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Old Nov 27, 2011, 6:12 PM   #1
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Default Anyone Got a Suggestion?

Right now, I'm fuming mad at myself and/or my K-5 because I drove two hours north...stood outside in winds at just above freezing temps, chasing shots of hawks in flight.....frequently checked my photos....and when I got home.....NADA!

There is not even an acknowledgement of a directory even being created on the card......

However, I removed all other dates.... and it shows only 11gb Free out of 16GB..... so the data is on the card.

Any ideas on what happened? Any way to recover?


Paul
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 6:46 PM   #2
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The file system is probably corrupted. Don't take any more photos or attempt to use any utilities to "fix" it (as that will reduce your chances of recovering any images that haven't been overwritten yet). You only want to read from the card until you get all of your images from it (so don't try to do anything like use chkdsk or other utilities that write to it in any way before you get them from it).

I'd suggest that you download and install this software for the operating system you're using (Windows, Mac, Linux). It's free. You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the main page. The downloads marked Windows-32 Bit should work on most Windows based systems (including 64 bit Windows 7).

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

IOW, for Windows, I'd use this Download (the one for the current 6.12 stable release for 32 Bit Windows, as it will also run on 64 bit versions of Windows Vista or Windows 7.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk-6.12.win.zip

After you unzip it to extract the files, you'll want to run photorec_win. exe (the same download also includes testdisk, which is not what you'll use to recover images from your card).

Use a card reader (not a USB connected camera).

Select your memory card from the list of media it finds (hard drives, memory cards, etc.), and give it a place to save the photos to on your hard disk when you are asked Where to Save Recovered Files (or use the defaults and it will create folders for them named recup1, recup2, etc., under the folder it was started from).

Note that this product may not retain the original file names with a damaged file system (but, you may not care about that), since it ignores the file allocation table entirely and goes after the underlying data (i.e., your image files) when the file allocation table is unusable. Note that when you get to the partition selection screen after selecting your card, sometimes it's best to select "Whole disk".

In most cases you don't need to worry about changing any of the other options. Simply leave everything at the defaults (Partition type of Intel, file types to recover, etc.) and it will try to recover any files that haven't been overwritten yet (and don't try to do anything like take more photos or you may overwrite some of them).

Note that by default, Photorec will only recover files that are contiguous and uncorrupted. However, if you're not recovering all of your photos using defaults, you can change some of the settings to alter this behavior if desired.

For example, if you look for the "Paranoid" settings when using photorec, you'll see three choices for it. Try it using Yes with Brute Force On (the default is Yes with Brute Force off) to get more images. It will take longer for it to run that way, but you'd have a higher chance of recovering uncorrupted images (since it's using relatively sophisticated techniques to try and piece together parts of images that are located in more than one place on the media). That option (Paranoid: Brute Force On) will still filter any corrupted files.

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

If you still don't get any additional images that way, you can set Photorec to keep corrupted files.

Here's a page showing you how to use this software:

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

After you recover your images (and make sure you can see the larger images, not just the thumbnails), I'd make sure you format the card again before using it, using the camera's menu choice for format (not your PC).

I do that every time I reuse a card (format it again using the camera's menu choice for format). That way, the card always starts out with a fresh FAT (File Allocation Table), just the way the camera expects it, since the camera is performing the format.
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 7:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojansoc View Post
However, I removed all other dates.... and it shows only 11gb Free out of 16GB..... so the data is on the card.
P.S.

I'm not sure what you mean by "removed all other dates". If you meant deleting something you did see on it, don't do that.

You do not want to write to the card (and deleting anything is writing to the card) until you get your images from it; and only use utilities that read from it.

That way, you're not going to risk damaging anything else on it since you are still at the same point when your images didn't show up anymore.

Basically, your FAT (File Allocation Table) has an issue. That's an index the File System uses to keep track of where your files are on the card and attributes for them (filenames, dates, etc.).

But, even if that index becomes corrupted (which can happen when something interrupts an update to it, or sometimes for no good reason at all), the data is still on the card. That's where a utility like photorec comes in, as it can ignore the file system entirely and still figure out where your images are and save them to your hard drive (without writing to the card in any way).

It's really very simple to use. It sounds harder than it is. ;-)

Make sure you can see the full size images first after you retrieve them (as thumbnails are separate jpeg files embedded into the larger files). Then, just format it using your Camera's menu choice for format before using it again. That way, you're recreating the FAT (File Allocation Table) that it uses to keep track of files.

If you have any questions while using it, fire away, as I've used it from time to time myself and could probably tell you what to do at the point you have problems at. But, if you stick to the defaults for everything after you select your card (and it should be obvious by the size which one is your memory card in the list that comes up), it works just fine using defaults for the rest in most cases. Sometimes it is better to select "Whole Disk" when you come to a screen that shows you a choice between a partition and the whole disk. But, if it doesn't work one way, you can try it again (it's only reading from it and not modifying anything on the card, so you're not going to hurt anything using it if your choices are not optimum the first time around).
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 7:57 PM   #4
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Jim,


Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I think I will certainly lose some shots, but nothing like what I would have otherwise, including shots of the first hawk I've ever had dive on me to try to scare me off....

I started the message by noting that I was kicking myself as well as my equipment precisely because of what you say in your last two paragraphs. I try to always start anything important, at least, with a freshly formatted card, and I had gotten lazy because i didn't want to move everything off the card.... Lesson Learned.

Thanks again!

Paul
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 8:04 PM   #5
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You may not lose anything if you haven't been trying to take photos of anything since the problem started. See what you get with photorec, and yell if you run into any issues trying to use it. You'll probably get photos back you took a while back using it if they haven't been overwritten yet (although some may be corrupted if some of the space they were taking has been overwritten).

There are also other software packages that can do the same thing with nice graphical interfaces. I just prefer photorec since it works quite well and has lots of tweaks you can use (not to mention that it's cross platform and can work with Windows, OS X and Linux). So, if you run into any issues with it, I can give you links to some others you can try.
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 8:44 PM   #6
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Will re-echo Jim's suggestion - have only needed PhotoRec a few times, but it does a very effective & efficient job.

It is easy to forget to format after each use, but sure seems to make a difference...

Hope your images are all recovered completely & soon!!
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 8:53 PM   #7
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BTW, here's a link to where you'll want to select Whole. That's the way to do it with a corrupted file system. Sometimes you'll also see Whole Disk as a choice under any partitions it finds. Select that option when you see it so that it scans the entire card for images, not just space that the file system doesn't think is being used.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Photo...ted_space_only
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 9:01 PM   #8
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Jim, I got the largest portion of them recovered. Shooting conditions were really bad today, so I didn't have that much good today, but I definitely didn't want to lose the hawk.

And, the card is freshly formatted....lol.

Paul
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 9:49 AM   #9
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Good. I'm glad you got them back. If you're missing anything you really want, try scanning it again using the setting for Paranoid, Brute Force On; making sure to select Whole Disk at any screens offering that option.

Just because it's been reformatted doesn't mean you can't still get the images from it again (as in most cases, a format just recreates the FAT, and doesn't overwrite the data stored on the card, which is why the format is very fast versus the time it would take to write a card full of images to it).
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 12:11 PM   #10
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This looks good, and I have downloaded it to use if I ever need it, but for accidentally deleted images I have used successfully Sandisk's Rescue Pro which is a free download that comes with some of the higher grade Sandisk SD cards - it works on other brand cards, too, and is very simple to use.
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