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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recovering Lost Data from SD Cards

Recovering Lost Data from SD Cards

We have all been there, one time or another, when we go to transfer our footage or pictures from and SD card and realize that the files are corrupt or lost all together. Here are some different techniques to recover those files and to help eliminate the problem all together.

How do files get corrupt? If your camera goes off during the writing process or you remove your card while that camcorder is on or in the writing process. 
With the advancement in technology of video cameras now filming with SD cards, the advantage was that you can record for longer times without have to transfer tapes every 50 min. However, if you are on an important shoot, it can be helpful to use smaller cards (8gb, 16gb) and shoot across multiple cards to eliminate losing all of your footage. Also, when transferring your footage to your hard drive, it is a good practice saving them on two different hard drives so that you always have a backup.

However, there will be a time when you have a corrupt file with import video footage that you will need to recover. We have had very good luck with several recovery programs including Data Rescue (for PC or MAC), Lexar Image Rescue (for PC or MAC), SanDisk Rescue Pro, and SanDisk Rescue Pro Deluxe. It is a good idea to keep one of these softwares on your computer at all times because you don't want to find yourself in a tense situation searching google for a recovery program.

If there is corruption on the card, you can either use MAC OSX's Disk Utility, or Windows' built-in disk utility, and try and get your images back. If this does not work, the best solution is to try a third party software. It is usually best to start with the SD card Brand's recovery program, although they do not always work. SanDisk is listed above. Here is Kingston's Memory Recovery Site

It is fairly simple to recover a file that you have accidentally deleted. If you accidentally delete a video or picture file on your SD card you want to immediately stop using that card. When you delete a file on a Card, it tells the card that it is okay to write over that if it needs to, therefore, if you continue filming then you are telling your card it is okay to write over.

If you format your card, you are either performing a High-level format or a low-level format. High level just changes the boot partition, and tells the card to overwrite the blocks. The blocks actually still contain the data, and as you write the new content to the card, those blocks with the old data get overwritten with new data. Immediately after high-level formatting your video files are still there just not visible. You can use recovery software and try to recover those lost images. However, low-level format writes O's over all the blocks. Canon offers this type of format to REALLY delete the content. So if you find yourself in a low-level format situation, those files are lost and you can not use a recovery software to recover your files. Recovering files after you format is more difficult because your chance of recovering those files are based on how the camera or camcorder formats those files.

Hope this helps when you get in a tough situation!

Recovering Lost Data from SD Cards
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