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Retrieving images from a corrupt cf card

Shaun O'Boyle , Aug 02, 2003; 10:21 a.m.

Friends just returned from their wedding/honeymoon in africa, and have found that their Canon G2 cf card is corrupt, with all their wedding images on it. The camera still indicates that there are images on the camera, ie 256 meg card and there is only space indicated for 10 images on the card, but neither the camera or a cf reader will read the card. Any suggestions on how to retrieve the data on the card, and what the chances are that the images are still usable? They are willing to go to extreme efforts to retrieve the images.


Bruce Rubenstein - NYC , Aug 02, 2003; 11:14 a.m.

Daniel Moore , Aug 02, 2003; 11:15 a.m.

The best I've found:


Before anything is done to the card, I'd strongly recommend making a copy of it (bastardized and all). There are professionals who recover data who could be found in the yellow pages, or online.

Brainbubba Motornapkins , Aug 02, 2003; 02:42 p.m.

This is just a thought, but you might be able to use Norton Utilities on it.

Bob Lazzarini , Aug 03, 2003; 03:39 p.m.

Norton Utilities...NOT

Before using any hard disc repair utility on any flash card...

First convert the card into a disc image.
If you don't do this, and run any hard disc repair utility on any flash card, the possibility of losing the images are 99%

Gene Austin , Oct 14, 2003; 09:15 p.m.

I ran into a problem yesterday with my 512mb CF card that I share between my Canon 10D and Powershot G2. Nothing but gibberish characters when viewing the files and folders, and only the pictures taken that day were retreivable. I did a web search and found PhotoRescue. It miraculously retreived 99% of the lost images. I'm not normally one to rave but this was truly $29 well spent. I had taken some great pictures of my son that I just knew were lost forever. A nice feature is that it makes an image of your memory card so you can work with resurrecting from the image and reformat your card so it can be used to take more photos. If luck is on my side I wont need this program in the future as I'll make sure to upload my images to my laptop more frequently. Hopefully if anyone else out there runs into the same problem their woes will also be easily addressed. I also echo the notion that you should avoid using a traditional drive repair program as it will probably screw things up worse (probably beyond repair)

Shaun O'Boyle , Oct 15, 2003; 08:28 a.m.

I'll put in my recommendation for photorescue as well, it saved my friends wedding pictures, and shortly afterward I needed to rescue images from a card that became corrupted. I really works.

Wilfried Jahnke , Jul 08, 2009; 03:40 a.m.

If the memory card is not recognized in the PC or it is impossible to access the data on it, the controller on the card is damaged. There is only one way to get the data back, unsolder memory chips and directly access their raw data with a programable chip reader. Software can't help, that is a physical damage! Have a look at: http://card-recovery.biz/us/service.php

Krista J. , Dec 27, 2009; 09:52 p.m.

My friend had a card that would no longer write files nor would the camera recognize it. The camera and PC both wanted to format it. I used photorescue and it recovered about 90% of the pictures. I was very pleased and so was she. Thanks to everyone who posted on this topic. She is a happy lady tonight!

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