HELP! CF Card Problem. No images!

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by suzanne carey, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Hi guys. I really need your help with this. I took some pictures for a friend's
    wedding this past Friday evening. We only took an hour's worth of pictures,
    probably about 90 to 100. They were all shot in RAW using my Canon 20D. I was
    using a LEXAR Professional CompactFlash 40x card. I have been taking pictures
    for going on 3 years now and this has NEVER happened to me. I looked at the
    pictures several times to make sure my exposure looked right so I know it was
    working. In fact the last pictures I took were them cutting the cake and they
    were there! So Saturday I sit down at my computer to download them with my card
    reader. I got an error which basically said it could not find the source. I
    assumed it was my card reader for it is old and falling apart. I bought a new
    one and the same thing happend. I ran to my camera and now when I put the card
    in the camera the camera sort of "stalls" for a moment before I can do
    anything. When I click on the botton to view the images it says "No Image". So
    now I am freaking out and I try it in my 10D...same thing.

    Because this has never happened to me before I have no idea what to do or where
    to start. I really hope you guys can point me in the right direction.

    Thank you!

  2. Suzanne, first do not format your card for sure!
    You need to find a copy of photo rescue software to recover your images.
  3. Suzanne,

    I don't use Lexar cards so I don't know if they came with a little CD that had some software on it for recovering lost images, but if it did, I would suggest trying it first. If you can't find the CD, or don't want to try it yourself, a store may or may not be able to help you out. They may have the CD, or they may be able to run it themselves and get your pictures from the card. I remember Wolf Camera (a subsidiary of Ritz camera) offered this service, but it may be on a location-to-location sort of basis. Bottom line, do not format the card, and call around to local photography stores and see if they can do data recovery for you. Mind you, I don't know what the cost is that is associated with such service. I've *knock on wood* never had to use it. But I know it exists. You should be able to get images off of that card. I don't think anyone will guarantee that 100% of the images can or will be recovered, but... it's better than nothing.

    Another thing... I would never use this card at a wedding ever again. Once it does it once, I would have a hard time trusting it in the future.
  4. Here is some software that may help you. It saved my rear once.

    PC INSPECTOR File Recovery 4.5 is a data recovery program that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems.
  5. BTW - It's freeware.
  6. Does it work in the camera. Try to download via USB.

  7. I seem to recall that my Lexar 40X cards came with Image Rescue software. Try that.
  8. I don't use Lexar anymore and this is why.

    If you can get hold of photorescue and try it. If the images are recoverable, it will give you the option to purchase the software for about $30.00 and keep the images. Invaluable software IMO.

    Best of luck, D.
  9. Lexare used to offer file recovery free. You might want to contact Lexar on their website.
  10. Suzanne: this page may help a little by giving you some background on CF if you need it...

    Before doing anything, see if your card has a write protect switch. Although not part of the standard, some cards have one and that will, at least, prevent things from getting worse. Beyond that, the advice given in this thread on recovery packages is very good.
  11. Guys, thank you so much! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all the input. First of all, this card is going in the trash when I recover the files. (See I am being positive that I am going to recover them)

    I have NOT reformatted the card.

    I called Lexar and they told me to take the card to Walmart. I questioned the technician for 5 minutes on how in the world Walmart would be able to help but he assured me to take my card to Walmart and have them try to recover the files. I have two young children which makes a trip to Walmart painful so I called first to talk to the manager of the photo lab. She told me they do not have any special software that would help recover the images but we would try to pull them up using the machine.

    So Lexar said if that did not work to contact them again and we would see about what steps we would take next. They did not say what that was they just told me to call back.

    If I received a CD with the card I do not remember nor do I know where to find it at this point.

    Right now I am trying the suggestion made by Mark. It is free software. It has been running for about an hour and has about 47% of it done. My concern is it has not found any files yet. :(

    I think I will try the Photo Rescue next. $30.00 is NOTHING any way bu if it can rescue these files, it will be priceless to me.

    Also, I had heard some "negative" things about Lexar but so far so good with me. How do I prevent this from happening again? Is there a way? Should I ditch all my Lexar cards and start over with another brand? What do you use David?

    Thanks again so much. I knew I could count on my friends to help me out. You were my FIRST contact before I did anything else. :)

    Thanks again!

  12. The only cards I have ever had fail are LEXAR!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do not go to Walmart! The more times you try and fail to get the images the worse off you will be.

    Use the revory software you should get most of them off A few will be corrupted beyond repair by the first attempts from computer to camera and back.


  13. I vote with Mark, PCInspector is very powerful, I just saved 210 of 230 files from a damaged card.<br>Regards Martin
  14. Hi there. Well, I cannot seem to get PC Inspector to work. It will not even read the card. When I click on the right drive for the memory card, the "Start" button fades out so I can't even start it. I have also tried the other, PhotoRescue PC without any luck.

    Any other suggestions? I am wide open! How should I approach my bride? Will she really believe it was a freak error with my card? She really does not care about that and I would not blame her. Should I tell her now of the problem or wait until I know 100% sure that I cannot recover the images?

    I am willing do anything for her, bridal session, "newlywed" session, etc. but nothing can take up for this day. I was the only photog and EVERY image I took is on that card. It was a quick day which was only an hour. I will be loosing sleep over this.

    Sadly yours,

  15. I had luck with a program I bought at The card was not damaged - just deleted files. On a four gig card it recovered two weddings with 8gb of data and I formatted the card before the second 4gb was captured. I don't know how in the world these cards really work but files are there when they seem not to be. Good luck. Where did you buy your card by the way?
  16. If your computer is not able to see the card in the reader then all this recovery software is completely useless.

    Even if the camera does not display images from the card, try as was mentioned and connect the camera via USB to your computer. If it recognizes it as a drive /then/ try the photo recovery software.
  17. If ALL else fails - these guys are the best, but also very expensive ...
  18. Here's a long shot Suzanne.

    take your new card reader and use a different computer... a friends, whatever. Computers
    are brats. One minute they're nice and the next a monster. This is probably what Lexar
    was after by sending you to Wallmart. It's the first step I'd do by using my Laptop if the
    tower was acting up.

    Another thought (this happened to me, and some other people I know). If you can get the
    CF card to mount, but there still are no images ... check the computer's trash while the
    card is in the card reader. If a clitch happened somewhere and the whole card got deleted,
    they are still there until the card is re-formatted. They'll be on the card but in the trash so
    they don't show up. The camera will still load the card, but there's nothing to review.

    It's a long shot, but you never know.

    Good luck.
  19. I can get them back almost always. Actually, it's 99 percent of the time. I got 80 percent back from one persons wedding about 3 years ago, not 100 percent, so after doing about 75 of these I'm pretty confident. Even if it's been formatted. Sometimes it takes several hours, sometimes just a few minutes. Not only compact flash cards but hard drives. Send an email if interested. I agree that Lexar and and Canon often don't get along, therefore I prefer SanDisk cards. The newer Lexar cards seem to be fine.
  20. Perhaps a piece of dirt inside the card contact holes?

    I've heard of cleaning kits to address this, but don't have any direct experience with them.

    I'd also suppose that cleaning the card the wrong way could permanently damage it.
  21. Hi everyone. I cannot thank you enough for all of your support and suggestions. It ends up I found a very helpful fellow on another forum who has a lot of experience in this matter.

    He spent a lot of time with me and we were able to save 15 images out of about 100.

    Apparently the card was totally fried. I have no idea how it could have happened. I mailed the card to him and he is going to see if he can do anymore in person.

    Thanks again for all of your help. I love!



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