Recover data from memory cards

Memory cards are in everything. We use them in our phones, tablets, cameras, GoPros, drones, PDAs, MP3 players and lots of other devices. Memory cards are popular because they are cheap and can pack a lot of storage into a tiny device. But what happens if you accidentally format the card or delete a file? Dave’s Computers can help recover data from memory cards.

Memory cards have a significant advantage over hard drives and even Solid State Drives. They are small, have no moving parts unlike hard drives, offer lots of storage and are very portable. No larger than a phone SIM card, memory cards are ideal for portable devices that don’t come with very much storage themselves. Available for cheap, these little cards are a good way to upgrade any device with an appropriate card slow.

Memory card data recovery

Memory cards come in an array of sizes, formats and types. For example, there are CF cards, SD cards, SDHC, miniSD, MicroSD cards, SmartMedia, MicroDrive,  xD Picture, Pro-HG cards, XC, Micro(M2) cards and MicroSDHC cards to name but a few.

Most common are the miniSD and MicroSD cards. These are predominantly used in most of the devices we use every day.

So what can go wrong?

  1. Accidental formatting
  2. Accidental image or file deletion
  3. Software corruption

Accidental formatting

Accidental formatting has to be the most common data recovery tasks we do here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey. It is very easy to do and once you hit that command, the process is irreversible. Fortunately, our data recovery team has a suite of specialized tools that can recover data from memory cards. The process is fast and inexpensive, making it the ideal solution to lost data.

The principle of data storage and recovery in a memory card is the as on a hard drive. Data is stored in logical sections. When you hit delete, the header for that section is deleted so the operating system recognizes it as empty. The actual data remains intact until it is overwritten so is recoverable in many situations.

Accidental image or file deletion

Accidental image or file deletion on a camera, phone or tablet is another very common data recovery job we get. Accidentally deleting a file is something we have all done and will continue to do.

Oftentimes it doesn’t matter as we can always take another picture or download another copy of a file. Sometimes it really does matter. A moment in time, a photo of someone no longer with us, a celebration, graduation or something else. Something you cannot repeat or lose the memory of.

That’s where our data recovery services come in most useful. Whatever the data is, we can help recover it.

Software corruption

Software corruption on a memory card is usually caused by human or software error. Starting and then quickly cancelling a process or an aborted overwrite, file move or something else can quickly render the file or entire memory card useless until fixed. As long as the data itself is still intact, we can recover your photos or data.

We use the same tools and techniques to recover data from software corruption as we do with these other causes. We have specialist tools and years of experience in data recovery that we bring to bear on every job.

Recovering data from memory cards

There are several symptoms common in memory cards that are corrupt or have issues. They include:

  1. Being recognized in one compatible device and not another.
  2. Not appearing in a compatible device.
  3. Error codes being shown in the device.
  4. Not being able to store, move or delete files.
  5. Memory card showing RAW filesystem in anything other than cameras.
  6. Memory card not showing any saved data when being used.

There are other symptoms of a faulty memory card but these are by far the most common.

What should you do if your memory card isn’t working?

If you find your memory card not working properly in any of the above ways, there are a few things you need to do if you want to recover the data.

Stop using it right away. We need the data that makes up a photo or file to be as intact as possible. If you continue to use the memory card or mess around with it, you may overwrite the data or render it inaccessible.

Try the card in a different device or in a card reader. Try to read the card but do not try to write to it. If you can read the card, make copies of all your files as a precaution.  Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the card itself but the device trying to read it. Issues with a software update or faulty app can not read the data correctly and make you think the card itself is faulty when it actually isn’t.

We cannot stress enough how important not writing to the memory card is. Our data recovery team is very good at what it does but cannot work miracles. If you overwrite any of the data, we may not be able to recover your photos or files.

Not all of the data is necessary to rebuild an image or file, but the device has no idea what data is important and what is not. It will just write data to the next available sector regardless of whether it contains header information that we can live without or image data which we cannot.

Most phones work with memory cards so you can supplement available storage on the device. That means there are hundreds of millions of them in use every day storing everything from moments in time to important company data. If you use a memory card and suddenly find it not working as it should, Dave’s Computers in New Jersey can help.

Call us or bring it to our data recovery experts to see what we can do.

Leave a Comment