How to recover lost photos from damaged and corrupted memory card? It is the common questions for many people when their memory card stops work one day.

Troubleshoot:

Memory card is used by digital camera to store the photos it takes. Popular memory cards include SD card, CF card, XD-Picture card and Memory stick. For some reasons, memory card may get damaged on power shortage, or removal of memory card on picture shooting or viewing, or other various and unknown reasons. Usually, you will see error message like “memory card error“, “card locked“, “card error“, or an error code on your camera screen and the valuable pictures on the memory card could disappear and be lost. Some cases, your camera or Windows may prompt you to re-format the memory card and refuse to take new pictures or view old pictures.

Solution:

Once you have your memory card damaged, it is highly recommended to stop further operations on the memory card (e.g. taking new pictures, or delete, format the memory card).And adopt data recovery software or data recovery hardware and software complex to recover the data.

First, you need to confirm your memory card can appear as a drive letter in “My Computer”, which will allow recovery software to access and recover the lost photos. You may try to connect your digital camera to your computer, if a new drive letter appears in “My Computer”, it is OK. Otherwise, you need to prepare a USB card reader. There are many card readers available in market (e.g. SanDisk and Kingston). You can buy one from internet.

Then, you may launch your data recovery software or hardware and software complex to scan your card. Then it will be easy to retrieve the data.


Can I re-use the corrupted memory card?

For data protection, many data recovery tools performs read only operation on your memory card and it does not change the data on the memory card, so it does not repair or fix the memory card. If you need, AFTER you have recovered your lost photos from the card, you may try to format the memory card before re-use. It is suggested to perform enough read/write tests before using it again to take new pictures. If you are worrying that the memory card is unstable and may cause further data loss, purchase and use a new memory card. Your valuable and irreplaceable photos are more important than memory card. Memory card is very cheap. A new 2GB SD, CF or xD card is less than $10.

Tips to avoid memory card error and damage

  • Do not remove memory card on photo saving and viewing.
  • Do not remove memory card on turning on/off your camera.
  • Do not change your memory card on camera is on.
  • Stop taking/viewing new pictures on battery low.
  • Uses memory cards from big brands e.g. SanDisk, Panasonic, Sony, Kingston, Lexar, Olympus and many more.
  • If several different memory cards get damaged in one camera, you may suspect there is some issue with your digital camera.

There is a lifespan of a memory card. A typical flash memory card unit is about 10,000 write/erase operations. So it is better to throw away memory card used frequently for many years.

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