Recovery of Corrupted Files on Compact Flash Card : LUSENET : Imaging Resource Discussion : One Thread

Is there any possible way to recover subject images. This was a virtually brand new 48Meg card which had not been overwritten. There had not been an "erase" or "delete" operation in the Nikon Coolpix 800. It seemed to have happened during crash of Thumbsplus or Ulead Photo Impact during upload to view thumbprint versions of photos.

Any tips or comments will be greatly appreciated.

-- Mike Sterry (, August 02, 2000


If you have a card reader or a USB setup that turns your camera into a virtual hard drive on your machine you may be able to use standard file recovery tools(programs) to recover your data. Try any of the normal disk recovery utilities like Norton Utilities.

The best advice I can give is to only use a program like Window's Explorer to copy the files from the card directly to your hard disk then view them with whatever program strikes your fancy. Don't use viewers to access the files on your media card, they tend to destroy the file systems on the cards. Don't ask me why, they just seem to. I've had similar things happen when trying to view files on smartmedia. Since I started only copying from the media, I've had no trouble. Delete the files on the card in the camera after you're done. Same story as reading them with some programs, deleting them can mess up the formatting on the card and require a reformat. Deleting them in camera, I've not been forced to reformat once!

Good Luck!

-- Gerald M. Payne (, August 02, 2000.

I had a similar problem with my 64 MB Lexar card a week ago after taking about 81 pics. After unsucessfully trying to retrieve the pics, I ended up contacting Lexar Media by email and mailing them the card on Wednesday, August 3. I expect to hear from them early next week. Hopefully I will be able to post some favorable feedback for you to follow up on

-- Harvey Chun (, August 05, 2000.


I got an email answer from Lexar Media today. They said "We received the card on 08/05. We recovered the images for you and put it back in the card. Will send the flash card back to you tomorrow."

So far so good and am I glad I went with one of the major brands. If you're still trying to recover your corrupt files, maybe you can do the same and contact your card's manufacturer for help. Good luck...Harvey

-- harvey Chun (, August 09, 2000.

I accidently erased files on the card via Windows and not the camera so now te formatting is screwed, but my images on the card are still there since i can still preview them through the camera. But I can't Download via windows thru the camera, because it keeps asking me to format the disk. Is there any way i can read the data on the card Raw of some how recover the files?

-- g k (, June 16, 2001.

I recently had a similar problem with a 128 meg card in my CoolPix 950. After not having much success locating a good solution, i wrote a java application to read through the card image (created using Disk Copy on my Mac, but any full card image format would work) and extract each image to a file. Of over 170 images on the card, i lost only 3. I have the data for the remaining 3, but I'm not sure how to fix those yet. Anyway, while the app is really rough, the results made me very happy. If you need to recover data from a card, let me know.


-- Andrew J. Toth (, June 22, 2001.

I met the problem of "corrupted files" on my 8MB compact flash card tonight. I could still view the file names on the card in DOS but not in Windows, and the pics could not be viewed on the camera neither. At last, I just used a file recovery tool (RecoverNT v3.0) to successfully recover most of the pics on the card. It's pretty easy!

-- Tintin (, August 08, 2001.

I just submitted this to answer another persons question, so I'll paste it here too...

I saw your request while looking for a way to save my own pictures from the jaws of a Smart Media card. I have an Olympus D-340R, that formatted its own dumb self, for NO reason. It did it on its own (damn camera!). It was after our trip to Disneyland, and my heart exploded when I tried to look at the pictures and found none.

It took many hours of fiddling, but I did come up with a way to retrieve the pictures.

If you still have the Smart Media card, and have not used it since you lost the pictures, and depending on what kind of camera you have, I might be able to help you get the pictures.

I can only tell you have I saved my pictures, and hope that it applies to you.

Step 1. Do NOT use the Media Card. This is important since the camera will begin to overwrite the file space you need to recover when you start taking pictures.

Step 2. Download WinHex, at This program will allow you review the sectors on the disk. Install this on your computer.

Step 3. Put your Smart Media card in the reader.

Step 4. Start WinHex, and select the ‘Open Disk’ option. Point WinHex at your Smart Media card reader drive.

n NOTE: I used WinHex as a Text Viewer. Go to Options, select Use as Viewer and set Text display Only.

Step 5. Find Files. Now – this is what I did – I started paging through the disk, looking for evidence of how the pictures were stored. Soon, I noticed the following:

Occasionally I ran across the text: OLYMPUS DIGIAL CAMERA, etc. Prior to this point, I noticed at the beginning of each cluster block, a ‘signature’ piece of data, which was: HEX: FF D8 FF E1 (If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry.) You can see it as text by looking for ˙Ř˙á. You will see it right before the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA entry.

The point here is that you have to find out where each picture starts. Look for repeating sets of data across the drive, that might tell you where your pictures are starting.

Step 6. Select the files. Select that point (right at the ˙), hold down on the shift key and page down, i.e. select the text from that point forward. Stop when you get to the next data sections, i.e. at the next ˙Ř˙á.

Right click the data, select ‘edit’, ‘copy block’ then ‘into new file.’

You will name your file whatever you want, but put a ‘.jpg’ extension on the end. Example: ‘samplefile.jpg’.

This file (believe it or not) will represent the picture you want to view. Repeat this process throughout the drive until you have recovered all your files.

Get ready to spend some time though, because this is a tedious process.

If you have questions, or if I can help you, feel free to email me. I wouldn’t mind helping you get your files back.

-- Mark Henley (, August 11, 2001.

Just a pointer to where I have posted some instructions on *automated* .jpg file recovery in the WinHex forum:


-- Stefan Fleischmann (, August 22, 2001.

Thank you so much mark. It was time consuming but the only solution that worked for me. I searched by the text string you stated and saved the blocks as jpgs. I recovered 90% of my pics.

-- (, September 18, 2001.

One almost sure way of recovering deleted, accidently erased files or even a compact Flash or Smart Media card is simply to purchase a program called PC Inspector - Smart Recovery. It is rather expensive selling for $135.00 but if you REALLY nead to recover invaluable files then this program is almost fool proof. You can download the Demo program to see if it is going to work on your card, but the Demo only recovers 1 image.. (only works on jpg) You can then PURCHASE the program which provides you with an activation code that makes the Demo Version a Full version and it really works with a press of one START button. You can direct the recovered files to any folder you chose and it works on various different types of compact media. Well worth the price and it REALLY works. Simpoy go to Yahoo and search for PC Inspector - Smart Recovery

-- David R. Long (, December 04, 2001.

Hey all, last night at a party, a friend accidently erased all the pictures on my 8mb card. I cant remember the exact make, but it is some big companies. There were some really important photo's on that disc, which I really NEED to recover, and I saw harvey Chun's post. I was wondering if most big companies do this, and how much they would charge. I dont really want to pay above 30 uk pounds if poss.


-- J.G. (, December 27, 2001.

Last night I got a corruputed files message on my 48Meg card. I did the following and was able to recover all of my images from the card.

1. Reformat the card ( not delete the card) my sony camera allows this and this operation will only reformat the cards directory. This will allow the card to be recognized again.

2. Download a program called "Photorescue" from the following: Try the demo version first to see if it will recover your photos. This version will not allow you to save the images though.

3. If the demo works the program is cheap about 29$ US. Purchase the full version and save your pictures.

I dont work for this company or have any affiliation with them. It worked for me and I was able to recover 120 images from my card which may have been lost for good.

-- Eric M. (, January 07, 2002.

