Can we recover photos from a corrupted memory card?

One of the main components that often go unnoticed in the eyes of many photographers today is the memory card from the camera. Arguably, it along the sensor, replace what was the function of the film before. They opened the door to the era of digital photography.

Memory cards, beyond that have no moving parts, are not without flaws, problems and accidental erasures, they can get to provoke a nervous breakdown. This is why we have prepared this simple guide to help you retrieve your photos, or at least to try.

How does flash memory work?

Not the time or place to get to delve into how the technical functioning of memory cards because the process is difficult to explain and understand and they do not come much the case, but here we leave a little closer to you can get an idea (if you busy with the technical explanations and not interested much, you can skip this part):

Basically, these memories function in a similar way as do the RAM memory computers and devices we use every day, with the difference that the flash memory, which are within the SD, work by storing information in non-volatile manner so, i.e. it is not cleared to cut power, turn off the camera or remove some other device like about the RAM. As we said, these memories have no moving parts like hard drives of computers; information is stored in small chips that guarantee a lot more speed, durability and a very small size.

That is why these memories have become the best choice for our cameras store photographs.

Why can lose data?

As photographers who use film cameras to roll or suffer when one of them are blurred, those using digital cameras do when the memories are damaged. But not only the damage to the file system is responsible for much panic, but also to eliminate accidents pictures, bring more fire to this fire.

The main causes of having to retrieve the data are:

  • Accidentally deleted photos from memory.
  • Accidental formatting.
  • Board errors that do not allow access or view the files.
  • Infection by a virus
  • A power failure
  • Turn off the camera while it works with the.
  • Remove the memory card with the camera turned on.
  • Keep them in contrary to the recommendations of the manufacturer conditions: moisture, heat, etc..

What to do to recover your accidentally lost pictures?

The first thing to do is not to panic, take a deep breath and carefully read the following recommendations that we have for you:

Stop using memory:

If you accidentally deleted pictures or your camera or computer will indicate that the memory is not formatted or do not have any files inside, it is important that you let not to despair and do not try any crazy procedure that can damage files, unbelievably, they are still inside.

When a memory card of damaged or accidentally deleted files of the same, the data remain there stored, at least until you are overwriting them. If still there, the files remain stored in the storage areas in your memory card and while not “step on” with the new files (new photos), it is likely that you can still recover even if you’ve already formatted.

Connect the card to the computer:

To work with convenience and safety, we recommend that you use a memory card reader to connect to the computer. Going through the same is required in this instance as there is no way to perform this procedure directly from the camera.

If you do not have a memory card reader, we recommend you do one as an accessory, in my view, essential. With the same you avoid constantly using the camera as a means of connection to the computer, which may cause:

  • Damage overuse tab USB camera connection.
  • The need for drivers for different operating systems where you can get to connect.

Recover your files:

To access the files stored in the depths of your memory, you need to use a program developed specifically for the task. Just do searches on the Internet; you will find many free options and some not so to recover your photos. Then we let some programs that we have used and with whom we have had very good results:

Recuva: an easy, simple and quick when it comes to recover all type of deleted both computers and flash memory files option. Using a wizard will guide you through the different recovery options offered and the types of files you’re looking for. A very good option is that you can preview photos before recall and with just a couple of clicks they’ve recovered.

Zar: is a small but powerful program that takes a lot deeper than Recuva analysis. To be more potent is also slower; an analysis of a small card can take several hours. It is extremely useful if the card is so damaged that neither Windows recognizes. The free version of this software only lets you recover photo files. 

Card Recovery:  all recovery programs images we know this is the most time idle, and when we say long, we mean long time, but it is really effective, and like the Czar also allows you to recover files on memory cards not recognized by the computer. Just rest assured that as the list is finding files on the screen so that at any time of the analysis can stop and retrieve the files listed before. The free version has a limit of possible full scans.


File Scavenger: this powerful application has saved me countless times so despite being paid for, if you’re willing to do the spending, we assure you gonna pay every dollar invested.

Recover my photos: photo recovery is easy with this program, like the File Scavenger, despite being paid, is an excellent option to consider for those willing to spend a few pounds on it. It has a version designed for technicians and specialists but the cost is really high.


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