Yesterday I was walking around Downtown Austin snapping some photos with my Canon XTi. I haven’t gotten out to take photos in a while, and I just moved to the area, so I was having a lot of fun. I framed a shot and pulled the trigger and nothing happened… I looked down at the screen and saw an error message about my CF card. Crap! I cycled the power, pulled the battery, pulled the card, all to no avail. I swapped CF cards and went on with my day, chalking the early shots up as lost.
When I got home I hit Google, looking for a free tool to recover data from a corrupt storage device. I knew that there were several apps available, but these few random shots weren’t worth the ~$50 price tag of most tools. I was also looking for a tool that I could use in OS X. Booting into Windows for a tool like Recuva was an option, but I was enjoying the challenge of finding something that would work in OS X as well. (Recuva may work great, was recommended to me by Kitch, but I never loaded it up.)
I came across a blog post by Jeffrey Friedl talking about his success with PhotoRec, a cross platform (and I mean, every platform you can think of) tool for recovering files from corrupt file systems, or recovering deleted files from anything. Jeffrey’s post outlined, step by step, how to recover photos from a corrupt memory card in OS X using Photorec.
If you’ve ever had a memory card go corrupt on you, give PhotoRec a try before you give up. I’ll be keeping a copy of this utility on my thumbdrive for all major operating systems from now on.