My wife is a muralist and she had taken a card full of digital pics for her next project. I accidentally deleted them from the SanDisk smartmedia reader. I was gonna' be dead meat when she found out! In sheer panic and fear for my life I scoured the web for a utility that would save my soon to be deceased butt. After trying a pile of hopeless demos I found a marvellous piece of freeware called 'Drive Rescue' written by a German named Alexander Grau. It worked great, the pics were retrieved and what the wife doesn't know won't hurt her (or more importantly me!). You can download this software from

or directly from Alexanders own website,

Hope it helps and thanks Alexander.

-- Graham Wilson (, January 24, 2002.

If you still have problems after reading all these posts. Visit for affordable digital photo recovery.

-- James LeRoy (, January 29, 2002.

I have released a new application to aid in the recovery process.

Salvage recovers pictures from corrupt digital media. It costs $25 USD and requires Mac OS 9 or later. You can try before you buy by downloading it from:


-- Andrew J. Toth (, June 05, 2002.

Before reading the entries posted here, I went and ran the scan disk program on my computer to scan my smart media card which was in reader connected to my laptop via the usb port. I may have lost what looks like 3 images out of about 60. After running scan disk and having checked off automatically fix errors, I double clicked on the files one at a time. I was asked to choose which program to use in order to open the file. I indicated the image software program. Once I opened an image I would then "save as" and actually rename it (when I didn't rename it, it really wasn't saving as a .jpg it was still saving it as the .chk extension it was given). In order to open the pictures I had to close the image software program after each one I did. I didn't realize this at first as the first 2 files wouldn't open, so I figured it didn't work. The first 2 files still won't open, but all the rest did. Obviously, a tedious process, but I was determined to access my card which showed it was almost full, but had no media files on it!

-- Cathi (, July 09, 2002.

Graham you are a saint. DIR found most of my pics, and I was able to recover over 50 pics I thought I had lost forever!

I downloaded the DataRescue demo, and it was able to find a few more files, including ones that I had deleted intentionally, but DIR was absolutely free!


Now I just need to find out WHY this happened - Was it my memory card? My reader? My camera? Time to go hunting for answers...

-- Carl Nelson (, July 22, 2002.

If you still have troubles please try using our affordable services...check us out at We have successfully helped thousands recovers their memories.

-- Pete (, July 30, 2002.

I have a program I can email to you that compares to "PC Inspector - Smart Recovery" - the first time I was forced to use it I recovered 342 out of 348 pictures on my 128MB flash memory card.

-- roskeli (, September 17, 2002.

My 512mb was corrupt. Windows explorer just shows garbage when the drive is opened! Tried a number of demo's and freeware: PC Inspector 3.0 and smart recovery versions, Digital Image Recovery, RecoverNT, Easy Recovery Pro, Disk Commander, R-studio NTFS, PhotoRecovery, Photo Rescue, FileRecovery. Many showed no recoverable files. PC Inspector Smart Recovery searches and stops at one file (in the demo) so I have no idea how many it could have recovered. Photo Rescue showed 43 files. PhotoRecovery showed thumbnails of 243 files, of which 3 were corrupted jpgs. I ordered and retrieved all 243. I believe my actual loss was less than 10 pictures. Not bad. Somehow... I don't think this is the only time this great program will be used.

-- CW (, September 24, 2002.

Just ran Salvage on my Macintosh for a corrupted Smart Media card. No idea what happened to the card... camera suddenly went bonkers on the last day of my vacation in England, and told me the card needed to be reformatted!

While the first few photos I remember taking did not show up at all, I think that was caused by the camera problems. Salvage recovered 76 out of 80 files it was able to locate (4 were corrupted), and I was able to crop one of the corrupted photos to make a reasonable image.

What a lifesaver! I almost cried with relief!

-- Teresa Knezek (, October 17, 2002.

Firstly thanks for the advise of recovery, I've managed to recover 90% of the pictures I lost on my 128MB card. However If I place the card into my Canon G2 if just says CF error and switches off. Before this error the camera allowed me to format, however it was still corrupted after! The only thing I have done is to delete pictures from my card reader...this has worked in the past with no corruptions. I guess I also shouldn't hot plug the card in and out of the card reader...oops. Anyone know the do's and dont's with CF cards and card readers please? Thanks in advance.

-- Mark (, October 30, 2002.

Eric M says to reformat the card. I'd strongly suggest not doing this unless you really know what your doing. Reformatting will hard delete pics in most cameras. Cathi had the right idea. I recently corrupted my Smart Media by pulling the chip out with the Camera still on. I ran the Windows "Check Disk" Utility against it. This created a new directory with all the pic files renamed with .CHK extensions. Cathi made some extra work for herself. You don't need to open each file. You can just right click and rename each file with a .JPG extension. Ahh, the relief when you know you got your pics back. Thanks for all the info. FYI - I use an Olympus C-3030.

-- Tim W (, November 04, 2002.

Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. To me this is what makes the WWW a uniquely powerful tool, not all of the other garbage out there. Anyway, of course every situation is different but I used MS ScanDisk to correct our problem. Our Lexar 32MB USB Compactflash disk became corrupted when it was put into a friends PCMCIAA to CompactFlash adapter, I don't know why(yet) but all the files where unreadable. These were once in a life time pictures (aren't they all) so we were pretty devastated. Scan Disk was simple to use and I only lost 2 or 3 pictures out of 85, not to bad. I am not techie, however, everyones conception of lost, deleted or corrupted files is usually much worse than the problem really is. The info is most often still there its just a problem of allocation tables, pointers, and such. Don't be afraid to use programs such as Scan Disk, I don't think they can make the problem worse. You may be plesantly surprised, like we were. Good Luck.

-- J.F. Asilo (, December 08, 2002.

i erased my photos stored in smart media card using my olympus 2100, without connecting to pc. the card has not been used ever since. i heard of suggestions not to use card readers to access the card for they may corrupt the data (pardon me if i read wrongly) just wanna clarify. is there any guarantee way of recovering the lost data using which recommended software? kind of confused over all e postings.

is it a must for me to have a card reader to do recovery using programs such as winhex? thx a lot.

-- ianmo (, December 08, 2002.

Try using a utility like Digital Picture Recovery to recover lost, deleted, non-write format, etc. It can even do some reconstruction of corruption. You can download a demo of the software which will let you view the recoverable files.

-- Dave (, December 18, 2002.

Try using a utility like Digital Picture Recovery to recover lost, deleted, non-write format, etc. It can even do some reconstruction of corruption. You can download a demo of the software which will let you view the recoverable files.

-- Dave (, December 18, 2002.

This is the end all beat all of digital image recovery! And best of all FREE!!

-- Duffin (, January 04, 2003.

I agree with J.F. Asilo. Your problem is probably fixable!

I recently experienced a "CF Card Error" message after taking 130 New Year's pictures on a trip using a Canon S40 and 128 meg CF card. I was distraught, of course, and felt like I'd never see the pictures again. Bummer.

But after reading the posts here, and elsewhere, I purchased a $30 Dazzle CF card reader at Office Max, and pluggged my CD card into it. I ran Norton Disk Doctor (I guess Scandisk also works) on the card, which is recognized as a drive once the card and software are installed. I followed the default prompts to fix the File Allocation Tables (FATs) and such, and then the entire directory was restored, including nearly all the pictures (I think I only lost the one that was being taken when the card crashed).

Best of luck with your problems!

-- Dave T. (, January 07, 2003.

OkI've two 64MB cards - the computer tells me one (using my Zio card reader) isn't formatted and the other reports "no disk in drive". The camera reports "card not formatted" and "card error". Does anyone know of a way of forcing my computer to "mount" the card so I can try and run winhex (or similar). At the moment I can't even see the drive in any program (with the exception of winhex, which recognises the one card but shows no data, but a massive FAT)

-- Steve Edwards (, January 19, 2003.

