Sunday, March 27, 2011

Almost Catastrophy (aka. SD-Card not readable)

The last 3 weeks I spent on a very nice vacation in Thailand: It was not just lying on the beach, but also included a trip throughout the north of Thailand with all it sights, temples and other stuff worth seeing. Therefore I had of course my camera with me and made some shots.

Until one day really spoiled my mood: Suddenly the card in the camera seemed to be unreadable. The only message I got was something like: "Card in the slot not readable. Please reinsert the card or format it again".


Knowing that there were already about 800 Pictures on it (including some sights I really enjoyed) I could not believe whats happened.

After the first shock, I just changed the card, locked the corrupt one and continued without any problems on the new card.

The next days I repeatedly tried the card again: but only to see the same result. Then I gave up and hoped I could do something at home to recover the card.

Arrived at home, I just tried to read the card: I didn't like the suggestion of windows, that I should format the card before I use it... unfortunately linux also told me the same.

Getting quite frustrated already, I downloaded a tool which looked promising: PC Inspector. According to it's description it was able to recover sd-cards. Well, it only looked promising: After some tries it only told me that there is something wrong with the bootsector of the card and it cannot do anything. So I suppose this thingy only works when you just deleted files you don't wanna delete: seriously, who does that???

The next try was more what I was looking for: PhotoRec. It's a simple command line multi-os tool, which actually did what I wanted! It read the byte stream from the card and tried to identify files according to their headers (list of known headers can be found on their page) and stored those junks in a specified location. It was able to recover 756 RAW images from the card and as I remember, this should be almost all of them: so basically it saved my day :)

So if anybody of you knows this annoying situation or is in it right now, give it a shot: it's worth it :)

PS: The pictures (incl. the recovered ones) can be found on flickr here

sdcard recover not readable format sd card sd-card unreadable

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