Near Digital Camera Disaster

On Wednesday I had the experience that every digital photographer dreads – the corrupted memory card. In this case it was the nice big 512Mb card containing the majority of the pictures from our trip to Canada.

I’d swapped onto another card, having filled the 512Mb earlier in the day, so I thought I’d use Beth’s laptop to have a look at the shots I had taken. Windows XP successfully identified the card, and came up with a directory structure, but said that there was no free space, but no pictures either. Assuming it was the card reader, I ejected the card, and put it back in the camera, to which the camera complained that the card was uninitialised, and offered to format it. I said no at this point, tried it in my PDA, which came up as empty. After that even the camera said the card was empty.

Beth can tell you that I was not particularly happy at this point. The old Sony Camera has never had problems, and even when I’ve accidentally pulled a memory stick out of the card reader before it had finished, I’ve not had any problems. The xD memory in the new camera is a different case. I’d already corrupted a card by removing it before the access had finished, but this was after having copied off the images. In this case it corrupted as soon as the PC saw it.

Thankfully after some internet trawling I’ve come across MediaRecover who provide software for both Mac and PC to recover data, and having run the suspect card through the demo, the Mac version successfully found a large number of pictures. So I put down my £17.67, and it is currently attempting to recover my pictures. Fingers crossed I’ll get most of them back.

Update: I’m mightily impressed with MediaRecover. All I had to do is stick the card into the reader, tell it where to put the recovered pictures, and click the start button and off it went. A couple of hours later it had found 113 pictures, or parts of pictures, 107 of which iPhoto recognised. With a quick glance through the imported files there is only one picture that is obviously missing – the first on the card.

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