There are a lot of good applications out there for recovering accidentally deleted images from SmartMedia and Compact Flash. Interestingly enough, many of them will work even after the card has been formatted (Sometimes it even helps). The two best that I have tried are Digital Image Recovery (Freeware and available at and PhotoRecovery ($40 and available at The PhotoRecovery demo version is free and will tell you if anything is on the card, but will not let you save the recovered images. For that you have to fork over the green. DIR, though, is completely free and automatically saves any recovered images into a folder that you specify.

Your best bet is to run the scan and see what happens. If it does not recover recent images which you think should be there, simply run it a second time. If it still does not recover anything, you can try reformatting the card BUT, BUT, BUT, BUT.....Here comes the caution flag--- format the card in your card reader with a DOS prompt, rather than in the camera!! Two brands (Fuji & Olympus) write zeros to the card when you format it in the camera, rendering any sort of recovery effort futile. I learned that the hard way (Thank you, Mr. Fuji). Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I've been dealing with this for four days now and have finally succumbed to defeat. But if it ever happens again, I'm ready for it.

Time to rejoin the real world

-- J. Guyer (, January 22, 2003.

The DigitalImageRecovery is not free now, where can I download the old verison?

-- Ho Chan (, February 07, 2003.

The digital image recovery was awesome and it saved our weekend with our 5 mo old child. We took so many great pictures and thank goodness we didn't lose them to a corrupted file. Thanks duffin for hosting the program on your site :)

-- P Willis (, February 10, 2003.

My olympus E-10 has corrupted two 64mb compact flashe cards in a row. The first time I bought File Restore by Winternals Software LP, it was useless, and customer support was less than helpful. The second time I came to this web site (thank-you) and found PhotoRescue by I tried the free trial found 47 of the 49 pictures, purchased the full version and recovered all 47 off this card and all 52 out of 52 on the other card. I'm the happiest dad on the block. Now I need to find out what's going on with my Olympus... my cheap coolpix 5000 works just fine with the same cards (yes, I took pictures with the Nikon over the corrupted Olympus pics. and put them in the same reader and it works)... any Help?

-- Rick Hasvold (, February 22, 2003.

Many thanks to Duffin and his link I managed to erase 49 pictures inadvertently from my 128 card. I downloaded his link and purchased a USB Card Reader from Staples for $19.99. I recovered all but two images but might get brave and try again. Thanks again, John

-- John Hall (, February 23, 2003.

Thanks very much for the link, Duffin. I had no luck retrieving a spontaneously erased CF card using Salvage on my G4 Mac under Classic mode (got an error), but when I plugged the cardreader into a nearby PC I was able to recover almost everything using Disk Image Recovery. Amazing program! Thanks guys.

-- Liz (, March 16, 2003.

Duffin, tried to access your webpage today at, but wasn't available. is this program available anywhere else? or does somebody else have this program they can send it to me? I'm referring to Digital Image Recovery Tool.


-- patrick (, March 26, 2003.

Alright folks, here's another free tool contributed by Kurt Stege. It worked great for me!

1) 2) Send him an e-mail thanking him for his effort

-- A Gonzalez (, April 17, 2003.

Pretty much most of the answers have been for users of Win32 operating systems, so I'll post a little note here about howto recover corrupted JPEG files from compact flash here for Linux or UNIX users.

Step 1: load the CF card as a read-only filesystem. A number of options exist. Linux, for example, supports many cameras through the usb-storage.o driver. You simpy connect the USB cable from the workstation to the camera, turn on the camera, and then try to mount the CF card as a filesystem. The usb-storage.o driver will usually use SCSI emulation and present the drive as /dev/sda1 or some number. On Linux 2.4.x kernels, look in the /var/log/messages file for a line containing "kernel: sda: sda1" or something similar.

For laptop users, one may still connect using USB on newer laptops, but more commonly, one uses a PCMCIA adaptor card for CF. These are relatively cheap - around $14 in 2002 when I bought them. The CF card slides into the PCMCIA adapter and the whole unit pops into the laptop. If audio notifications on the PCMCIA driver were enabled, one should hear two positive "beeps". This means that the CF card should now be recognized as drive /dev/hde1 (again, see messages file for actual device name)

Step 2: Mount the filesystem read-only at first and just do a directory listing to see if Linux recognizes files that the camera or plain win32 won't see. This can be done by creating the mount point and mounting the filesystem:

# mkdir /mnt/cflash # mount -t vfab -o ro /dev/hde1 /mnt/cflash

Step 3: If the images are present and can be copied to disk, do so at this point and finish. Otherwise, we'll need to do a full filesystem dump of contents into a file and then run a jpeg extraction utility to parse and extract jpeg files for the flash image on disk. To do the dump on UNIX, use the 'dd' command.

# dd flash.img

This should produce a dump of the entire contents of the flash ram to disk file.

Step 4: The final step requires one to download a DOS utility called "jpegdump" found at and then running it under the Linux Wine (Windoze Emulator) utility.

# wine -- jpegdump -recover flash.img

In the currect working directory, the jpegdump extracts out a large number of ordered JPG files. I hope this helps. And Linux rocks. The 'dd' utility combined with Wine running jpegdump in emulation works beautifully. I was able to recover all 32 MB of stored JPEGs

-- James C. Liu (, May 13, 2003.

Ooops... didn't HTML escape some commands above. So I'll try again here. mkdir and mount CF filesystem
      # mkdir /mnt/cflash
      # mount -t vfab -o ro /dev/hde1
To dump the contents of flash to disk file:
      # dd </dev/hde1 >flash.img

-- James C. Liu (, May 13, 2003.

I have used my trusty Canon Ixus for 3 years taking over 6,000 photos without a hitch..... until this week. Based in the UK, but on a trip to Madrid, after about 95 photos, I was running out of space on my 64MB Fuji CF card (@ 1600x1200) so I decided to erase a poor photo I had just taken. It erased OK and I took one more photo OK. As I tried to take another, the camera beeped at me and came up with the message "CF card error". aaaargh!

It still showed me that I had about 10 photos space left but nothing I could do would get rid of the error. I searched the web at the first opportunity and was very relieved to find that a solution might exist...... tons of people had had the same or similar problem.

I came across a product called "MediaRevival" @ $30 which allowed a free demo before purchasing to ascertain if it could still see the photos on the card. So first I purchased a "Dazzle" card reader from PC World and downloaded the demo. The problem was that the card reader told me that the CF card was not formatted and "did I want to format it now?"!!!

What choice did I have? However I experimented first with a spare 48MB CF card I have by formatting it and then seeing if MediaRevival could see the old photos. The good news was that even after formatting, it found all the old photos. So I held my breath and formatted the CF card containing the Madrid photos and then ran the Media Revival demo on it. It found virtually all the photos. I purchased the full version on line (the demo doesn't allow you to save the photos found) and I recovered all but a small handful of the "lost" photos, the latter appearing as blank. Sigh of relief!

Interestingly, about 10 or so of the photos that were recovered were still corrupted in that the left and right half of the photo were transposed, sometimes half/half but often 3/4 of one side and the other 1/4 on the wrong side. I managed to manipulate these in PaintShop Pro to reconstruct the photos perfectly through selecting an area and moving it to the correct side.

I have since also downloaded the demo of "PhotoRecovery" which I believe is the new name for "Digital Image Recovery" (now no longer available as freeware). This demo actually produces thumbnails of the photos (but doesn't allow saving) and has recovered about 3 or 4 MORE of the lost photos compared to MediaRevival. It even recovered about 10 photos which had been erased some time ago in the normal way! I now have to decide whether to spend the $40 as well on PhotoRecovery as it does seem to be even better at locating photos than MediaRevival. PR even found 80 photos on the other CF card I have which had been erased normally, prior to reformatting, and which MediaRevival didn't locate. Hmmm... timing is everything. I spotted PhotoRecovery a few minutes too late after I had purchased MR.

