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Old Sep 27, 2014, 7:26 PM   #21
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Right, I am already running the latest Realtek card reader.

Again Jim, thanks for your help, it is very much appreciated.

I have read your last posting and I must say, that is well beyond what I normally do with my laptop lol. I should just send you the card lol.

But seriously, I really do want to recover these pictures, so I will work my way through it, make sure that I have the right hardware, set it up how you have said, and then I'll get back to you.

I do hope that it's easier than it sounds! :-)

Thanks.
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Old Sep 27, 2014, 8:03 PM   #22
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I'm sure it can sound intimating. But, it's something I do on a regular basis. I use ddrescue to make block by block copies of memory cards, physical drives, etc. on a regular basis, since I use those disk image files as backups so that I know I have an "exact" bit by bit copy of the source media, which is something you don't get with most commercial disk image backup programs (as they're going to rely on the partition table, and file system drivers, and only copy used space on a device versus making an *exact* disk image copy)

There's no guarantee that's going to help anything though.

That's because normally, I'd expect the "whole disk" option in Photorec to recover any images on a card, unless the partition table is also corrupted (so that photorec is not reading through the entire card and only reading through the space the partition table thinks is being used on it), or the card has a physical problem of some type. But, by creating a block by block copy, we can bypass any potential partition table problems and get a disk image of the entire card.

As for sending me the card, you'd be welcome to do that. I'll be glad to look at it and see what I can do. I've done that from time to time for other members here. I don't know what the postage would cost you to send the card to the U.S. But, if you want to do that, let me know and I'll PM you my address.

I don't mind seeing what I can do with it for a forum member here (no charge, as I don't mind helping out someone that has important images they need to recover from a card).

Of course, I don't want to make that a habit (as I'm not interested in becoming an image recovery service).;-)

I don't mind helping out from time to time (as that gives me something to do, and using the techniques I use takes up very little time anyway, as it's just a few commands to create a disk image file from a memory card and save any recoverable images from it), as that would probably be easier from my perspective compared to walking you through it, copying and pasting commands back and forth, etc.

But, I'd just be using the same techniques to see what's recoverable from it as I've been discussing (ddrescue to create a disk image file, etc.).

See this page 3 of this old thread for how that kind of thing would work (but the images the member posted that I recovered are now bad links), where we'd exhausted all online help and I suggested the member just send the card to me instead:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/me...ialised-3.html

But, in your case, there's no evidence of a physical problem with the card. So, it shouldn't be too much trouble for us to copy and paste the needed commands back and forth to see if we can get your desired images from a disk image file we could create from it (so that we'd bypass any potential problems with it's partition table, even though a problem like that is rare).

The hardest part is just using commands like fdisk -l and mount from a terminal to see how your drives and partitions are labeled, then issuing the appropriate command to mount a partition to save a disk image file to.

We'd just mount the same partition your main Windows installation is on now for read/write purposes, after we determine what label is assigned to it; where I'd need to give you the commands and let you copy and paste them into a terminal program, then copy and paste the results to me so I can give you the next commands needed to create the disk image file and save it to the desired mount point, then use photorec to read through that disk image file and save the output to the desired folders (so that when we're done, you'd just boot into Windows again and be able to see the saved image files).

Again, it's much easier than it sounds (it just looks complicated if you're not familiar with drive/partition naming conventions that linux will use). as I've done that kind of thing many so many times that it's "second nature" to me. Linux just uses different labeling for drives and partitions compared to Windows.
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Old Sep 28, 2014, 12:46 AM   #23
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P.S.

Do you have a USB flash drive we could use to burn a Live Linux distro to (or a memory card in a card reader would also work, as long as it's not the same card reader we need to use for reading your SDXC card)?

If so, and you have one handy that's 2GB or larger, you could burn something like Linux Mint 17 KDE to one using Unetbootin (the utility I mentioned in my earlier post for writing a linux distro to a USB flash drive so that it's bootable). Then, set it up for "Persistence"

What that means is that you can burn an Ubuntu based distribution (and Linux Mint falls into that category, as it uses an Ubuntu base), to a USB Flash drive in a way that allows you to save changes to it (including docs, photos, etc) as well as letting you install more programs, just as if you were running it from a hard drive installation.

Note how the installation screen for Unetbootin is setup. As mentioned in my earlier posts, you'd just download the .iso file for a linux distro, then check the box on the Unetbootin installation page to use a Disk Image file (the .iso for a distro you want to burn to the USB media so that it's bootable), use the browse button to find that .iso file and select it, then select the drive letter of the USB Flash Drive you want to burn it to, and select OK.

But, you'll also see a section near the bottom (just under where you select the disk image file you want to write to a USB Flash Drive) labeled "Space used to save files across reboots":

Note that section on this screen:



Even though it's labeled as "Ubuntu only",. you can use that feature with any Linux distribution based on Ubuntu (Linux Lite, Kubuntu, Lubuntu Linux Mint KDE, Linux Mint Cinnamon, etc. etc. etc.). Just use the up arrow keys to allocate more space for saving files, programs, etc.

