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Old 01-12-2008, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
Location: City London UK
Recovering data off a formatted card.

About two years ago I went to Florida and took pics and my memory card was destroyed on my way back to NY. Somebody on this board gave me the name of a FREE program that helped my salvage some of the pics. Today I live in London and the program I was given is on an old PC I have back in storage in NY somewhere. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the program (X something). today I shot 200 pics of London... thought they had downloaded to my Mac and so I formatted the card, they didn't download, my bad. Anybody know a program I can use to recover the info off my card???? Please??
"To live outside the law you must be honest." - Bob Dylan

Last edited by Billy Ocean; 01-12-2008 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Left Coast
Quick Google found this:

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Old 01-12-2008, 04:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
this was just an article in the NYTimes. I had never really thought about it since normally I am very good about moving the photos off the cards 128MB SmartMedia. But with the new camera I have it takes a 4Gb SDHC card and I can take 1000s before I have to move them off.

In case the software doens't work.. there are services.

January 10, 2008
Deleted but Not Erased: Photos Reborn
THANKS to digital cameras, memories are easier than ever to gather. But as Amy Sevigny learned, they can be more fragile as well.

Last April, Ms. Sevigny, a nurse living in southern Maine, lost both her father and her brother within the same week. Her father, John Turgeon, died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and three days later, her brother, Craig Turgeon, died of cancer at 24. While planning the memorial services, Ms. Sevigny gave her camera to a friend and asked her to print the last photos she had taken of Craig with her 9-month-old son, Jack.

The friend returned ashen-faced: a photo technician at Rite Aid had mistakenly erased the disk. “I was completely devastated,” Ms. Sevigny said.

I heard about Ms. Sevigny’s problem several weeks later from a mutual friend. Mindful of the advances in digital forensics in the last decade, I looked into services for recovering the photos. I found that Ms. Sevigny’s experience is increasingly common, and not nearly as hopeless as she had initially believed.

Every year, thousands of people lose, destroy or mistakenly erase digital photos stored on their camera’s removable storage media. These devices typically come in three varieties: Memory Sticks, Compact Flash cards and Secure Digital, or SD, cards. Whatever the name, they can be prone to damage from rough handling, static electricity or a computer malfunction.

The biggest computer repair services, like Geek Squad, Gurus2Go and Nerds to Go, do not offer photo recovery. Thankfully, photo-recovery technologies have blossomed along with the growing digital camera market. These services can often produce stellar results as long as you are willing to spend some money, or engage in some careful do-it-yourself work.

A handful of software programs available online for about $30, including PhotoRescue and ImageRecall, will help users through the photo-recovery process at home. But experts say that depending on your technological skills, the type of damage involved and the sentimental value of the photos, you may wish to seek outside help.

“It’s better to ask someone who knows what they’re doing, because you don’t want to make things worse than they already are,” said Brian Karney, director for product management at Guidance Software, a company based in Pasadena, Calif., that makes digital forensics software for investigators.

Mr. Karney said consumers should ask important questions of the people to whom they want to entrust their memory cards. Chief among them, he said, is whether they understand “write blocking,” or data-handling techniques that prevent users from writing new data onto a storage device.

“If I plug your memory card into my laptop, the operating system will make changes to the device,” he said. “Every time you do that, you’re making it harder, if not impossible, to get the data back.”

To try out some of the photo-recovery services, I gave Ms. Sevigny’s SD card, in turn, to two data-recovery specialists and one computer technician with no such recovery experience. Jim Doyle, a senior director at Guidance Software who once supervised computer investigations for the New York Police Department, was the first to take on the job. Mr. Doyle used Guidance’s EnCase application, and retrieved 65 pictures.

The recovery was complicated, Mr. Doyle said, by a common problem. Ms. Sevigny had given up hope that the photos could be recovered, so she took 38 new pictures using the same SD card. If there were photos on the part of the card that had been overwritten, they were lost forever. Fortunately, the photos that were overwritten did not include six of Ms. Sevigny’s son and brother together.

Guidance does not offer data-recovery services for consumers, but some businesses that serve consumers, like Rolls-Royce and OfficeMax, use its EnCase software. “Most computer repair shops could probably deal with this kind of recovery,” Mr. Doyle said. “But you have to cross your fingers.”