Hope this tale of woe, and then success, encourages anyone else who finds themselves in the position I did. Long live the Web!!


-- Chris Wyles (, May 21, 2003.

Update on versions I tried. a) Digital Recovery Digital Imagage Recovery, as many of you have found out, is no longer free (we have to help Mr. Grau finance his education) it is $40 at

b)Kurt Stege has a freeware file recovery app mentioned above, but, as he states, it works best only on media that has not been fragmented...what this means is this product will work for you IF you always download all your photos, and then delete all photos from the card. I made the mistake of deleting all photos, and then taking one picture to test the camera. This causes Mr. Stege's program to hang. Though it is a nice alternative that you should try since it is free. (Thanks Mr. Gonzalez) c) Duffin's web page seems to have been taken down. I was not able to access it. d) I found another application Davory (from that costs $37 +/- (strange "US price may vary") BUT the demo version doesn't let you download files larger than 200KB, do it is hard to demo (all my files are 600+KB.

I opted for Mr Grau's - the demo let me see the recovered files first, so I had good confidence going into the purchase.

Happy studies Mr. Grau.

After 2 hours of searching and testing...this page has the best advice! Thanks to all. Cheers,

-- Eric (, June 04, 2003.

No answer but a further twist to the problem... With an Olympus C-720 I filled a 64mb card with photo's and replaced it with another smaller card and stored the 64 in it's case. When i went to read the 64 in a usb reader...alas no files(still read fully used though). I tried a demo of "Photo Retriever" and there were all the files I deleted before I took the new set of pictures(Aaaaargh! not the ones i just took!) I formatted it in the camera before I took the new pics and I viewed the new pics (all good then) before I switched the cards. Is it possible that the new pics are there either inside or alongside the old pics? My Norton Utils won't read the USB card reader. I've gotta find those photo's or I'm going to have 5 women very mad at me for losing pics of them with a celeb. (Why did I have to be the one with the camera?) Help. help. help.!!!!! Any ideas....?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?

-- jon simons (, June 06, 2003.

Hello everyone. Haven't really found an answer yet, so I'm hoping someone here will help. I have an 8MB CompactFlash SanDisk and a USB reader/writer. Never had any problems, everything worked fine. But I think that when I formatted the disk, it became unusable for some reason. I can take pictures and view them on my digital camera, but when I put the card into the reader and try to view them on my PC, all I get is a message telling me the file is corrupt or unreadable. What have I done????? Any help would be appreciated, guys. This isn't some life or death emergency where I need my pictures back, but I would like to not have to buy a new memory card and experience the same problem. Thanks again.


-- Jason (, June 11, 2003.

I had a correpted 64MB Smartmedia, it had photo's from my honeymoon, with us in a hot air balloon etc, I was upset that we had lost them. I tried Kurt Stege's Jpegdump and it worked like a charm. And freeware too. Top bloke, top program. Good luck everyone. Jim

-- Jim Wood (, June 16, 2003.

just fixed a corrupted 128 mb card in an old olympus camera,for my parents ,all images recovered even after reformatting the card.looked at some of the downloads on this site but was not wanting to pay, eventually came across this,and as stated it has recovered every single image,and is free. hope this is of use!

-- iain conley (, June 22, 2003.

What an amazing thread!

Unfortunately however, I still haven't been able to recover the files on my Fuji FinePix 2400 Smartmedia card that have been corrupted for reasons unproven (though I suspect removal of the card whilst the camera was powered up).

Of all the free options discussed in the thread, I had most hope for the Scan Disk idea, but would lke to check I'm going about this the right way please, as the way I'm doing it now, no errors are reported.

I am using Sacn Disk with Windows 2000 Professional like this:

1) Insert the offending smartmedia card in to the reader (drive E) 2) Start Windows Explorer 3) Highlight drive E 4) Press Right Mouse Button and select 'Properties' 5) Select 'Tools' tab 6) Press button for option 'Error Checking' 7) Ensure 'Automatically fix file system errors' in UNchecked 8) Ensure 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors' is also UNchecked. 9) Press button 10) Scan process runs and completes in a few seconds with no errors found.

Should I be doing this another way, please?

Many thanks for all help. My very unhappy wife currently has no holiday or 30th birthday pictures...


-- Steve (, July 04, 2003.


I purchased Photo Recovery from and now have all the photos recovered except for a handfull, for which the thumbnails display either as a complete mass of grey, or areas of grey interspersed with areas of photo. I really liked the fact that I could try a free download and see whether it would help me or not before I purchased the full version that allows 'save'.

I am therefore 99.9% happy, which is a lot better than 0% an hour ago!


-- Steve (, July 04, 2003.

i used kurt stege's jpegdump

together with photorescue

my flash card was corrupted in a way that jpegdump could not create a card image on a harddrive. instead i used photorescue to create a card image and placed it in the folder where jpegdump searches for it when being invoced with the -recover option. also i renamed the image, but i think that might not be necessary at all...

the results were great... almost all pictures were rescued...

as the card image routine in photorescue works in the unregistered version and jpegdump is absolutely free it was a very cheap solution to the problem.


-- BE (, July 05, 2003.

Canon A70 with 16 MB Compact Flash and 256 MB CF both from SanDisk. Problem: twice now when reading the 16M CF followed by the 256M CF using a POI USB multi-care reader and Win2000 laptop the PC shows the 256 MB CF folders but no files present and the camera says the 256 CF is full but zero images.

I tried over a dozen recovery apps without success including Scavenger, Active Undelete, Data Rescue, Flash File Recovery, Final Data 2, Media Revival, PC Inspector File Recovery, R-Undelete, Restorer2000.

Successful apps were Recover My Files (81 images) and Photo Recovery (149 images). Kurt Stege's jpegdump also produced 149 images containing all the Canon photo data as well as the thumbnails and preview images which he nicely explains in his html manual.

Thanks Kurt and contributors to on this page!!!

-- Ron Zol (, July 13, 2003.

Jpegdump to the rescue... Thanks Kurt Stege for making the effort. I am amazed at how many people are inflicted with this particular malady. It doesn't seem to matter what manufacture you use, or what kind of memory, you may become subject to the loss of all your images. Fortunately, thanks to Kurt we sometimes have a solution. Just try to bring back pictures from old film after you accidentally opened up the camera body and let the light in!

JpegDump can be downloaded for free from:

Agreed, amazing thread. However, my camera is about 3 weeks old so this topic is still red hot.

-- Derek Bischoff (, July 13, 2003.

I downloaded Jpegdump but I am not able to open it once I unzip it. It blinks on the screen for a second and instantly disappears. I have Win98SE. Is there something special I should do to access this program?

I have 2 smartmedia cards that I need to access (32MB and 128MB). I used a Fuji FinePix 1400 camera and have tried every program I can find to try to access the pics, including all of the ones mentioned here. I downloaded the pics thru EXIF viewer to computer, erased them through the camera program, and then had a computer crash. Anyone know of a program that will give me my pictures back or someone I could pay to recover the pictures of my Mexico vacation?

-- Ruby Pender (, July 20, 2003.

Question: I have a digital camera, and a pocket pc. Both use Compact Flash cards. However my camera seems to have ruined a 64mb card. Now my pocket pc wants the DRIVER NAME every time insert the card. Now it wont work in my camera either... It says "Formatting" for 7 hours it said that I went through two sets of batteireis waiting for it to format... help me please

-- John Strickland (, July 23, 2003.

