One day you will need this information...
Yikes! You got those once in a lifetime pictures of you and your honey having the dream vacation around the world...
or your kid scoring the winning goal at the state championships...
or your daughter getting married...
And you can't get the pictures off of the camera card!
Yeah, it happens. Digital media, whether compact flash, SD cards, thumb drives and even hard dries FAIL.
At the worse possible time.
Here's some good news though. Depending on what happened and what you do as soon as you realize you have a problem, you have a fair to great chance to get some or all of the pictures back!
Here are some recommendations - I have heard good reviews of these two but have not used them:
Digital Photo Recovery 3 - http://www.artplus.hr/adapps/eng/dpr.htm (free, Windows) - a good little program the focuses on recovering files from all types of camera cards
PhotoRescue - http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/index2.htm ($29, free trial, Windows and Mac) - a more full featured recovery program for all type of digital camera media
I personally use these two:
Easeus Data Recovery - http://www.easeus.com/ ($89.95, Windows) - a powerful software that not only recovers camera cards but also hard drives and other media like flash drives. I especially like it because it keeps the original file names and structure (as far as it is able to). I use this one first - it is an easy interface, does a good to great job of recovering and is fast. It's worth the $89.95.
PC Inspector - http://www.pcinspector.de - (Free, Windows) - a really powerful software that is free. I use their File Recovery as I find it works better than the Smart Recovery software. The user interface is kind of strange and hard to figure out, it's slower than other programs, and it renames the files. To it's advantage it's, well, FREE, and digs really deep onto disks - recovering files the others miss. I use it if the Easeus Data Recovery can't find what I'm looking for.
Keeps these points in mind:
- All media fails - make sure you have good backups -especially of hard drives.
- If you think a drive is acting funny - STOP and immediately copy those valuable files somewhere else.
- If a card fails - do not continue to shoot- put it away and don't use it until you can try and recover it. If you use it, it might overwrite the very files you are trying to recover.
- Take a deep breath. Relax. Call a friend. And then recover.
Have you ever had to recover files? What did you use? Leave us a comment with your story!