recovering data from CF card?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by sue_deva, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. I accidentally selected "Format" on my Canon S230 and erased all the
    pictures on the CF card. I have Mac OSX and I was wondering if there are any
    programs on Mac or on anything else (but preferably on Mac) that can be
    used to recover such data. (Is there a drive recovery option built into the
    system software?) Any other suggestions?
  2. Sadly, your data is gone, forever. Flash memory devices, such as CF cards, do NOT work like disk storage. Once a file is erased (or the device is formatted), the data cannot be recovered. There is no way to undelete files or unformat the card.
  3. The new Lexar CF cards come with a program called Image Rescue (may not
    be remembering the name exactly right) that is supposed to be able to
    recover images after you format. Check out their web site, and good luck?
  4. Jon Austin is incorrect. CF storage, like any other FAT volume, "erases" files by replacing the first letter of the filename with an invalid character in the file allocation table; its space is marked as free, and new files will eventually overwrite the space which was used by the deleted files. To recover your photographs, use any FAT16/32 undeletion tool. On a Windows machine, R-Studio FAT is an excellent solution that combines drive imaging with low-level recovery; I'm very happy with it.

    Formatting the volume is a little messier, but most recovery tools can deal pretty well - FAT partitions contain (IIRC) four copies of the file allocation table, and usually enough information survives a "quick" format - i.e., non-zeroing - to reconstruct the partition's directory. Good luck.
  5. >Sadly, your data is gone, forever. Flash memory devices, such as CF cards, do NOT work like disk storage

    Sadly, this is not correct!! Well, maybe from Rafil's point of view, it's not so sad. CF cards work pretty much exactly the same as hard disks - both have FAT tables, can usually be formatted, (and unformatted, assuming nothing's been overwritten), deleted and undeleted. I wouldn't be surprised if good ol' Norton Utilities wouldn't do it. There are numerous products and services for recovering data from CF cards. I keyed "compact flash data recovery" in Google and got these links from the first page only - and there were a LOT more pages: .../compact_flash_data_recovery_service.htm compact_flash_memory_recovery_software.html

    When in doubt, Google!! :) Good luck and best wishes . . .
  6. You just did the equivalent of opening the door on the back of the camera while it's loaded! Some things will never change ;)
  7. Last night I was transfering pictures from my Canon Powershot G2 to iPhoto and as usual I checked "delete photos from camera after transfer." Unfortunately, for the first time ever, after the transfer was finished the photos were not in iPhoto or in the camera. I was pretty sure the images were still on the CF card, so I Googled for a while and found a few applications that promised to help me recover them. Two were demos which would let me see that the photos were there, but would only allow recovery if I paid a registration fee. I kept searching and finally found Exif Untrasher 1.2, a great shareware utility that quickly and easily did the trick! I got all my images back.

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