After reading much of this thread I experimented with several approaches. The commercial products generally worked as advertised on my Memorex 128 Meg CF card. I was not successful with JpegDump, although the card image recovery step seemed to work. It was the parsing step, the rebuilding of the images files themselves, that failed.

I was however pleased to find Zero Assumption Digital Recovery, a 620 k download available through This product is **free**. It was added to in late July 2003.

This product worked perfectly for me.

-- Peter Vogel (, July 26, 2003.

Yesterday evening when I tried to shoot with my A60 it showed a memory card error and all the images that I had stored in it were lost. I checked the manual which said in such cases you can try re- formatting. I tried that and when I did a format it gave me the following error ->E50. What does this mean and how do I rectify this? Also, the 16MB CF card now shows a memory of only 3.8MB. Please help me out with this problem.

After going through the thread I've downloaded a whole lot of the recovery software's mentioned in the thread but currently I don't 've a card reader with me. Is it possible to recover my card without using a card reader but just a recovery software?

Pls reply back on the email addr given. I've some impt snaps on it and I would really be grateful if anyone can help me out with this issue.

regards, Arunkumar Sivaraman

-- ARUNKUMAR SIVARAMAN (, July 29, 2003.

Hi, after reading this thread, I have downloaded to no avail any program which will help me with my problem. I have a 256mb Kingston Compact Flash card which will not even read as a drive in my compact flash reader, or in any camera. i have 150+ pictures on the card and really want to get them off. If there is anyway or any program please let me know. e-mail or post to this thread

-- Gerald (, August 10, 2003.

My results accidentally reformatting a CF card in my Canon S230: After reformatting, I switched to another CF card so as not to do any more writes to it. I use a PCMCIA adapter in my laptop for my CF card. When I got home, I tried 2 utilities:

1) Kurt's jpegdump: wouldn't create a card image for some reason.

2) PC Inspector Smart Recovery (FREEWARE!): Got back almost all of my images (included some old ones I'd deleted a while back) although a few were a little corrupted. All-in-all, happy with the results. If you're having problems with your CF images, this one is definitely worth a try.

-- (, August 17, 2003.

I have used BadCopy Pro on several occasions with great success.

As for figuring out why I have to use it at all, it remains a mystery. Is it 'one of those things', faulty cards (it happens on many different brands/sizes), or is it my camera (most likely)???


-- Mr Crappy (, August 26, 2003.

My situation was that while travelling around Tasmania the dreaded card error appeared on a 96 Mb card with about 80 + images on it- I connected the Olympus E- 10 to the iMac that evening in the motel and was able to manually find the disc image open it and drag the files to the hard drive , I then reformatted the card and continued to use it -- BUT- isn't there always a "but"? -- I discovered since that a number of my files are corrupted with a horizontal banding across them- so I am now trying to work out if it is possible to rectify the fault within individual files after saving to the hard drive.

Never say it is impossible- someone out there may know the answer.

If you do can you email me- -- and post of course-- I found this site /thread by chance while searching for an answer

Typically it was the first such error in nearly 3 years and about 12000 images - when 100 miles from home - glad I took the iMac at least

many thanks for the info above also Ron

-- Ron Co (, September 30, 2003.

Lots of useful tips here, but none really address the problem I have. I have looked frantically all over the web for help but have found nothing. I have the Minolta Dimage S414. As I tried to download my pictures to my PC using the provided software (Dimage Viewer) the software suddenly froze and my CF card now seems unreadable by the camera. I am really worried that my data is lost since the camera either reports 'Cannot read card' or 'no card'. HELP!!! If anyone has had a similar problem, please let me know what you did and if you managed to recover your pictures. Thanks.

-- Flavio Garcea (, October 06, 2003.

I am desperate..just lost a 64mb card full of images from a wonderful holiday including loads of priceless kid pix too :O( I have tried every program listed here and none of them are working. I am getting the error message saying that the card needs to be formatted, I took the card out of the reader while the paint shop pro browser was open (although I am *sure* I have done this before with no harm done.)Anyway....I am currently running pC Inspector in the advanced wouldn't work in quick mode, but it has been running 3 hours plus and isn't even 1% done..for some reason it is seeing my card as being 1.91 TBytes in size!!! I tried Photo Rescue but it won't work with the card as a logical drive and it doesn't seem to show up as a physical drive (at least nothing of 64mb shows). DPR, Zero Assumption and Photo Recovery are giving me no joy either. Please can anyone help? Many thanks :)

-- winterchild (, October 10, 2003.

PC Inspector Smart Recovery recovered all of my files. The problem MAY have started when I was using the Stitch Assist mode on my Canon G3. The last image I took was 41 MB when recovered and was a jumble of at least 3 different images. I may have forgotten to press SET before leaving the Stitch Assist mode. I need to look into this some more. Regards to all who have contributed and helped me!

-- Marty Prager (, October 11, 2003.

Still trying after three days and most of the nights to recover my images. Photo Rescue found all of them in demo mode, and showed perfect thumbnails, but when I purchased the full verion it did not live up to the promise. PhotoRecovery will not run. I start the program and then get an error message saying Tbar progress out of range and with that the program shuts down..has anyone else come across this? Thanks! Winterchild

-- winterchild (, October 12, 2003.

Just got back from a trip where I was using my new Nikon 3100 with a 256 mb compact flash card. After about 50 shots the camera reported that the CF card was not formatted and asked if I wanted to format. I immediately stopped using the card and waited till I got back to the hotel to put in in a PCMCIA card reader. Windows also reported the card was not formatted. I tried running a scan disk, but it found nothing. I tried Kurts program and was able to recover about 6 files, but then locked up, I suspect due to fragmenting. Next I downloaded "Zero Assumption Digital Image Recover" from It worked!! I was able to recover 28 images that I had lost, and also it found another 100+ that I had previously downloaded and reformatted afterwords. The program is free!! Yeah.

-- Becky Maxwell (, October 12, 2003.

I had a Memorex card reader and a SmartMedia (128 mb) disk with a read problem. In my camera it said I had 62 frames left, while with a fresh disk I should have had 130. The camera is a Olympus D-40 and would not show any photos. Any thing I tried with the card reader on my Dell w/Windows XP could not bring out any files either. So I found this thread and tried the download of "Zero Assumption Digital Image Recover" from 10193328.html It worked!! I recovered all 78 photos as well as some 60 that I believed had been erased. It took a while but was fully automated. I then ran the disk defragmenter and then Windows Explorer and found the 78 files I thought were lost. By changing the extensions from .chk to .jpg, I could also fix the disk. Thanks for this site!!

-- Clarence Hoppe (, October 15, 2003.

Thanks Smithduck. My Canon A60 showed a memory full message so I erased some old photos to give it more space, after about 40 shots the card read full again. Weird, because it was a 256meg card. What was really weird it was only allowing the last 40 shots to be previewed, the other 500 or so were gone. After seaching this site I purchased a card reader and downloaded the free recovery tool ttp:// This took ages but I now have about 95% of my lost forever shots.I also tried recovery after formatting the card and this works as well Thanks mate.

-- Jimmy Moore (, October 16, 2003.


Your message was the most recent - AND the most helpful - many of the older posts suggested what was then freeware and is now either payware or shareware, but the PC Inspector Smart Recovery was fast, copied ALL of my "lost" pics into a folder on my hardrive and best of all, as of 10/23/2003, FREE!

Folks, go with the PC Inspector Smart Recovery - it totally saved me!



-- Gerry Szymanski (, October 23, 2003.

Not really an answer, just another plea for help. I have read most of the posts and tried most of the programs. My problem is that none of the programs recognize my card. Even going to explorer, it says please insert disk.

I am thinking of trying to format the card, or send it off for professional services.