That way, you can have a full featured Linux distribution on a USB Flash drive, with the ability to install new programs to it, save files you're working on to it, etc.

Your laptop has plenty of resources for a "heavier" linux distribution with more features and programs included (versus one of the "light weight" distros like Parted Magic).

So, you may want to consider downloading something like Linux Mint 17 KDE from one of the download mirrors listed on this page (and I prefer a KDE desktop since KDE has better image viewing/editing apps, but others prefer a Cinnamon desktop)

http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=167

Those are mirrors for the 32 bit release (even though your computer also supports the 64 bit release, there's really no need for anything other than the 32 bit version for your purposes)

Then, download Unetbootin from here so you can use it to burn something like Linux Mint to a USB Flash drive so that it's bootable:

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

Just download the .iso for Linux Mint, then when you run Unetbootin, check the box for Disk Image and browse for the LInux .iso file you downloaded (usually in your downloads folder by default) and select it.

Then, use the up arrow key in the section that lets you allocate space for saving files (just go ahead and make it as large as the flash drive, and it won't use any more space than is available if you set it too large), select the drive letter for the USB Flash drive you want to install it to, and press OK.

That way, you'd have a much more full featured Linux distribution to use, and more importantly, you'd have space on the USB Flash drive that could be used for installing more programs to it.

Then, after you boot into it's desktoop, you could simply install something like TeamViewer on it, so that I could "remote control" your OS from here (so that I'd see your screens and you'll be able to see what I'm doing, just as if I'm at your location and typing on your keyboard).

You'd just need to click on the link to the .deb file for it from this page.

http://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/linux.aspx

This file would work with both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Ubuntu based distros like Mint:

http://download.teamviewer.com/downl...ewer_linux.deb

Basically, if you've booted into a USB Flash drive setup as discussed, you could simply download that .deb file (and Firefox is already installed so just use it for that purpose), click on it from your downloads folder and a program included in that linux distro (gdebi) would automatically install it for you and make entries for it in the menus, etc.

Then, if you run it, you'll see a "Teamviewer ID" assigned to your computer, along with a temporary password (and you can also assign a permanent password, but that's not needed for the quick access I'd need to recover what we can get from your SDXC Card).

So, all you'd need to do is start it that way, send me a PM with that TeamViewer ID and temporary password (just use Firefox for that purpose, as it's already installed in that linux distro), and I could remote control your computer from here (as I keep TeamViewer installed on my PCs for helping out others), running all of the commands needed to figure out your drive/partition labeling, mount your primary Windows partition as read/write so I could save files to it, etc. You could see what I'm doing, as basically, I'm just remote controlling it, as if I was using a keyboard locally on your end.

Then, I'd install ddrescue and photorec real quick (since they're not included by default in that distro) via a a few quick commands from a terminal I'd open, then use ddrescue to create a disk image file I'd save to your primary Windows partition that I'd mount so that it's writable, and run photorec against the image file to extract images, and we'd be done (so you could shut down the PC, remove the USB Flash drive, boot back into Windows and have access to the recovered images).

Anyway, there are many ways to approach it. But, if you'd prefer not to need to worry about copying and pasting the commands I need you to run, copying and pasting their output back to me so I can give you the next steps, etc.; then installing a distro to a USB Flash drive that supports "Persistence" (allowing you to install something like TeamViewer to it) may be easier for you (so I can just remote control your PC from here and do what is needed to try and get as much as possible from your SDXC card).

There are many ways to approach it. ;-)
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Old Sep 28, 2014, 11:36 AM   #24
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Jim, that really does sound like 'Greek' to me :-)

I was only joking about sending the card to you. I mean it genuinely was just a flippant remark as, apart from anything else, I wouldn't want to impose.

But having read your advice/instructiions, and with you saying that you'd be willing to take a look at it, I know that it would be better in your hands than in mine.

I'm not bothered about postage costs that I'd obviously cover both ways, as the missing pictures can't be replaced. To anyone else, they'd just look like any old holiday 'snap', but when we holiday, we tend to be more like you Americans - we like to see places, and these photos are the only record of some of the places that we saw.

So if you were serious about that Jim, I'd really like to send the card to you. As I said, obviously I'd cover postage both ways, and obviously any hardware that you may need. I'd also be much happier if I could give you something for your time as well, just to show how appreciated this is.

Honestly, it's not about me being too lazy to do the work. I'd happily spend as many hours as would be required to recover the photos. But having read your advice, I know that those procedures would be far better attempted by you, than by me. In addition, you'd be able to attempt anything you wished, no matter how radical. I have USB saved copies of the pictures on the card that are working, so as you viewed the problem, you could take any action that you saw fit, without any ping-pong comms, or bad descriptions by me.

And there's no time constraints. In your own time obviously! The card is of no use to me the way that it is.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 28, 2014, 2:04 PM   #25
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What have you got to work with.... IOW, do you have a USB Flash Drive you could install a Linux distribution to?

Those are very inexpensive. IOW, you can buy a 4GB USB Flash drive for under $10.

