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Old Jul 15, 2013, 8:28 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11

So I ran PhotoRec on the image, using the same command that JimC posted above. I selected the FAT partition it found instead of "whole disk," but it still recovered a lot of files. This is the end report:
Disk imagefile.ima - 31 GB / 29 GiB (RO)
     Partition                  Start        End    Size in sectors
 1 P FAT32 LBA                0 130  3  3880  27 51   62325760 [NO NAME]

1000 files saved in /media/sda1/recup_dir directory.
Recovery completed.
Oddly enough, it recovered more than 1000 files. I count 1002 files (2.1GB) in a directory labeled recup_dir.1, and another 982 files (3.5GB) in directory recup_dir.2 . There's also an empty recup_dir.3 directory.

It doesn't look like it was able to recover the file dates for the MOV files, they all show the date of recovery, but the JPEGs have dates ranging from 7/4/2013 all the way back to 1/15/2009. I assume because of the recovery amount (around 5.7GB) and the dates on some photos that the card wasn't even remotely full, and that PhotoRec recovered some long deleted photos that were never subsequently overwritten.

I'm not copying the files to a flash drive to be imported onto my boss's computer. I assume the photo managing program, iPhoto, will be able to recognize any duplicates and only import the new photos and videos.

Thanks to all for the help.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 9:07 AM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

Great. I'm glad it worked out for you, and I know your boss is probably glad that you figured out how to use more sophisticated linux utilities to get images from a failing card. ddrescue is as good as it gets for copying failing media (especially a failing disk drive, as you tend to get more sector errors as a drive heats up, and ddrescue allows you to let a drive cool off in between passes, without needing to read sectors it already copied OK)

As for photorec, using the FAT32 partition will work as long as the partition table is OK. Just make sure to tell it to look at the whole partition (versus only unallocated space), as shown on this screen:


But, in some cases, a faulty card (and the disk image copy of it) may have a corrupted partition table. So, using the "Whole Disk" option from the partition selection screen gets around that problem (because it will scan all blocks for image headers, not just the space allocated to a single partition).

So, keep that in mind if you run into a card with an odd looking partition table without enough space allocated to the primary partition (try Whole Disk instead if you see problems like that).

Thanks for keeping us posted, and congrats on your successful recovery.
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