Any suggestions?

-- chris gilbert (, October 25, 2003.

I used PC Inspector to recover the corrupted files from 128mb PNY compactflash card.Used a PCIMCA card reader to create a logical drive to read and write the Card from PC. I was able to recover almost all the file.I also tried the Photo Rescue worked fine but why should i pay for it when i get PC inspector for free! One extra work is to rename all the recovered files as .jpg but really worth instead of paying $20-30

-- Naveen (, October 29, 2003.

On return from holiday, I downloaded my CF card onto the hard drive, and then deleted all the files on the card, using the camera (CanonG3). It was only later that I found one of the photos had copied across, but was unreadable. I didn't have a card reader at the time, and couldnt get any program to recover the files using the usb cable to connect the camera to the pc. Yesterday, I bought a usb card reader, and tried using PC Doctor. Everything worked as advertised, and I now have all of the files on my hard drive, including the ones that I had deleted in camera while on holiday. It may be that getting rid of the camera hardware allowed the recovery program to work. It's free and does what is says on the package. 100%

Tom Davison

-- Tom Davison (, November 02, 2003.

Sorry - brain failure. The program was PC Inspector, downloaded from

-- Tom Davison (, November 02, 2003.

this is a great post... i have downloaded some of the suggested programs to recover images. some are better than others, but most of them do what they say. but like many others i have a couple different problems that i have been searching the answers too. i've read the entire thread and there are a couple of people that have one similar problem i do.. and the other problem would be the first for this thread. i have a minolta s414 and took a like 40 pics with a 128mb compact flash card. i used a 6 in 1 card reader to transfer the files over to my laptop. midway throught the transfer it stopped or frozed on this one file. the transfer was not responding so i ended the task but the light on the reader was still reading. i know i shouldn't of done this but i pulled the card out. now the card is ususable in the camera and when its in the reader explorer stops responding when i click on the drive its in. all of the programs mention above can read the drive or card... everytime i click on it, its freezes the program. someone says it might be the file system.. but can't find a program that can fix it or read the card in the first place. is the card permanently damaged or is there a way of getting it back in use without paying more that what its worth.

the other situation is with another card i got. 256mb sandisk compact flash... i took some pics and transferred it to my laptop using the same reader. but i decided to format the card afterwards but in windows xp. i think it was formatted to a fat32. but now the minolta s414 says its 'unusable card'. but it works find in the reader and my pda. does someone know of a program that can reformat the card to be used with digital cameras?

i hope someone out there has a solution... please email me with any ideas... thanks


-- Ryan Quan (, November 20, 2003.


My new 256Mb Compact flash card will not format. My Canon A60 camera says "memory card error". If I select the format option it seems to see the card as a 3.8Mb card. Then if I select format it comes back with "E50" which means absolutely nothing to me.

I am using 45x Silicon Power memory. The memory works fine in my card reader (read & write).

Does anyone know what the problem might be?

-- Michael Czajka (, December 09, 2003.

The French police deleted all my pictures for having taken one picture of them. I use a Canon S400 with a Ridata 256 CF card. I've tried all the programs listed, but the programs won't recognise my camera as a drive. I'm touring right now and don't have access to a CF reader. Any solutions on how to retrieve the deleted images?

-- Saber Zohir (, December 26, 2003.

Canon, the manufacturers of the memory (Silicon Power), the local distributors & the retailer all agreed that it was probably a faulty card.

The manufacturers stuck an identical card in a Canon camera and said it formatted OK... they were a bit unclear if they were using an A60 or some other Canon.

The reseller didn't have a replacement card so in the same brand so they gave me a faster 52x Rydata CF card with a 5 yr warranty. That works fine...

I'm told the firmware on the CF card might be at fault (by a friend who is a sharp rep).

I also read in some of the forums that some people have successfully solved the problem by reformatting the card in a card reader on a computer. That didn't work for me.

The best strategy is always try to buy memory with a long warranty and use a reseller who is not fussy about changing things over. If that fails talk to the wholesaler and/or e-mail the manufacturer. Someone will usually help.


-- Michael Czajka (, January 02, 2004.


To the guy with the deleted images... as long as you don't start writing to the card (and even if you do) you can use a file recovery program.

Writing to the card will however tend to over-write stuff and make it harder to recover anything.


-- Michael Czajka (, January 02, 2004.


does anyone know the Website of Mr. Flash? I have a 64 Mb CF with 50 images, that needs to be formatted...

thanks, Alessio

-- Alessio (, January 07, 2004.

I had a corrupt card. Couldn't open the folder with all the jpegs. ...and (fortunately) couldn't delete it either. Windows' own Check Disk did the trick for me. Select both options: Automatically fix file system errors Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors Click "Start" and let 'er run.

Everything downloaded onto my hard drive w/o a hitch!

-- Dave (, January 14, 2004. is one of the largest media card and digital camera recovery companies in the United States & the globe. The company’s Quality Assurance Manager, Mr. B Cullen, and his team have a wealth of experience in file recovery. For several years they have provided technical support to a wide variety of digital camera users, and the new Image-Recover© process will only serve to increase the benefits for their customers.

The unique Image-Recover© process salvages lost images from a wide variety of corrupt, deleted, or damaged media: • SmartMedia • CompactFlash • Memory Stick • MMC-SD • MiniSD • PCMCIA • Microdrive • SD or PC Card image storage devices • USB Jump Drives • Hard Drives/USB Drives • CD-RW/CD-R/DVD-RW/DVD-R • iStick • xD Card • And all others

According to Cullen, the exclusive service has been able to recover 96% of all lost images. Many people do not even realize that this service is available. Just last month, was contacted by a new mother through email. She had pictures of the delivery of her newborn, but had somehow lost the images. She found Image-Recover© via an Internet search, and to her great delight, they quickly re- produced her incredible photos. Without this service, she would have never been able to share those astonishing pictures with her child later in life!

“I am surprised major camera retailers and large established card manufacturers ask their clients to surf the net looking for digital image recovery sites; they could send them directly to us. We could provide the service on some sort of an outsourcing basis; this would be a huge win/win situation for everyone involved. The retailers and manufacturers keep their customer goodwill; we get to provide the service; and the customer gets to have their images restored,” notes Cullen.

The idea behind this digital image recovery service was developed by Cullen, the owner of the search engine optimization firm, when his wife's digital images were lost during a trip to Europe. Whether the Memory Stick was corrupt or something in the airport scanners affected it, he knew the problem could be fixed when after only a second try, he was able to salvage all of the pictures. Like Cullen himself, many people are in need of digital image recovery. Without any publicity at all, the site has begun receiving an unprecedented increase in the number of hits daily. From January 2003 to February 2004, traffic to the site has multiplied by an average of over 1100%.

The firm is thrilled with the level of customer satisfaction it is able to provide. As Cullen notes, “I have never heard so many ecstatic responses. When we tell customers we were able to get their images back, the response is not just, ‘Ok. Great; how much do we owe you?’ It is more along the lines of ‘No way! Are you serious? Fabulous!’” According to Cullen, most people think the technology is so complicated that the images are gone. However, sees it as easy when handled by a dedicated professional. The company cherishes making phone calls telling customers their images are back. “It’s a good feeling when the customers thank us several times before we get off the phone. They just love the news! We know we are providing a valuable service when this happens.”

One point Cullen notes as very important is that you shouldn’t tamper with the storage device. If you just can’t retrieve the images, preserve the device in as close to the original condition as possible. This increases the likelihood of Image-Recover© being able to rescue the digital files.

To learn more about this extraordinary service, check out their web site, or call (714) 225-9700. You can contact customer service by emailing

“What customers say about our services.”

