Is there anything scarier than not seeing your images?


The title of this should be of interest to the majority of you.

Ask any pro who’s been burned and they’ll tell you even though they may have this tool, they never live and die by it.

I have it only as a last resort.

Yesterday one of my students shot something in class.

In between her completing her shoot and her getting to her computer to download, something went awry.

My guess? She probably shut the camera off before it stopped writing or she pulled the card out of the camera before turning off the camera.

Whatever the case, just don’t do those 2 things.

She assured me the images were there when she was chimping.

The fact that she was able to chimp, means they were on the card.

So long story short. The next time she tried to look at her images on the back of her camera, there was an error on the LCD. Something to the effect of card error.

I told her, I’d try to recover her work, no promises.


As expected the card wouldn’t mount on my desktop when I inserted it into my card reader.

I formatted the card NOT with the computer, but with the CAMERA. That is important.

I stress this because, you need to format with the camera file system.

I know we’ve all heard that if you format a card, all is lost.

So the dilemma here is…if the card won’t mount on the desktop, what choice do you have?

After formatting, the memory card mounted as “EOS_Digital”–a good sign.

While there are no guarantees from this point, it’s a good omen.

Depending on the size of your card, the software will do its thing.

rescuepro3If the tech gods are smiling at you, you should find a folder named “Recovered” which is the path to where those rescued files are on your hard drive.

On the Mac, Rescue Pro saves it to your home folder

And how much was this handy little application? It was bundled with SanDisk’s extreme line memory cards when I bought it.

Well, worth the expense as you can see.

So Jeanette, you owe me!

Of interest also:

4 thoughts on “Is there anything scarier than not seeing your images?”

  1. Thank you for sharing that. I used to use Lexar Professional cards but that was at least 5 years ago. It’s nice to know they bundle recovery software now.
    Very nice photography FotoStefan on your website.

  2. Hi Jude,
    I hope you never have to see this happen either. The thing to remember is your memory cards have a finite number of writes and re-writes, so this may happen.

    As soon as one of my cards starts acting up like that, I can’t trust it anymore so I end up throwing it away because it’s unreliable.

    Just pick up one of these SanDisk’s extreme cards since the recovery software is bundled with the card.

  3. I’ll have to look for this software. Over the summer at our family BBQ my brother took some shots of our whole group – a difficult shot to repeat since we live in 4 states! We were at his son’s place in Indiana and so Greg was going to download his BBQ pictures onto Nick’s computer, but when he put his card in they went pfft! Now were were all looking at the photos on the LCD, and they had been taken hours before, so there was no issue with them not being written, and the camera was off when we pulled the card. I tried the card in my netbook on the way home and, like yours it wouldn’t mount. So Greg wound up taking the card to his wonderful local camera shop (Art’s in Milwaukee – great place) and they were able to recover the photos for him.

    I’d never seen anything like this happen before…



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