Have you ever accidentally erased your memory card before you were able to transfer your images to your computer? Or, have you ever had a memory card hiccup on your for no obvious reason, making it impossible for you to access your images? If so, you are not alone. I, along with plenty of other photographers, have experienced the tremendous emotional upset (and, if this has happened to you, you’ll know I’m really not exaggerating here!) of losing important images. You may think it could never happen to you, but if it does, there are ways you can possibly recover the data on your card.
First, let me add the disclaimer that I am not a computer expert. There are many, many data recovery software programs on the market to download, so I am just going to show you how to use the software that I have. The type of software you use will depend on your computer’s specs, as well as whether you are using a Mac or a PC. The sites I have seen were very specific about system requirements for their products, so you shouldn’t have any trouble checking to see if the software will work on your computer.
Keep in mind that some files just cannot be recovered, especially if the card is damaged, or has been formatted since the deletion. It is always worth a try, though!
Also important to note: as soon as you realize you have files on your memory card that need to be recovered, do not use it! Put it in a safe spot, and do not shoot any more images on it. Time is of the essence in data recovery.
The main thing that I noticed while looking for software is that, at least in my experience, most of the software is not free. It may appear free, but, most likely, you’ll have to pay a fee. The software I used is $49.97, and I decided that recovering my images was well worth the fee, and having the software handy in case this ever happened again was totally worth the investment!
Here is how I handled the fiasco:
Go here and then click “Free Download”. This is where the word “free” is a bit misleading. The free part is that you can scan your card to see if the files you want to recover are still embedded somewhere, deep down in the depths of your memory card. This is great, on one hand, because you can see if you can recover your files before you pay the fee.
Open Data Recovery Pro. Under the Scan tab, select Guided Scan. This allows you to select the device/memory card with the deleted files. Next, press Start Scan.
Note: Originally, I plugged in my camera into my hard drive, but Recovery Pro was not recognizing my camera as an external device. So, I put my memory card in a card reader, and it worked just fine.
Select “I want to recover items on an external device.” Then, locate the device in your drives – in this case, the drive I need was drive (I:). Press Start Scan
At this point, the program will scan the entire memory card for files that can be recovered.
Once it is finished scanning, the program will show you a list of items that can be recovered. You can hover your mouse over each file to see a preview. Select the squares next to the files you would like to recover, then press “Recover.”
Now, you will be prompted to register the software. Once you have made your payment, you will receive a product key to enter and register the program. After you have entered the key, you will then be able to recover the files, as well as select the location where you would like the files to be saved on your computer.
So, this was how I recovered my deleted images. Like I said, there are many programs like this on the market, so shop around to find the program that is suited for your computer (and your price range).