AudsDad Naperville, US Nikonian since 16th Oct 2007
Sat 18-Feb-12 03:14 PM
"how to retrieve photos from re-formatted CF card"
I know that freeware is available (e.g. Piriform Recuva and others) which is said to be able to retrieve files from re-formatted CF cards, but I am not having any luck getting it to work out for me. Approx 2GB of photo files were accidentally deleted and then the recycle bin was emptied. I already tried to retrieve the files from the PC with data recovery freeware, but apparantly the files were already overwritten and are no longer retrievable. So I want to try to get them from my now-blank memory card.
I have a D300 with a SunDisk 4GB CF card which I re-formatted after uploading approx 2GB of photos into my PC last week. The card is now blank, but the data is said to be retrievable with appropriate software. I cannot find info in the freeware manuals to indicate whether I can get the thing to work by attaching my camera containing the CF card to the computer via the USB cable or whether I need to place the card in some other device.
Can anyone help me with trying to retrieve the most recently captured images from this re-formatted card? Perhaps there is a better program or method for doing so.
#1. "RE: how to retrieve photos from re-formatted CF card" In response to Reply # 0
I may be wrong but I'm afraid that once you reformat the memory card the images are not retrievable. In any event it is worth trying to get them back. I would definitely use a memory card reader, it is the safest way to transfer data from any memory card. Using the camera's USB connection is okay, but I think most of us here agree it is not best practice. The most popular recovery program by far is Sandisk RescuePRO.
#3. "RE: how to retrieve photos from re-formatted CF card" In response to Reply # 2
I have certainly used Sandisk's RescuePro successfully after reformatting CF cards. With some more recent purchases from Sandisk you get RescuePro free - otherwise it does have a cost attached to it (although you can download it and trial it for up to 20 files for free!!) The interesting thing I have found is not only have I recovered the files most recently lost through reformatting but also many of the files from previous times have also shown up as being "still there". So for a 4GB card I actually recovered about 12-13GB of files. Don't know if this is normal or just freaky - and hopefully shouldn't be that useful anyway
Rob Wyatt A Nikonian from Ballarat, Australia
D300, Nikon 17-55, Nikon 70-200, and Nikon 200-400, SB600
gkaiseril Chicago, US Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Mon 20-Feb-12 10:31 AM
#4. "RE: how to retrieve photos from re-formatted CF card" In response to Reply # 3
The formating of the CF card is done through setting some bit in the directory and fat of the card. So the actual data still remains on the card until the space where the original image was recorded is rewritten. The data are is only lost when a low level format or a special delete program is used to rewrite the data area. This process would take several minutes to be preformed and is not possible in the time the camera takes to 'reformat' a media card.
You also have to realize that there is "preview" jpeg in every jpeg, NEF, or Tiff recorded by the camera. The recovery software will recover the original files and can even recover the preview jpeg from a corrupted image files.
When files are written to a file, space for the image is allocated in a fixed size sector whether the file uses all of that space or not. The unused space is called "slack" and can retain data after the original file has been erased and new data is written over part of the area but not all of the sector. Because of this 'unused' space it is possible for a preview jpeg image to survive after many reformats.
#5. "RE: how to retrieve photos from re-formatted CF card" In response to Reply # 3
I've had the same experience with the Sandisk recovery software. Brings things back from the dead...lol. I've used the free recovery programs...they were pretty slow. Sandisk worked better and was faster.