Image-Recover® Critical evidence images recovered for Indiana Sheriff’s Department Friday January 26, 2004

ORANGE COUNTY, California, Jan 26 ( – Digital Image Recovery service, Image-Recover® by, successful in recovery once again. In a recent recovery completed for an Indiana County Sheriff’s Department, was able to retrieve evidence photos that are vital to a successful conviction in a currently pending criminal court trial. The key Sergeant, whose name must be kept confidential, tried contacting Sony, the manufacturer of the Memory Stick, for help. However, even the “Manufacturer” of the card was unable to provide their customer with support on their own product. In a letter received by, the Sergeant states,

“When I contacted Sony for advice I did not get much help. The three levels of ‘Help’ I spoke to had no idea what the problem was. I found it hard to believe the camera would give a specific error code and no one from Sony had any idea what it meant.” – Sargent XXXXX

Image-Recover®, on the other hand, was able to quickly and accurately restore sixty (60), out of the requested fifty (50), extra-high resolution images within 24-hours. So why are major manufacturers and camera retailers unable to help their clients with data recovery issues? One reason may be that offering such a service takes up a lot of time and resources; hiring technicians, management, hardware, et cetera. Another reason is that due to the number of different media storage formats, it may not be very profitable for a manufacturer to offer such services.

What can you expect in the future? Cullen says customers should soon be able to not only have the images retrieved but have their images available via the Internet (file upload) within only a few hours of the files being recovered. As of October 2003 recovered images have the ability to be printed on photo paper and mailed to customers. will also be adding image editing services so that customers can improve the quality of their recovered images.

One question still remains, what happens to clients needing Digital Image Recovery services? Are they left in the dark, with no help? Or are they being sent on a endless quest of surfing the Internet for help? A simple answer to those questions is, the Digital Image Recovery experts.

Compact Flash Recovery - Memory Recovery - - The Digital Image Recovery Company

-- Bruce Cullen - President/ (, February 24, 2004.

I have put together a site with some information on how to attempt to recover deleted/lost pictures.

Comments would be appreciated.

-- Al (, March 07, 2004.

Hi there,

yesterday and today i´ve red your posts about your way of recovering lost photos.

I tried it exactly the way you described, but I had no success. My problem is: the complete header of my jpeg files seems to be lost, as Winhex shows that there ist nothing. i even cant find the olympus signature in it.

My idea was to copy opening signature of every jpeg "into" the broken jpeg, that signature seems to be the same in every taken picture of my olympus CZ220Zoom. But i cant really imagine how that works....

Maybe you have got another idea how to solve this problem. All the files have the right size, each about ca 400 kb ... the only problem is the header.

Help would be very welcome, within every minute that damn shit takes i´m getting more annoyed about that... that were my holiday pictures, i won´t imagine if i cant recover them... SO PLEASE HELP!!!!

Or maybe someone knows a nice little program that does exactly what i need? would be also fine :-)

thanxalot so far


Contact also possible via ICQ, Nr 122369626

-- Greg (, March 13, 2004.

Albeit not directly related to CF or Pictures, today I experienced a bizzare problem with my USB Flash Disk. I have a pretty standard 32 MB USB 2.0 Flash Disk, and while working, all of a sudden I try to drag some file from the drive to the desktop, double click, alas,... file open error, I try to open it directly from the drive, zilch...


WindowsXP now recognizes my single 32MB USB Flash Drive as two drives, one with 8MB and another with 22MB !?!?!?... On Windows 2000 only recognizes the first one completely full with 0 bytes ocupied space and 0 bytes free, zero. Back to XP, I now have two drives,... from which I cannot see a single file.

I did a quick format and tried using EasyRecovery Professional and was able to recover 70% of the files, since they were few large important files.

Now I have a divided flash disk with two drives and have no idea what to do.

Any ideas how to merge them back?

thank p79

-- pablo florida (, March 18, 2004.

Another excellent freeware tool that I'm didn't see mentioned but may have been is: PC Inspector File Recovery -

Works on hard drives as well as memory cards that are connected as a drive. Excellent tool and best price possible.

-- Jon (, March 31, 2004.

I've got a Canon Powershot A60 that accepts compactflash media. Unlike the majority of you, I have been having problems with corrupt images rather than accidental deletion. I would take a picture or movie with my camera and the initial preview would look fine. Later, as I would scroll through the images on the camera they would all look fine as tiny thumbnails, but when zoomed to fill the camera's screen I would get a "Corrupted Data" message.

I've come to the conclusion that it is not my camera (thankfully), but the media card. The faulty card is a Memorex 128mb card I purchased at Fry's. The card that came with the camera (Canon's own 16mb card) and a second 128mb Kodak card (purchased at Walmart) have worked without any errors.

On my most recent roadtrip from Vancouver BC to Los Angeles, I used the Memorex card for the first leg of the trip. With this card, I lost 14 photos and 2 short movie clips out of the 202 files (both avi & jpg) taken with it. Not a bad percentage but still quite annoying. Some of these I could care less about, and some I'm pretty pissed about loosing.

I went out and bought a mediaGear card reader that seems to work great (faster than my camera) for transferring files. I tried many of the suggested programs here to recover the corrupted files: PC Inspector Smart Recovery, Jpegdump, Photo Rescue (Wizard & Expert versions), BadCopy Pro, and PhotoRecovery. Didn't bother with Zero Assumption Recovery because it claims to not support the A60 at all. I'm not here to give any bad reviews because my problem isn't really what these programs are designed to fix, but more I just want to save anyone else the trouble of wasting their time with them if you are having similar corruption problems. These programs actually found a smaller amount of images than the ones I was able to transfer over using my camera or the reader alone. They were also unable to recover ANY of the corrupted files.

I then tried Window 2000's own Check Disk. I checked on both Automatically Fix File System Errors and Scan or Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors. After running, this created a folder on the memory card called FOUND.000 full of 2kb recovered file fragments titled FILE0001.CHK with different numbers, of course. I copied this folder to my harddrive and renamed a couple of the files as jpgs, but this didn't work. I didn't really expect it to with such small filesizes. I threw the card back in the camera and looked through the pictures again. Accessing the card is now substantially slower and I noticed that Check Disk actually deleted some of the files that were not even corrupt in the first place.

I've formatted the card several times before using the camera, and this doesn’t seem to work. Is this card hopeless or is there some way to make it work? It's had these problems from the start. I may try to get in touch with Fry's or Memorex about an exchange, but I'm not sure if they'll do that as I bought it over 3 months ago. As a side note, in the A60's manual it says to format any card that isn't Canon brand before using it and with this one I did not do that. I was too excited to start shooting and hadn't read the manual! Could this have possibly ruined this card?

Thanks for this informative thread by the way! Hope my contribution helps someone out there. I really am starting to miss film.

-- Kevin (, April 14, 2004.

PLEAS! Im gonna die!... I format the ScanDisk CompactFlash Memory Card of 128 mb .. so the DCIM folder and all of the files were erased and when i put the cf on the camera, and error appears! Pleasee someone that could help me! I want to know if i could download this files from anywere


-- Tomás (, April 18, 2004.


Zero Assumption really helped me out. I recovered nearly all of the images, and a lot wich i thought i deleted a long time ago.


But the next question is. How to format the compact flash card. It is unreadable.

-- Edwin van Nieuwaal (, April 20, 2004.

Help! I’ve lost my digital pictures!

Technological advances are rapidly evolving, and as consumers you must educate yourselves to protect your cherished memories. Whether a professional or amateur, there are many people who enjoy taking photographs, this is a way to document your special occasions or keep track of valuables within your home. Whatever the time, pictures are worth a thousand words and irreplaceable only by the memories you carry within your mind. So what happens if your precious photos are lost?

