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Old Dec 1, 2006, 6:44 PM   #1
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I have 300 holiday photos on my 1gb pqi memory card and when I put it in the camera, computer, card reader etc it says 'Memory Card Error'. I've read lots of problems like this and was wondering whether anyone has come up with an answer. Have I lost my photos for good. Other memory cards are working fine!

Joanne
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 7:24 PM   #2
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Does it show up as a removable drive under "My Computer" when it's inserted in a card reader? If so, exactly what error do you get when you click on it to see it's contents?

What kind of card (Secure Digital, CompactFlash, etc.)?

What kind of card reader? Was the card reader able to see photos from it before this problem?

What kind of camera and were you shooting raw or jpeg?

As long as the card isn't totally dead and we can get the OS to recognize that a card is there, you can probably recover the images. Some of the tools available can ignore the file system.

Most of the time, it's just a corrupted FAT (File Allocation Table) causing the problem.

Let me know the answer to the above and I'll point you towards some tools to try out, depending on the symptoms. In the interim, do not attempt to write to the card (and do not use any utilities like scandisk, chkdsk, etc.).


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Old Dec 1, 2006, 8:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for your time Jim.

1. Removeable drive - My friend had the card reader so I can't check on that right now. When I put it in the camera and connect to computer it comes up on the camera as 'memory card error' and then the cameraLauncher.exe encounters a problem and needs to close. When I put it in the card slot of my printer the printer screen comes up with 'memory card error'.

2. It's an SD card

3. The card reader was useable before and after with other cards as is my camera.

4. The camera is a CanonIXY Digital 7.1 mp and I'm just shooting raw.

Hope this goes somewhat towards solving the problem.

Joanne


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Old Dec 1, 2006, 8:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
..."just shooting raw"
Are you sure you're shooting raw? What Canon model is it, exactly?

Most of the IXY models are not going to be capable of shooting in raw.

The reason I'm asking is because some utilities don't support raw files (.crw or .cr2 files from Canon models). So, I'd want to point you to one that supports those files if possible.

Does the card show up under "My Computer" when you plug it into the card slot in your Printer (despite the error)? If so, what happens when you click on it under "My Computer"?

Most printers are lousy card readers though. lol So, a dedicated card reader is a better way to go. Do you know if the card showed up under "My Computer" in your friend's card reader?



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Old Dec 1, 2006, 8:48 PM   #5
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I'll save you the time of looking.... If you get 300 photos on a 1GB card, you're not shooting raw (the files would be too large to get more than about 1/3 that amount in 1GB). So, a utility designed for jpeg would work.

Steps to take:

Agood utility to try is Digital Image Recovery (it's free). It works with jpeg files fine.

It should be able to get them back for you, as long as they haven't been overwritten and the card isn't totally dead. You can download it using this link, unzip it and run it.

http://www.foto-erhardt.de/foto-forum/download.php?id=2

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.

If for some reason it doesn't find them (and it should), 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.

http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/

If the two utilities I mentioned above can't get them back for you, here's a free open source program you may want to try. It's a command line utility (no graphical user interface). But, it should be able to get them, too.

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. You should be able to use any of these programs and get them back OK.

Here is the link to PhotoRec (it's open source and available for multiple platforms, including Linux). You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the page.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Now... If you can't read the card under Windows with these utilities, you may have to format it first.

Do that by "right clicking" on the card under "My Computer". Then, select Format. When the next Screen comes up, select FAT as the File System Type (don't use the default FAT32, use FAT instead), and click OK to Format it.

This will only overwrite the FAT (File Allocation Table), not the actual images. Then, try Digital Image Recovery as outlined above.


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Old Dec 2, 2006, 2:51 AM   #6
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Thanks heaps. I've printed out your reply and will give it a go. Hopefully, I'll be able to see my photos. Will let you know how I go.

Joanne


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Old Jan 2, 2007, 12:41 AM   #7
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Hello

First Im glad I found this board because I had almost the same problem with a memory card I got with a camera. Anyhow I followed all your instructions Jim and thank you they were very helpful. I was only able to recover 6 of the photos off of the card, and I even reformatted it as you said and then re-ran the digital image recovery program but still no luck getting the rest of the photos. I just wonder if its hopeless at this point?

thanks for your help
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 4:29 AM   #8
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Hi Pinkmini

I also followed all instructions without success. My corrupted card was a pqi so I contacted them and they sent me a recovery file. I had spent 3 months trying everything to recover my photos - without success. The file that pqi sent was successful. I would suggest that you contact the card maker (search for their site)and tell them your problem and hopefully you will have a happy ending!!!!

Good luck

Joanne


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Old Jan 3, 2007, 12:06 AM   #9
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Wow how funny is that? My card is also a pqi. Did you buy your camera off ebay? I did and it came with this crappy card. We had problems with the card since day one and I shoulda thrown it out but I didnt and grabbed it by accident. Anyhow that is great news so I will contact them and I hope I get the same results!
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 12:29 AM   #10
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Yes, I bought my camera - a canon ixy 7.1mp from ebay. I also bought a separate 2gb pqi card. Enough said! Good luck with your endeavours.This is the link that they sent to me. Try it and see if you can retrieve your photos. http://download.pcinspector.de/pci_us_smartrecovery.exe

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