Retrieving lost data (Photographs) from CF Card

Mar 26, 2009
Hi to all in the Forum,

I've just returned from Guangzhou and took 1245 photographs. when I can't download these photographs to my PC via EOS utility, I used a Card Reader to do the transfer. after transferring 560 of 1245 photographs, the screen suddenly showed this remark: "This Cf card is not Formatted".

I retried a few times and this same remark appeared. I checked the properties of the CF card and it shows 0 Files. Anyone from this forum can help to provide infromation as to the shop or person who may be able to retrieve these photographs? Matbe this CF card is faulty and there is a device that may be able to retrieve lost data.

Your information and input to this matter is much appreciated.

btw, in Guangzhou, Dashatou Street, there are 3 blocks selling both brand new and second hand DSLR camera body, lenses and accessories. Prices are very attractive for accessories. "Triopo" solid light weight Tripod Stand withstand up to 15 Kgs costs $86.00. Diffuser cap equivalent to Canon EX580 costs $4.00.

Thank you and awaiting your helpful information.


Staff member
Mar 11, 2002

use an image recovery software to recover your images

what kind of card reader are you using ? and is this the first time happening to your card ?

your card could have been corrupted or could be the card-reader

anyway Sandisk has a recovery software which you can use
Data recovery for memory cards and flash drives


Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
Pasir Ris
Actually any file recovery software can do. Labeling it 'photo recovery' is just a trick to make it more attractive. If one is familiar with Linux then mounting a card read-only and using the Linux onboard tools it is even better. But I have also recovered files via USB reader and Windows tools.
I do hope you did not buy your card on such markets. It would be a disaster waiting to happen. Get a new card reader (some older ones shows issues), use a card reader (not the camera, not any laptop slots) and use the file manager. There is no need to use EOS Utility. Do check your USB card reader for any performance issues. (Use a different card of similar size, do a mass copy of mp3 or jpg files to fill the card, then copy everything back. If you see similar error messages then it's the card reader or USB that hangs and disrupts the connection. Windows will then come with the stupid error messages.)
After you have retrieved all files (crossing my fingers for you) please do a thorough check of the card. A simple formatting will NOT help. Use the card reader, use the format function of Windows and uncheck the "Quick Format" option. This way the media itself is checked. After this simply fill the card with files to 90% capacity and copy everything back. If it works then your card is fine and it was just a hiccup of the file system. If you get any error messages with the fill / copy back procedure try a different PC / card reader. If the error appears there as well then card is faulty. Some brands (e.g. Sandisk) offer a return / replace policy. Other cheap stuffs should be trashed without further thinking.


New Member
Nov 5, 2010
Clementi, Singapore
Photorec and testdisk softwares are free and work with windows and Linux. Been using them for more than 10 years now and find them to be very convenient and powerful. I have used it to extract files which were unreadable in Linux.

If you have any specific free software you like using, you can enlighten us.

Last edited:


Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
I use data rescue 3 on a mac. saved my ass a couple of times.

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