For that matter, you can probably find larger 16GB or 32GB drives for around that price anymore. See a huge assortment of them at Amazon UK (as it looks like you're in the UK):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/b?node=430554031

Chances are, your local office supply store (or electronics/computer stores) have plenty of them in stock, too. They're very inexpensive now.

Basically, installing a linux distro to a USB flash drive is very simple using a tool like Unetbootin.

Basically, all you need to do is download Unetbootin, then download the .iso file for a Linux distro, then select the downloaded linux .iso file from Unetbootin, select a drive letter for the USB Flash drive (which you'll see under "Computer" from the Win 7 start menu) to burn it to a USB Flash drive. Just use the arrow keys you'll see for adding the ability to store files on the Unetbootin screen (as discussed in my previous post), and then that same flash drive can be using for storing files, adding programs, etc.

Then, when you boot into that USB Flash Drive, you 'll see a desktop that is easy to use, with a Menu button in the bottom left hand corner (just like you'd have Windows) with applications menus, etc.

It's very simple to use a modern linux distro, and one will run from a USB flash drive with no need to install it.

With something like the Mint 17 KDE release I mentioned, you'll have Firefox already installed with an icon for it visible, or you can click on the menu button (same place you'd find the Start Menu in Windows), look under Applications>Internet and see a menu choice for it.

Then, just use Firefox to get to the the link I gave in my earlier post to download Teamviewer. It's a "one click" installation (similar to how installing a Windows app would work), where you'd just follow the prompts on screen and use it's defaults.

Then, when you start that application, it will come up with a screen with a TeamViewer ID in bold text, along with a Password right below it. Each time you start it, you'll see a new password assigned (as it's just a temporary password), unless you go into the setup menus and assign a permanent password, making it easy to allow short term remote access to a machine.

At that point, you could just login to the forums here (again, Firefox would already be installed in that kind of distro), and send me a PM with the Teamviewer ID and Password you'll see in bold text after you start that app, and I could connect to your machine from here and "remote control" it (so I'd see the exact same thing you're seeing on your end), and issue the commands needed to install ddrescue and photorec, see how your hard drive and memory card are labeled, mount your Windows partition, write a disk image file from your SDXC card to it, then search that disk image file for images using photorec and save them to your windows installation.

IOW, I'd see the same linux desktop you're seeing and be able to use it (just as if I were sitting at your computer), and you could watch what I'd doing while in accessing it.

Then, I could even shut down your PC from here. At that point, you'd just unplug the USB Flash drive and boot back into Windows again, and have access to the folders your images are stored in.

Basically, that approach would only require a few steps on your end (using firefox to click on the download for Teamviewer and install it; load it, and send me the TeamViewer ID and Password you'll see on the main TeamViewer screen via a PM after logging into the forums. Then, I'd do the rest from here to avoid the need for copying and pasting commands and results back and forth.

It's easier than it sounds. ;-)

That would be my best suggestion to make it easy on your end (just burn a linux distro to a USB Flash Drive, boot into it, install Teamviewer, give me the ID and Password you'll see on screen when you run it via a PM, then let me do the rest from here (simply plug in your SDXC card after you've got everything running on your end so that I can see it when I access your PC).

If you'd prefer to send me the card, no problem. I can PM you my address. But, again, there's no guarantee I could do anything with it. As for compensation, I would refuse to accept any, and I would not need anything but the memory card (as I already have card readers, etc.). I don't mind helping out with this kind of issue.

But, it would be a lot easier just to burn a linux distro to a USB flash drive, boot into it, quickly install Teamviewer, then let me access your computer from here to see what we may or may not be able to get from the card; as I'd hate for you to go to all of the trouble to send it here if we can find out if images are recoverable from it in a few easy steps without going to that much trouble (shipping a card, etc.)
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 8:39 AM   #26
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Hi Jim, sorry about the delay - back at work now. :-(

That's very generous Jim, thanks.

My first choice would be to send the card to you as you obviously know a great deal about this sort of thing. I'd have no problem with you accessing my computer, I just think that you'd be in a better position without me fumbling around.

And hey, I know there's no guarantees! They may be lost forever. But I'm sure that if anyone can retrieve them, you can.

I don't mind the postage, or indeed as I said, anything that you need to work on the card.

Let me know as I can send this to you as soon as I know where to send it. Probably by the time that I had everything that I needed, you'd have the card anyway.

I'll be back on later Jim.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 10:14 AM   #27
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Address sent via PM if you want to send me the card and let me take a look at it.

But, it would be easier if you simply installed Linux to a USB Flash drive (very simple using the Unetbootin tool I mentioned), boot into it and let me remote control that desktop from here. ;-)

IOW, I'd still be issuing the commands needed to recover the photos. I'd just be doing it from here using remote control software (so I'd see the same linux desktop that you'd see running).
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 10:26 AM   #28
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BTW, I did find one distro that has TeamViewer already installed, meaning you could either burn it to a USB Flash Drive using something like Unetbootin, or simply burn it to a DVD and boot into it (since write access to the boot media wouldn't be required if TeamViewer was already installed).

But, it's up to you if you're still prefer to send it all the to me (keeping in mind that we may be wasting our time, as it's unusual that you can't get the photos directly from the card using photorec).
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