Recover lost photos from a memory card

memorycard_thumbI thought I’d share a recent event in my family that may assist others.

Recently one of our daughters went overseas and she bought a new memory card for her camera during that time. We got an anxious phone call from her one night, in tears, because her camera couldn’t read the card and she was worried she’d lost her photos – over 200 of them. Her father suggested she put it away safely and we’ll look at it on her return. Later we discussed this event and thought perhaps the extreme change in temperatures (she’d gone from Egypt to Amsterdam over the Christmas/New Year period) may have affected the card but we weren’t sure.

Anyway, putting the card into my computer confirmed our fears – the card was corrupted and unreadable. What should we do?

Well, we elected to go to a camera shop to see if they could help and the very helpful guy there told us they could send the card away and it would cost $59.95 but perhaps we should Google ‘data recovery’ and see what we come up with first. Which is what I did – lots of programs, which one should I choose and is it safe to download? And then I got the idea to search on the card brand name, along with ‘data recovery’ and then I found a program that the manufacturers recommend for data recovery of corrupted cards or deleted photos. Great!

I was still a bit dubious but did what I needed to, to download the program, install it and then start the process. I made sure I read every single word on each window presented to me as I didn’t want to make a mistake. I had to enter in the brand of camera (Pentax) to ensure it selected the correct file types to look for.

I watched it count the number of image files it was finding and held my breath. Success! Out of 226 photos, 206 were recovered. The others were partly visible in Microsoft Photo Editor and not visible in another program. I viewed them on my computer and then burnt them to CD for her.

We are now able to see our daughter perched on the back of a camel, the pyramids she and her friend saw in Egypt, the work they were doing in Kenya and other photos they took.

I thought sharing our story here might help others who fear they have lost photos because a memory card has become corrupted. There is hope! (Reposted from January 2009, from my old blog)

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