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Old Feb 14, 2008, 6:25 PM   #11
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Hi Bjorgan,

My questions to you are similar to AliMack:

Quote:
I also suddenly get this Card not initialised message. The card has been working fine all weekend and now suddenly it doesn't.
What type of card is this?

Are you able to link that to any unusual event that occurred when shooting? Did this message occur on the camera even before you tried downloading, or only after you had tried downloading to your PC or Mac etc. at least once?

In your PC card reader (I'm assuming you have a PC), when you tried to download the images, do you get a Windows prompt to format the card (don't accept it!) or to insert a card, or something else?

Quote:
I've tried to access the card using PhotoRescue, but without luck. Can anybody please help?
What do you mean 'without luck'? Was the card not recognised by the software at all, or did the software recognise the card but was unable to retrieve any images, or ... ?

Quote:
All the images of my daughter's 4th birthday are still there on the card, not being available to me.
This is certainly one possibility. There are other software programs you can try, but what we hear about PhotoRescue is generally good, so I'm interested in how that isn't working for you (we use our own specially-written software, so I can't give specific recommendations of better/worse programs than PhotoRescue). If that program isn't able to read anything from your card, then I doubt that other normal software will be better.

So again, you may want to look for a photo / data recovery company to assist, if you're not successful using software-only methods yourself. Make sure not to format or write to the card in any way, as that will reduce the chances of success with any later recovery efforts.

Good luck,

--
Sam
[Disclosure - I work for a photo recovery company, but still trying to give impartial advice]

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Old May 18, 2008, 2:48 PM   #12
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Hi Sam,

Thank you for your thoughts in this thread.

I had a similar bad experience yesterday. I spent the day at a wildlife reserve and had taken around 300 photos. Literally, I was on my way out when I saw an egret going after some fish. I took a few burst shots to catch the action. Probably before the camera was finished writing to the card, I tried to view them. Now that I think about this, that was bad, but I have been doing this since I got my camera a few weeks ago, as I haven't noticed any thing that indicates the card is still being written to (except that now I have a thought which I will check out next time I use the camera). Usually the hourglass appears and after a few seconds I can view the shots. However, this time the camera completely froze. I turned it off and back on. I was abel to see two or three pictures, but as I scrolled through, it froze again. So I turned off the camera and put in a new card. I took more shots and everything was fine.

On the bus ride on the way home, I tried to view the pictures again. This time, I was able to see the photos I had taken when I first arrived in the morning. But the card was having trouble again and after a couple of minutes, the files looked all corrupted. I couldn't view them, there were just some digital lines all over.

When I got home, I put it in the card reader imbedded in my laptop. There were only about 20 or 25 thumbnails listed, none of them readable. Eventually, the card reader would not even read that a card was in there (it didn't show up as a drive on my computer). Now it works though. I've tried some data recovery programs, but no success yet. When I put the card in the camera I get a message that the card is unusable and I should put a new card in. I am using photorecovery right now, but I am not optimistic. It has scanned 1100 of 4194304 so far but all 1100 are 'bad' sectors.

Some background info.
Camera= Nikon D60
card= SanDisk Extreme III 2Gb SD
it was a new card. I realize I forgot to format it before I started using it. But I had taken 300 photos!!

Man, I am really upset because some of the photos were quite special. And I was able to get many other pretty good shots. I had a series of shots of two birds mating while flying!! I don't think I will ever get that chance again in my life.

Ah! I am trying to come to grips with having lost all these photos, but haven't been able yet. Help please!!
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Old May 19, 2008, 12:07 PM   #13
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Are you sure your laptop reader is compatible with that card? Many readers won't work with SD cards over 1GB.

If so, I'd try Photorec. It's free. You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the main page.

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

Select your memory card or flash drive from the list of media it finds, 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).

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

Here's a page showing you how to use it:

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

If you have any questions or issues, let me know. Make sure you can see your photos OK (not just the thumbnails) after recovering them.

If it can't get them, try removing and reinserting the card and give it another go.

If that still doesn't work, sometimes you can get a good image of the card using something like ddrescue (a linux utility). Basically, it's got the ability to keep a log file of what it's successfully copied so far so you can multiple passes. That lets you make a pass, get what you can while it works around errors, let it cool off, make another pass, etc. Then, after you get a good image of the card (basically a byte by byte disk image that's identical to the original drive), you can mount the image file as a drive and use something like Photorec to get any images it contains (or copy the image to a new card and do the same thing with recovery utilities).

But, you'd need someone that was "Linux Savvy" to work you through that process. There are probably some similar utilities around for Windows somewhere, too. But, I've found ddrescue to be as good as it gets for copying damaged drives with hard errors.

If you scroll down to the comments and look at the "Fast, Fast, effective, and flexible! post by rtpdave - May 16th 2005 18:32:16 on this page, it explains the concept. I've used it the same way on memory cards.

http://freshmeat.net/projects/addrescue/

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Old May 19, 2008, 12:39 PM   #14
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Thank you Jim,

I've already used the same 2gb Extreme III cards with my laptop, I have two others, so I think the new one is also compatible.



I've tried photorec, but didn't really get it to work. I kept the default for the drive to save recovered files to because I couldn't figure out how to change it. Eventually I got down to the 'search' prompt, but nothing seemed to be happening so I closed it. I will try to do it again tonight when I get home. I hope it will take less than 800 hours!



