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Reading a Digital Camera Memory Card

Last response: in Components
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December 21, 2006 3:42:26 PM

I'm trying to recover deleted pictures from a sandisk memory card for my digital camera. But all the recovery programs I use fail to recognize my camera's memory card as an option when I plug the camera in through the USB port. All they list are my hard drives.

The camera comes up in My Computer as a seperate device so I know its recognized. I'm still able to transfer pictures from memory cards this way but I can't get any data recovery programs to work on it.

Please someone help!
December 21, 2006 4:07:00 PM

I figured as much but when I looked around online I found a bunch of flash drive recovery tools. Most state that they can recover formated flash drives for digital cameras.

I think the problem I'm having is that I need an external flash drive reader. I read on one of the manuals for a recovery program that it may not work well reading the memory card through your camera. Its better to put the card in a memory card reader that plugs in through USB.
December 21, 2006 11:40:15 PM

Yes, you can recover pictures from a flash drive. They work just like HDD's, in regard to just dropping the record. I've successfully run data recovery programs on my flash cards and pulled pictures off.

You definitely NEED an external flash card reader in your case. The thing w/ the camera is that its going to use the camera's driver to access the flash card. But that probably won't go too well w/ the recovery software, as it needs low level access to the card in order to poke around.

I have done it w/ my flash card reader (usb) - that way its going to use the same driver as a flash drive (i'm guessing) - which is recognized as a removable storage device in Windows.
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December 22, 2006 3:20:04 AM

Thanks for the info. It definitely makes me feel like I have a shot at recovering.

Here's a quick question: Does it make a difference if the pictures were deleted and then the memory card was formatted as well?
December 22, 2006 5:35:16 PM

I wouldn't think so. Its not likely that your camera would spend its battery life overwriting every byte of your flash card to erase everything. Plus it would take a long time for big cards. Plus it would take some of the flash card's life as well. From what I've seen, when a camera formats a card, its just to set up directory structures and some housecleaning.

I think you would still have a pretty good shot at getting those pictures back. But some will probably be lost, or perhaps only 1/2 the image is there, etc. The biggest problem is if you deleted the pictures and then started taking more pictures. In that case, you would probably end up overwriting your just-deleted-pictures.

Its all speculation at this point, so you'll have to plug that sucker in and hope for the best. :) 
December 22, 2006 11:10:12 PM

Thanks, I really hope I can.

Actually, ever since I formatted it, I haven't used it so that may give me a better chance. The card is like 3 years old. I've just let it sit around hoping one day I could bring the pictures back from the dead.

First step, get an external card reader......

They look pretty cheap, which is good. Anyone have any suggestions? Brands?
December 23, 2006 5:27:08 PM

Nah, a no name brand will do just fine.

I picked up my no-name brand at compusa for like $12 about 2 years ago? It works fine for my CF(compactflash) and SD cards. Never tried the other ones (its a 9 in 1 reader) since i don't have the cards.

At this point in the technological cycle, the manufacturer would have to be a colossal idiot to mess something this simple up. But if you're worried about it, the brand name memory card manufacturers usually have card readers too.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes. :) 
December 24, 2006 4:23:22 AM

Thanks! I plan on getting it this week. I will post as soon as I get the results.
One other decision is which recovery software to use. I've heard recovery-pro or something like that is good.
!