We come from dust, we return to dust. Thankfully, it’s for us living beings and not for digital data. A slew of software makes it possible to recover files which have been lost. Where would digital forensics be without them?
Well, I am not getting into the criminal underbelly, but just jabbering about a long existing software that makes it possible to recover deleted files from a memory card used on digital cameras. PC Inspector Smart Recovery (v4.5) is a free, Windows only software that does one job (actually two”¦ as we shall see) and does it well.
Primary job: PC Inspector Smart Recovery is a freeware data recovery program from CONVAR for Flash Card/USB Flash Drive, Smart Media, SONY Memory Stick, IBM Micro Drive, Multimedia Card, Secure Digital Card or any other data carrier for digital cameras.
Secondary job: While it goes about its first job, it also offers a way to check the memory type for any errors.
I call PC Inspector Smart Recovery a “˜doomsday’ software. This one and others of its ilk help us to recover from our errors or those committed by our digital devices. If you think that the chances of losing some precious photo or video among the thousands we shoot with our digital cameras is one in thousands then give this software a miss. Otherwise, let’s give it a rip”¦
The download size of PC Inspector Smart Recovery is fairly compact at 6.1MB. The software is compatible with Windows XP (not tested for Vista).
These are the formats and digital camera types supported by PC Inspector Smart Recovery:
JPG, AMR, TIF, BMP, GIF, AVI, MOV, WAV, DSS, MP4, Canon (.crw) , Fuji (.raf) , RICOH (.raw), Olympus E-XX (.orf), Olympus C5050 (.orf), Nokia (3gp), Kodak (.dcr), Minolta (.mrw), Nikon D1H/D1X (.nef), Nikon D2H/D2X (.nef), Nikon E5000/E5700 (.nef), Konica Minolta, Sigma – Foveon (.x3f).
Installation is a no-brainer. And so is the use – in five simple steps.
- Connect your memory card through your computer’s memory card reader or connect the digital camera/mobile phone with the provided data cable.
- Start PC Inspector Smart Recovery. Select the drive letter (Select Device) used by the memory device from the first dropdown.
- Select the file type (Select Format Type) that is to be recovered from the second dropdown. The Enhanced Options is for JPG format only. The default Automatic setting recognizes the format on its own. The With Thumbnails option assumes that your picture format includes thumbnails; the Without Thumbnails option assumes that your picture format does not include thumbnails.
- Select the destination folder (Select where the images are to be recovered). Create a specific folder as opposed tp recovering them to an area like the desktop because the sheer number of images might create a mess.
- Click on Start and the software indicates the progress through the progress bar.
Change the search mode”¦
The Settings menu lets you change the way the recovery is done. The Fast Mode is the default mode. The Intensive Mode scans more thoroughly and takes longer to complete. The recoverable file size can be limited optionally.
Check Media found under Menu – Function is a way to check the memory device for errors. Once started, the progress is reported by the software under the Media Check section. Any read errors like a “˜Not Available’ alert could indicate problems in the memory device, the card reader or the driver.
So has it helped me avert my doomsdays?
On my 4GB memory card with a sample of 160 pictures, I recovered all but six. Yes, the process was slow – about 160 minutes for an intensive scan. But the success ratio was great so I guess I can live with the slow speeds. Getting the lost pictures back at no cost is a definite deal maker for me.
There are a few others which fall under the broad category of file recovery software. Check these out. They might save your day ““
So, what do you do when you unintentionally lose your Kodak moments (minus the teeth gnashing of course)? How do you recover deleted picture files from a memory card? Do you have your toolkit of “˜doomsday’ software?