CompactFlash Recovery!

December 15th, 2007 by Chris

So I’ve recently had some issues with compactflash cards reading as corrupt after putting them in the reader. Sometimes one file will read bad, or an entire folder. I’ve purchased new cards, and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s the camera (yike$$$!).

Anyhow, after taking numerous shots of our church’s Christmas pageant dress rehearsal today, I got home and only 6 pictures downloaded from the card. I was not a happy camper. I put the card back into the camera and it could see more pictures, but all the readers I tried in the house (and direct download from the camera via USB) denied that the images were there (or said the folder was corrupt).

So I searched for CompactFlash (or flash media in general) recovery tools and found this little gem:
Convar & PCinspector Data Recovery

It gets the Schierer software seal of approval for satisfying three vital categories:

  1. It’s free. I don’t know what their angle is but there was no registration or $$$ required.
  2. It’s small/simple. A 6MB download and a simple but straightforward user interface.
  3. It worked. The most important category. Not only did it recover many of the files I was missing from today, it successfully recovered files from several deletions ago. I’m generally in the habit of “formatting” the card with the camera when I’ve downloaded all of the images. These files were deleted, and the card formatted several times*. They recovered without issue (raw image data and embedded metadata intact!). I shoot in RAW+JPG(small) mode, and in a second pass, it is also recovering the JPG files. Nice!

My only minus is it is rather slow, but it’s reading the entire card at a relatively low (sector by sector) mode. Perhaps it would be faster in a faster card reader, but I’m willing to wait for this data miracle of Christmas (no unhappy kids hoping to see their pictures).

* Let this also be a lesson to those of you who are security or privacy prone. The only way to erase data from these cards (or hard disks) is to A) Over-write them with 1′s. B) Over-write them with 0′s. C) Repeat many times (the DOD says 7-12 times). D) Grind them into a powder E) Incinerate the powder F) Distribute the ashes from a high-flying aircraft.

One Response to “CompactFlash Recovery!”

  1. Gallery changes and file corruption redux by Schierer Space Says:

    [...] of the camera, the corruption issues have continued which is putting a bit of a crimp on my most productive hobby. I’ve come up [...]