Recovering Photos from Digital Camera Memory Card
This was my recent experience after taking the camera out to capture the kids sledding in 15 degree weather. Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was the rough trip to the bottom of the hill, but my camera refused to let me have those and hundreds of other photos back after the trip.
Here was my path to sucessful recovery:
IMPORTANT: Don't Jack with the files on the card! renaming them or opening them will only make things worse. If they are left as in tact as possible, even though all hope may appear gone, there is still a good chance you can recover them. I recommend flipping that little switch on the card immediately so it cannot be written anymore - if you card type has one.
Now visit http://www.z-a-recovery.com/
to download the Zero Assumption Recovery General Purpose recovery utility. It typically sells for $39, but they are kind enough to provide full support for recovery of digital camera card files at no charge in the demo version.
After you have installed the software and connected your camera or inserted the card into the reader on your PC; be patient as you continue through the process. With the fairly large size of todays memory cards, and the somewhat slow speed of reading/writing to them, it is going to take a bit. (As in 30 minutes to a couple of hours)
In my experience, including this most recent event, the tool does an outstanding job of cleaning up the mess. I recovered all 274 pictures that still remained on the card in this case!
Yes, you may find other utilities that will do the same...so please let us know if you have had similar success with other products which do not require an upfront purchase.
I know I won't hesitate to try their licensed version on more serious issues in the future given the success I've had thus far.
If you like me, you may take hundreds of digital photos before you take the few simple steps needed to pull them off the card and save them. Its only a matter of time before you experience the dreaded feeling of exploring the card to see a bunch of junk files instead of your memories...