. Not a total loss because I had saved most to my sisters laptop. I thought I had deleted the photos by accident. It happened again after I got back home.. this time I wanted it to see if it would happen. I noticed this time I got a Full message on the display, same card cannot be formatted error, and pics gone. So I guess if I ever get that error again, I'll immediately pull the card out and see if my pics are still there.
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