Data Recovery Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

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Photo and video recovery from a memory card with a corrupted file system

A lot of devices use memory cards, whether it is your camera or your phone. They can also be used as alternatives to USB sticks to allow for convenient data transfer. These little storage cards probably hold a lot of valuable data that you’d be sad to lose, like a once in a lifetime photo or an important work document. There is a chance that the memory card could corrupt. This often happens if you remove the card when it is reading or writing data. You’ll find yourself unable to access your data, but all may not be lost.
Just because you cannot access the memory card doesn't necessarily mean that your data has been lost forever. In fact, even when something is deleted purposefully, it is actually only marked as being able to be overwritten. This means that it is vital that you stop using the memory card to ensure that you do not accidentally overwrite storage space that might hold files you want to recover. If you want to be safe, remove the card from your camera, phone or other device and store it somewhere out of danger – you don’t want to accidentally spill your drink over it.
You should try and use a recovery program on the card to try and salvage what you can. Programs like CardRecovery and Free R-Undelete Home will do the job here, but you may find another piece of software that you prefer. If one isn’t successful then be sure to try another because results can vary. Also, it is best to get a data recovery program that offers a file previewer and a comprehensive search. When a file system is corrupted it often means that the file names and meta data is lost. It will save you a lot of time trawling through the results if the program you are using helps narrow everything down. You’ll also be able to see how likely it is that the recovery will be successful.
After you have recovered your data you will need to repair the corrupted file system so that you can continue to store files on it. First, try putting the card in to your computer, navigating to My Computer, right clicking the drive and selecting “format”. Make sure you find out which file system your card is and select this from the drop down menu. This method of reformatting may not work, in which case you can try using a program like SD Formatter.
Recovering files from a memory card is similar to the process you would carry out on a standard hard drive. Since the cards usually live in your phones or cameras, it often means that you are not backing up the data stored on them as regularly as you would a hard drive. However, it is still just as important. Your data recovery operation may prove unsuccessful and you will have lost your files forever. Simply ensuring that your files are constantly backed up will mean a lot less hassle and time wasted in the future should a problem crop up.


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