How can I recover my photos from a malfunctioning SD card?

December 2, 2013
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I was editing some photographs I took from a very important trip, and out of nowhere everything closed itself and when I tried re-opening the file it said ”volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.” This is the second time this happened to me, I have no idea why and I don’t want to format the damn SD-card if there is still hope. =/

I have tried using another SD reader, connecting my camera directly to my laptop and trying to read the card on my phone, and now everything sort of says the same message.

Does anyone know why this happens and if there is anyway I can recover my photos?

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  1. Larry
    December 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Which recovery method worked for you?

  2. Kemmy K
    December 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    hi, guess your SD card got crashed or got attacked by some unknown virus
    you really need to format the card if you want to reuse it again
    you need a data recover software to backup your data before doing so
    I suggest you try easeus data recovery wizard professional, this is a easy-to-use tool
    it will help you out

  3. Mini S
    December 3, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Hello, I'd like to recommend Power Data Recovery for you

  4. Jacqueline S
    December 3, 2013 at 4:50 am

    I will forever follow your advice Jan F, I had no idea it wasn't recommendable to do so directly from the card or camera.

    And I will also check what the source of the crap is Oron J, I do believe it's one of my SD readers that is faulty (since last time this happened I think I used the same one). And I luckily recovered my photos! Thank you both for your wonderful advice ! I did use one of the recovery programs and TADA!

    I sincerely appreciate your time and tips!

    • Susendeep D
      December 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Jacqueline,

      Congratulations for your successful recovery of your photos and I'm glad that the suggestions were useful to you.

      I request you to kindly mark your question as resolved by choosing the best comment and clicking on the tick icon of that comment.

  5. Jan F
    December 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Besides of the previous suggestions you should never edit photos stored on the SD card or the camera the first place.

    Copy them to your hard drive and than edit.
    1. This prevents disconnects/corruption of the files or SD card duo to file system I/O timeouts and similar.
    2. If you mess up an edit or overwrite and image you still have the original on the SD card/camera.

    Once you are happy with the results you can copy them back and overwrite the original on the SD card or put them in a different folder to keep both.

  6. Hovsep A
    December 2, 2013 at 11:38 am

    maybe you need to repair partition table
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

    try pandora recovery
    http://www.pandorarecovery.com/

  7. Oron J
    December 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

    It's likely that the filing system on the card was damaged, rather than that the card was physically damaged. This often happens when a system is shut down suddenly, such as when a camera crashes.

    The photos are probably still there, but you'll need to use data recovery software to retrieve them. We have a list of list of recommended data recovery software and you could try them (Recuva or PhotoRec are probably the best place to start.

    Once you have recovered your photos and copied them to a safe place, format the SD card. Crashes on your camera or phone can occur for all sorts of reasons, including low-battery, memory card being full and of course, the card being faulty. Try ruling out the causes one by one, and perhaps use a different SD card for a while to see if it the root cause of hte fault.

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