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Old Apr 29, 2007, 4:48 PM   #1
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Hi all...

I have a Canon A70 purchased back in 2003 (with the help of this very forum!) and i use a SanDIsk 256Mb compact flash card type I (i guess) with it.

Last week, i had my first serious problem with this camera and this card.

Im using what seems to be a fake pack of Sony rechargeable batteries, because after only 8 months they already die too quickly (compared to my old Powerex set that lasted 3 years with honnor!!), and usually when i get the "replace the battery pack" i turn the camera on again and try to take a few more pics, and this battle goes on until the camera dies completelly, usually leaving the lenses out...

Last week, unfortunately, something different must have happened, because in the middle of this "struggle" (camera dies, i turn it on again, it dies, i turn it on again,.... yeah, i know its silly and childish...), i suddenly got a "memory card error" message, maybe a "E80" message also, and the camera died completelly on me.

After replacing the battery set, i could not read the memory card again. All i would get is a "Memory Card error" message. The camera wont even allow me to format it. I replaced it with the 16Mb card that came with the camera and all went fine....

Terrified with the idea of losing my kids pics that were in there, i went out and purchased a internalmemory card reader for my PC(the one on the left: http://www.datatecheurope.com/cardreaders.php), so i could connect it as a removable drive and try some data recovery software on it, like EasyRecovery Professional.

To my despair, whenever i inserted the card into the reader, the green light would only blink and then turn off. Whenever i clicked on the according letter to the drive reader, Windows Explorer would freeze and after a few minutes, crash. Sometimes i would get that window where XP tries to read the contents of a media, it would go on for a while, lights would blink, but it would stop with no update on windows explorer. If i tried to click on the drive letter, it would hand and then crash windows explorer.

If i did the same with the 16mb card, it would get a green light constantly on, the same "reading" small window and another window with cards contents would pop up.

Looks like my 256 mb card had serious problems....

Tried to access it with Easy Recovery Pro, latest version, but it also would hang and them crash.....

So, to shorten the story, i decided to format the card in Windows (XP Home)... It started the formating proccess, but after a while i got the "WIndows was unable to complete the format"... but after doing this, the light became green all the time on the drive. If i try to read the card in windows explorer, i get a message telling its not formated, asking if i want to format it... if i do, i got back to the first message (WIndows was unable to complete the format)....

HEEEEEEEEEEELP!!!

PLLLLLLEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

What can i do????????

Can i recover the pics (about 50) that were in the card????

Is this card definitely DEAD????



thanks, thanks, and thanks A LOT For any help!!


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Old Apr 30, 2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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anyone???

please, i really need some help............
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 12:39 PM   #3
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It sounds like adead CF card. It happens. It has happened to me professionally, but thankfully I did not loose any shotsof value.

Hopefully you were NOT like some people who keep all their photos onthe card rather thantransferring them to a CD or DVD (or at least the hard drive of your computer and some other form of backup).
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 12:48 PM   #4
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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.

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.

Here's another popular Utility you can try:

http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/download.htm

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.

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

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.

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


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.


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Old Apr 30, 2007, 1:43 PM   #5
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JimC (and hgernhardtjras well!), thank you very much for your detailed and helpfull reply to my post!!

But i have one problem i must overcome before trying any of the solutions and appz you gave me: the card CANT be read, either thru windows or the camera.

I tried formating it using fat (16), either thru windows explorer or command prompt in DOS, but both return an error, saying that card is damaged and cant be formated.

I know itcould bea corrupted partition information, because windows can SEE it, RECONGNIZE it, but cant read it, so that leaves me thinking its like a damager MBR.

But how can i fix this?? I have no linux CD here, and Partition Magic couldnt even see it!

