How to recover images from damaged Sandisk CF


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Mar 13, 2008
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#1
Hi,

Need some urgent help. I'm having problems retrieving image files from damaged / unreadable new Sandisk Extreme IV CF taken on Canon 40D on a recent USA trip. I tried using Sandisk's RescuePro software but it doesn't seem to read the image files on the CF. Can someone provide some advice on how to retrieve those valuable images I have? Thanks!
 

Dec 11, 2007
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#3
Can your camera see the photos? If yes, download the pictures from the camera.
 

Jan 26, 2007
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#4
Like chanxj pointed out, the crucial thing is whether the card is being detected when u pop it into a card reader ... but based on your "damaged / unreadable" comment, it seems like the card may be kaput.

Now, if during one of the attempts you're lucky enough to get "card has to be formatted first before it can be used" or something to that effect; try doing just a "Quick Format" and followed by using any one of many data recovery tools that you can google for, including trying RescuePro first ;) I once borrowed a CF card out in the field from a friend. He formatted it and I used it, then accidentally deleted pixs I wanted. During the recovery process, I also recovered pictures that he had apparently deleted 9 months earlier, after umpteen times of reformatting ... as long as the card can be detected there's HOPE.

All the best.
 

chanxj

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#6
I do not thing formatting will overwrite the data. I think it just reset the FAT file table. Software such as easy recovery by ontrack can recover raw data files without any file allocation table.
 

CS TAN

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Sep 3, 2007
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#7
Perhaps the fast format will only clears the FAT table. However, there are cameras that provide low-level format which will erase all the data.
 

dominator

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Mar 7, 2005
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#8
Had similar situation before and tried a few recovery software.
Was successful after using PC Inspector Smart Recovery, its a freeware.
 

cookie88

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Jan 8, 2005
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#9
Have tried Lexar Image Rescue successfully on a colleagues SD. Also sent my Extreme3 to Sandisk for rescue and replacement successfully. However, they dont guarantee data recovery capabilities.
 

fatigue

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Sep 26, 2005
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#10
Last option: If all software solutions does not work, it could be hardware problem.
The memory cards are made up of two major parts. The interface circuit and memory IC.
If the problem is in the interface circuit, data could be retreived by interchanging the memory IC with an identical CF card. But you need good soldering skills to do that.
 

Mar 13, 2008
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#11
Hi,

Yes, the hardware can be detected but no image files can be seen.
 

Mar 13, 2008
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#12
Hi,

When I insert the CF card back into my camera, it prompted me to format the card.
 

Quest

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Oct 16, 2006
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#13
... I once borrowed a CF card out in the field from a friend. He formatted it and I used it, then accidentally deleted pixs I wanted. During the recovery process, I also recovered pictures that he had apparently deleted 9 months earlier, after umpteen times of reformatting ... as long as the card can be detected there's HOPE.

All the best.
recovered 9 mth ago pic even after umpteen times of reformatting? do u mean u can recover thousands and thousands of pics - the entire 9 mths of pics? or was the card hardly used to the max capacity of the card in all the 9 mths added together?
 

Jan 26, 2007
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#14
recovered 9 mth ago pic even after umpteen times of reformatting? do u mean u can recover thousands and thousands of pics - the entire 9 mths of pics? or was the card hardly used to the max capacity of the card in all the 9 mths added together?
It was a 2Gb CF card and it's his habit of shooting around 100 pixs, transfer to PC and then reformat. What I recovered were of course folders & pixs that were not over-written by any subsequent writes. ;)

To Jeffrenado: From your last post, it looks like your card is still functioning. I recommend popping the card into a PC attached reader and then perform a Quick Format, which merely wipes the FAT; after which the card becomes a readable drive - then scan it thoroughly with any data & file recovery tools that you can lay your hands on (plenty, even trial versions, that can be downloaded off the web)

Good luck! The pixs should still be there.
 

ALBear2

New Member
Nov 25, 2007
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#15
As suggested by SightnSound, quick format should be fine - it does not do low-level initialization. You'd still need to run data recovery softwares to get your pix back. However, any type of formatting carries certain risks. Cookie88's suggestion is best. Send it to Sandisk for recovery and, possible replacement. Not sure however if any cost was associated with the recovery - i don't think so. Just to share with you. My friend's LEXAR Pro CF got corrupted. In both D70 and card reader, card could not be recognized. He sent the card to Lexar US. They sent back the recovered images on a CD + replacement card free! According to him, service is available only for Lexar Pro cards. But then again, 'free' may be on case-to-case basis. Thinking of buying Lexar Pro myself - insurance against similar fate. As this is 'Extreme' version, send to Sandisk first (lower model may not be accepted or they may accept but charge you for the service). If they won't accept, then try to use file recovery softwares. If this does not work (since card may not be readable), then try to do quick format, then use the file recovery softwares again. If still this does not work, then Fatigue is right - hardware problem. Good luck!
 

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