Pictures, cameras and film are not the same as the past. Consumers are now equipped with digital cameras, memory sticks, and printers. We no longer have to allow strangers behind a counter “trust” in handling our film. With these advances there is always a chance something may go wrong. Imagine you are at your sisters wedding and she has entrusted you with the task of photographing her most important day. What on earth would you do if for some reason after the beautiful wedding and exciting reception, you returned home to find no data stored on your memory stick! You may lose your grasp of reality for a moment, and most certainly not contact your little sister until you have resolved the matter. If a tragedy somewhat similar to this has happened to you, I have one word you should keep in mind, eProvided, they are a priceless resource for people who have digital images or data which need to be recovered. If you are a person who uses a digital camera and has images you just can’t retrieve, you absolutely must check out this service. Many people are unaware of Image Recovery and may think they have lost their photos permanently. An impressive 95% of cases eProvided has completed have ended in successful retrieval of customer images or data.

eProvided is one of the largest media card and digital camera recovery companies in the United States. The company’s Quality Assurance Technical Manager, Bruce Cullen, and his team have a wealth of experience in file recovery. For several years they have provided technical support to a wide variety of digital camera users, and the new Image-Recover© process will only serve to increase the benefits for their customers. eProvided has experienced an incredible
6000% increase in web activity since website inception. They currently assist customers within their local area of Orange County, CA, and many others around the U.S., Hong Kong, Australia, and Europe. Future company expansion to Africa and offices in Europe are also being discussed at this time.

Digital image recovery service was developed by Bruce Cullen, when his wife's digital images were lost during a trip to Europe. Whether the Memory Stick was corrupt or something in the airport scanners affected it, he knew the problem could be fixed when after only a second try; he was able to salvage all of the pictures. According to Cullen, most people think the technology is so complicated that the images are gone. However, sees it as easy when handled by a dedicated professional. One point Cullen notes as very important is that you shouldn’t tamper with the storage device. If you just can’t retrieve the images, preserve the device in as close to the original condition as possible. This increases the likelihood of a successful recovery.

The demand for digital recovery goes hand in hand with the unlimited amount of digital products on the market today. Some large manufacturing giants are halting the development of traditional 35mm film to evolve into digital media. As holiday’s pass items such as digital cameras, MP3 players, digital camcorders, PDA’s, recording devices are flying off the shelves at an unbelievable rate compared to previous years. In the near future many cell phones will also be equipped with flash cards to store images and data as well. All of these items have digital media in common, which means eProvided is ready when something goes awry.

The unique Image-Recover© process salvages lost images from a wide variety of corrupt, deleted, or damaged media:

Memory Stick
SD or PC Card image storage devices
USB Jump Drives
Hard Drives/USB Drives
xD Card
And all others

During a scenario as the wedding photos, all you would need to do is pay a visit to their website, print out a form and pop that form along with your memory stick in an envelope and drop it in the mail.

They promise a 48hr turnaround, and have a multitude of services such as:

Digital Image Recovery
Data Recovery
Computer Repair and Rentals (within Orange County, CA)
Image Printing
Memory Card Rejuvenation

Not only do they offer these services and more, but do so at reasonable prices. After sending in your media and receiving your quote on image or data recovery, there are other options you may choose to include: (these prices are subject to change at anytime)

$16.99 – Online Recovery (customer visits website and is able to download recovered images immediately)
$11.00 – Memory card rejuvenation (this will restore your media to like-new condition)
$19.00 – Lifetime rejuvenation and recovery fee
$ 0.30 – Per Image printed on 4x6 paper and shipped to customer

If you are a consumer who values coupons here is one to keep handy. They are currently offering a 25% discount to customers who place a direct link to eProvided on their website.

In January of 2004, eProvided was commended by the Indiana Sheriff’s Department for the retrieval of evidence photos that were vital to a currently pending criminal court trial. The Sergeant stated “When I contacted Sony for advice I did not get much help. The three levels of ‘Help’ I spoke to had no idea what the problem was. I found it hard to believe the camera would give a specific error code and no one from Sony had any idea what it meant.” – Sergeant

eProvided has been sought out by high profile clients such as NASA, and U.S. Special Agents. When dealing with their clients, they understand and are equipped to deal with highly sensitive information. eProvided is there for its customers whether they are pictures you took during a Sunday drive, crucial evidence needed for a court hearing, or high profile clients. Take the next step in ensuring you are prepared during a crisis like this and keep eProvided in mind.

Learn more about this extraordinary service, check out their web site , or call (866) 857-5950. You can contact customer service by emailing

Recover your memories today…
~CJ Salgado

Digital Image Recovery - Memory Recovery - - The Digital Image Recovery Company

-- Bruce Cullen - President/ (Image-, February 24, 2004.

-- eProvided Com (, April 22, 2004.

Pleae help I can recover all my images no problem but I cannot make the 256 meg sandisk carrd usable again it will not format.. Can some one help has anyone got a winhex image I can down load to the card?


-- rob (, May 04, 2004.

I have an olympus c-2100 UZ. This is the second time it has happened and I don't know how it happens because it only happens to my wife when I'm not there.

Wife takes the smartmedia card out of camera, inserts in our 6-way media reader in PC running windows XP, and copies photos off card. Takes card out of PC, puts card back in camera and... now camera won't recognize card!!!

I come home to the bad news (twice with 2 diff cards) and stick card back in PC. PC reads card fine, all photos there. However camera does not read the card.

The baffling thing is I cannot replicate the error. I have been copying photos off that card for months. Even using the drive-letter folder to delete images, and the card always works fine when I put it back in the camera. I even logged into the PC as my wife to see if something is different in her environment, but I cannot corrupt the one good card we have left.

Anyway, I don't need to recover any images, but I need to get this card back into a format the camera will accept, and someday I hope to figure out how this happens only to my wife when I'm not there.


-- Dan (, June 26, 2004.

Recovering deleted files or formated memory cards (unformat): use the FREE tool "Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery" (setup_ir.exe, about 600 Kb) which you can download from http://www.z-a- (status: 2004-09-16). It is small and good and free !!!!!

-- Joachim Oberhammer (, September 16, 2004.

Thanks Joachim. I used that program "Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery" to recover 81 images from a Smart Media card which originally refused to be read by my computer or either of my 2 Olympus cameras.

I have had great success. The program is easy to use and gives excellent results.

-- Peter Halden (, November 01, 2004.

hi, i need help... i formatted my compact flash in the computer and now the camera doesnt want to read it... please help me... i dont want to buy a new card anymore... thanks!

-- alex kent (, November 02, 2004.

Hi all I recommed that you all buy some new cheep camera with a different format and stop wasting time with smart media. Its DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Java (, January 23, 2005.

great thread. my problem is that I can not mount the card on my desktop nor the camera. any idea how I can make the reader mount it? I have access to mac and pc. at first during mounting it showed not recognizable, do you want to format and I said no and eject, thinking this will preserve the photos and let me mount later, but it jus will not mount now . when I enter the disc into the reader I hear a high, very faint pitching noise and then that goes away. the reader shows a green light, i.e. sees that a card is inserted. any ideas welcome, I've tried each and every suggested demo recovery tool from this thread, but I don't even get to the point of being able to use them as the card doesn't mount on the desktop.

-- mar (, January 29, 2005.

Digital Image Recovery Just an update regarding now recovers DVD and CD media images, data and lost sessions. (DVD-R, CD-R etc)

If anyone needs information on recovering lost file or deleted images problems feel free to ask us.

See our website for more information. We would be glad to assist anyone, photographers, entertainment types etc.

Bruce Digital Image Recovery

-- Bruce (, February 10, 2005.

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