Can u suggest a program that would rebuild de file allocation table on the card??

thanks........
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 1:58 PM   #6
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JimC,

TestDisk, which comes with PhotoRec, and seems to be a partition recovery tool, gave me the following info after i scanned the damaged CF with it:

TestDisk 6.6, Data Recovery Utility, February 2007
Christophe GRENIER <[email protected]>
http://www.cgsecurity.org


Disk /dev/sdd - 254 MB / 243 MiB - CHS 31 255 63
Current partition structure:
Partition Start End Size in sectors


test_FAT : Boot sector doesn't have the endmark 0xAA55
1 P FAT16 >32M 0 0 33 31 51 20 501216
1 P FAT16 >32M 0 0 33 31 51 20 501216


Warning: Bad ending cylinder (CHS and LBA don't match)
No partition is bootable




And on advanced tool analyze, i got:



TestDisk 6.6, Data Recovery Utility, February 2007
Christophe GRENIER
<
[email protected]>
http://www.cgsecurity.org

Disk /dev/sdd - 254 MB / 243 MiB - CHS 31 255 63
Partition Start End Size in sectors
1 P FAT16 >32M 0 0 33 31 51 20 501216


Boot sector
test_FAT : Boot sector doesn't have the endmark 0xAA55


A valid FAT Boot sector must be present in order to access
any data; even if the partition is not bootable.


What should i do them???
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 2:33 PM   #7
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Did you try photorec? It will read from a drive with bad partition tables under Linux. I haven't tried it under Windows.

Have you got a CD burner?

If so, here's what I'd do....

Try using the Ranish Partition Manager to recreate the partition table. You'll find it under either the File System or Partition Managers menu choice on the Ultimate Boot CD (that's one way to get it).

Download the Ultimate Boot CD and burn the ISO to a CD. I'd download the Full Version (it's free):

It's got lots of good tools on it:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Some Download Links (scroll down and you'll see download links to the full version on the bottom half of the page):

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

If you don't have anything to burn the ISO with, you can download free software to do it. One example is Deep Burner. You'll see the link to the free desktop version on this page. I usually burn at 16x to 52x CD-R media with it and never get any "coasters".

http://www.deepburner.com/?r=download

After burning the downloaded ISO image to a CD, boot from the Ultimate Boot CD and select File System Tools (F3). If it's not there (and it moved around, depending on version), try the Partition Manager menus.

If your PC doesn't automatically try to boot from CD first, you may need to change the boot order in it's BIOS.

After Ranish loads, press F5 to toggle through your disk drives and look for your 512MB Card. Make SURE you've got the memory card selected versus your hard disk drive with Windows on it. You'll see the drive information for each drive at the top of the screen when you press F5 to toggle between the devices it sees.

After the card is on screen, with the first row highlighted in the table (the MBR), press enter to edit it and change the Executable Code type to a Standard IPL (you'll see the choices where you can edit it near the bottom right hand side of the page). It will likely show an "Unknown IPL" to begin with. I'd change it to Standard IPL.

Then, press F2 to write the changes. That should recreate a valid boot sector (hopefully).

Then, see if you can use the recovery tools in Windows to read the card.

If not, then, boot back into the recovery CD and delete the partition entirely (highlight the partition and press delete) and write the changes to the card using F2.

Then, boot into Windows XP and go into into Disk Management Tools under Control Center, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management, scroll down until you see the card (it will be graphically represented), right click on it, and use the Wizard to create a new FAT partition (selecct FAT as the file system type).

Then, see if the recovery utilities can read it.

Do these things at your own risk. Recreating partition tables, formatting, etc., should not overwite the actual data in the other sectors. So, photorec should be able to read what has not been overwitten yet if Windows can see the drive OK.



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Old Apr 30, 2007, 2:45 PM   #8
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P.S.

If they are *real* important, I'd use ddrescue (an open source utility designed to copy partitions, even from crashed drives with errors, on a sector by sector basis), to make an image of the card first (just to make sure you've got a good copy of what's on it before messing around trying to get it working good enough to read)...

I've seen it work when virtually no other program would copy a drive. I used it myself to copy a crashed drive last week.

One tool that has ddrescue already on the CD is the Trinity Rescue Kit:

http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.ph...mp;front_id=12

But, it's going to assume some Linux Knowledge (how to use a console, specify source/destination drives, etc.).





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Old Apr 30, 2007, 3:08 PM   #9
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I just sent you a PM with my phone in it. Call me if you want me to try and talk you through some of the Linux based tools for recovering data. It sounds like the major malfunction with your card is that the first 512 bytes of it got corrupted (or marked bad). That's your boot sector, and when it's corrupted, it can complicate recovery using Windows based tools.



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