In fact, while computer repair shops welcome the job of saving a glitchy hard drive, they often lack the expertise or willingness to work with digital photo storage, said Haim Sternberg, president of Cherry Systems, a data-recovery service in Marietta, Ga.

Mr. Sternberg said that although some of his customers mistakenly erase their photos, roughly 70 percent have lost them through physical damage to the storage device. That can include trying to force an SD card into its slot, or crushing the camera beneath a car tire. In those cases, he said, the company recovers the lost data more than 85 percent of the time.

“Often, the biggest hurdle is just getting the right part to reconstruct the piece,” Mr. Sternberg said. Once done, however, Cherry Systems can run the damaged card through its software.

Customers pay nothing if the process fails, and success or failure is measured by the company’s ability to retrieve the photos that the customer says are lost. If the company retrieves the photos, the customer pays $150.

After scanning Ms. Sevigny’s SD card, Cherry Systems recovered the same photos as those found by Mr. Doyle of Guidance Software. Mr. Sternberg said the company’s success rate in recovering erased photos is above 95 percent. “We know data loss is a very dramatic experience for people,” he said. “We equate it to a family loss.”

Mr. Sternberg said that lately, more downloadable software for such problems has come on the market. Among the more popular is PhotoRescue, from the software firm DataRescue, based in Belgium.

According to Pierre Vandevenne, the company’s chief executive, DataRescue has helped “hundreds of thousands” of customers in the United States recover lost photos since the program was introduced in 2001.

As with some other photo-recovery software available online, PhotoRescue quickly downloads a free trial version to users. Some recovery services will recover a sample — say, 10 percent — of the lost photos, and ask for a fee of about $30 for a full version of the software to recover the rest.

PhotoRescue instead recovers all of the available photos, but renders them in thumbnail size, so users can see which photos have been saved. For $29, users download a version of the software that will recover the full-size photos.

SD cards have a small tab that prevents the writing of new data to the card when set to “locked” mode, Mr. Vandevenne said. But, he said, customers cannot always be trusted to use write-blocking techniques. Still, consumers can save a lot of money and not compromise their results by using home-based software, Mr. Vandevenne said.

To test that point, I gave Ms. Sevigny’s card to Bruce Scranton, a computer specialist in Guilford, Conn., who had no experience with data recovery. Mr. Scranton downloaded PC Inspector Smart Recovery software from a German company called Convar. Within minutes, the program retrieved the same photos found by Cherry Systems and Guidance Software. Convar’s software is free, and the site asks for donations to support its offerings.

The results of all three had a profound impact on Ms. Sevigny. “I just started crying, because I wasn’t sure if it would really work,” she said. “I’m so excited, just because my son can know he got to meet Craig, and see how much he loved him.”
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
Location: City London UK
Thanks, both of you. Tried the first one on my mac but it was an exe. file so it didn't work. Will try it on my PC tomorrow.
"To live outside the law you must be honest." - Bob Dylan
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
Location: City London UK
Well thanks for the help but it didn't work out as planned... I downloaded all of those products and some of them found the pics I was looking for but then I ended up having to pay $50 for the full version which actually recovers the photos to my drive. It stinks because I know there is a totally free version out there I just forgot the name of it. Thanks again for the help...

Okay good stuff.... Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery 3.1 recovered the majority of them for free. It ran slow but in the end I fully recovered about 80-85% of the pics totally free.

"To live outside the law you must be honest." - Bob Dylan

Last edited by Billy Ocean; 01-13-2008 at 06:19 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
Redlemon's Avatar
Location: New England
Too late to help you, but for future thread readers, I've used CardRaider For Mac, which only would run you $20.
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
ngdawg's Avatar
Location: on the back, bitch
You can also try contacting the card manufacturer, explaining the issue. A friend did that and they recovered the data for him.
Two years ago I had made what I thought was a fatal error resulting in the loss of all my photographic work from my hard drive. Konichiwaneko gave me a recovery program called DIR.exe and another called ZeroAssumption. Between them both, I recovered over 44,000 files after having run a full reformatting of the pc .

For future reference, Lexmark makes cards for cameras with recovery software built in.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
Location: City London UK

Zeroassumption was the one I was trying to think of... I don't know where the X came from. Anyway two years ago somebody one this board advised me to use zero assumption and I recovered 2 weeks of vacation pics... lifesaver. I notice it's not free anymore... good program tho...
"To live outside the law you must be honest." - Bob Dylan
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