Thanks,

Brian
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Old May 19, 2008, 1:10 PM   #15
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It normally defauls to the same drive you're running it from (probably your C drive if that's where you installed it), and saves the images in a folder underneath where it's started from (usually named something like recup1, recup2, etc).

See the instruction page I posted a link to (one of the menu choices at the top of that page is "Select where recovered files should be written to"

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Photo...uld_be_written

It should see the 2GB drive when you start it so you can select it as the source. If not, exit the program, remove and reinsert the card and try it again.

Note that you'll need to maximize the command prompt window (or, you'll get a warning that it needs more space to work).

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Old May 19, 2008, 7:03 PM   #16
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Thanks again Jim, I figured out to change the directory.

I've run it a few times, but don't seem to be getting anywhere. Attached is a screen shot of the end of the scan. It looks like it is still going as the message changed afte I did this screen shot. But 1700 hours!
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Old May 19, 2008, 7:43 PM   #17
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That's pretty odd. I've seen badly damaged cards before that worked OK with it (but, then again, that's under Linux versus Windows).

I'd try to get a disk image of it using ddrescue and then see if I could recover any images. How do you feel about learning Linux? ;-)

If you want to download SimplyMEPIS 7.0 Final from one of their repositories (it's free), I can try to talk you using ddrescue via phone and see if it can copy any good sectors from it to an image file we can try to recover from using photorec (that way, photorec won't have to worry about any hard errors to find any images that are still there). Both ddrescue and photorec are installed in this Linux distribution.

It's around 700MB (so, it may take you a while to download it). Then, you'd need to burn the .iso image to a CD and boot into it to run the utilties. Here's one download link:

ftp://ftp.cise.ufl.edu/pub/mirrors/m...7.0-rel_32.iso

If you want to give it a go, download it and send me a PM with your phone number when you're ready and I'll call you and try to talk you through using it.

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Old May 20, 2008, 12:11 PM   #18
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Sorry for the delayed response. I am losing hope now. I closed out the program and tried again while putting the card in my PSD. This worked much faster. In fact I did it several times, but to no avail. No files were recovered. I also tried several other programs, cardrecovery, rescuepro, pc inspector, art plus digital, recuva.



Today using art plus digital, i created an image and then tried to 'purse' it. No images.

A call to Sandisk didn't provide any help either.




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Old May 20, 2008, 6:43 PM   #19
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Hi,

Quote:
Thank you for your thoughts in this thread.
You're very welcome, but seeing all that you've recently tried and what has been happening, I don't know how much more I can add...

One of the issues that I see in your case, is that the ability to read informaton from the card seems to have changed several times (which is not common) e.g.:

Quote:
On the bus ride on the way home, I tried to view the pictures again. This time, I was able to see the photos I had taken when I first arrived in the morning.
But then...

Quote:
the card was having trouble again and after a couple of minutes, the files looked all corrupted. I couldn't view them, there were just some digital lines all over.
Then the card was recognised in your card reader (as Jim said above, not all internal laptop card readers would read a 2GB card, although you've confirmed that yours does with other 2GB cards) - so at first it did recognise the card:

Quote:
When I got home, I put it in the card reader imbedded in my laptop. There were only about 20 or 25 thumbnails listed, none of them readable.
and then later it didn't:

Quote:
Eventually, the card reader would not even read that a card was in there (it didn't show up as a drive on my computer).
and then it did again:

Quote:
Now it works though.
The risk that things will get worse is a possibility with any suspect card. That's why getting an image of a card early is important, when you have any problems at all with a card - get that first, just in case things start to deteriorate. Then you can decide whether to try to recover or view the images after you've got an image of the card.

Your screenshot from PhotoRec shows that the card's capacity (2054MB) is being reported, so the SD card controller (within the card) is able to get at least that information from the flash chip and report it to the PC. This normally means that the flash chip inside the card is not completely dead, but that's about the limit of what can be determined without opening the SD card - which I suggest is best left to a professional, unless you know what you're getting into :sad:

You could leave PhotoRec to run for longer, as there may just be a (large?) unreadable section at the start of the card, followed by a readable section - that sometimes happens, although obviously you won't get any images back from the unreadable sectors. Jim's recent comment to try to get an image of the card is very sensible (if you want to continue the recovery attempt yourself) - however, there was probably more chance of success before the ability to read the card started to deteriorate...

I've got one thought - was the temperature at the wildlife reserve significantly different from room temperature? This is a long-shot, based on an interesting recovery I did a little while ago. Unfortunately, by this stage, the options of what can be done without opening the card are quite limited. That changing behaviour looks more like a hardware problem, which software alone is not likely to rescue you from.

Good luck,

--
Sam
[Disclosure - I work for a photo recovery company, but still trying to give impartial advice]
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Old May 20, 2008, 9:49 PM   #20
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I've seen photorec report some pretty outrageous tmes before running against a large damaged hard drive when reading through bad sectors.

I've also seen bad memory cards act very odd (only recognized for a very short time after plugging one in). The last time I saw that, just removing it and reinserting it got it going for a short time again. With that kind of issue, I'd get a disk image using ddrescue first. It's very fast at recovering from hard errors compared to most programs. It's also smart enough so that it lets you get what you can and do another pass without rereading the sectors it's already copied OK to get more after the card is recognized again (which means you could try letting it cool off between passes if it's a heat related problem).

It's really super for getting data from a failing hard drive, too. I even use ddrescue as my backup tool (copying partition images to different drives with it). It's very fast for that purpose.

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