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Old Jan 3, 2006, 4:42 PM   #1
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Is it worth spending the money on recovery software or just stick with the Windows XP checkdisk function. I'm happy to spend the money if it's REALLY going to work?
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 1:02 PM   #2
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There are several free programs out there. I've used zero assumption with success.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 2:09 PM   #3
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If you have a problem, don't use chkdsk

You could end up with a bunch of files with .chk extensions that won't be recognized as images, even if you do rename them.

You're better off avoiding anything that writes to the media, except as a last resort (and then I'd format the card if needed for an image recovery program to see it, and I still wouldn't use chkdsk).

Software designed to recover digital images is looking for specifidc information identifying data on media as image headers, and it looks at the data lengths associated in image headers, in order to piece the images together properly.

Yes, sometimes generic file recovery programs can work (depending on the problem). But, for more serious FAT corruption, use something designed for images.

Sometimes a byte or two may get corrupted when a card is damaged, so it's not always 100% succesful (you can end up with some corrupted images). If you've overwritten any areas used by images (that the File Allocation Table was not aware of because of corruption when shooting), then those images can be damaged, too.

But, you'd be surprised at how well recovery software can work, if the card is not totally dead and it can be recognized by the operating system and/or recovery tools (even after reformatting for the software to recognize the cards, in many cases).

If you ever have a problem, don't panic (and don't try to do anything that's going to write to the card like trying to take more photos or running a utility not specifically designed to recover images). If you do run a generic file recovery utility, don't use one that writes to the card.

You'll risk losing them if you try anything that writes to the card. It's best to use a utility that is only reading from it, writing the recovered images to your PC'shard disk

For JPEG images, I'd suggest trying Digital Image Recovery first (it's free). You can download it using this link:

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

If you have a card reader, that's best. If not, see if your camera is being recognized under "My Computer". If so, make note of the drive letter for it and run the Digital Image Recovery Program.

You then select English as the languge (when it starts it will ask), andselectthe source drive letter your want it to read from (the drive letter for your card).

You then browse for a folder for it to copy recovered images to on your hard disk drive and press the start button (just leave everything else at the defaults).

It's simple to use.

Here is another product designed to recover images if Digital Image Recovery can't get them back for you (not free, but they have a demo version you can try to see if it's going to work on a problem card before you buy it).

It's also designed to work with raw files from most cameras.

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

If you run into a problem where these two can't recovery images, there are more that may be worth trying, too.

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Old Jan 4, 2006, 2:28 PM   #4
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Jim, Thanks for the great comments/advice. I'll give both tools a try. I noticed that the PhotoRescue scored pretty high with PC Mag. Sandisk also offers a discount for RescuePRO which I might try as well. As for the SD card I have now it's definitely deader than a door-nail.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 2:33 PM   #5
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What happens when you insert it in your camera?

Does it see that you've inserted a card and want you to format it?

What happens when you use a card reader?

Does Windows see the card and want you to format it, or does it act as if nothing at all is there or give you some kind of error?

Does it show up under "My Computer" at all when using a card reader or camera attached via USB?



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