08 June 2016

How to recover missing photos from your camera's memory card

I actually had a very stressful problem when we went back to our motel after visiting Arrowtown and Queenstown.  While driving back I turned on my camera to view the wonderful photos we took of these two very picturesque tourist spots.  I was a bit concerned when a huge batch of my photos would not appear on my camera's screen, but I thought the laptop would show me the rest.  It didn't.

There was something wrong with the SD card.  And it was a new card at that!  Majority of the photos I took that day were gone.  I was devastated and I could not be properly talked to that night, to say the least.  I spent the next couple of hours looking for software to help me with my dilemma. One showed me the photo names but I had to pay for the software to actually download them all.  Another software would allow me to recover only a few photos, then I also had to pay for the software to get to the rest.

This software which saved all my photos from certain doom did not appear on my searches - I found it in a photographers' forum.  With nothing to lose, I downloaded the software and not long afterwards I breathed a huge sigh of relief - a huge majority of my photos we recovered.  There were about 3 photos that came out corrupted, but the rest (more than 200) came out just fine.

This miracle of a software is Photorec.  It is a free program that recovers photos from corrupted memory cards.


After downloading the zip file (I'm using the Windows 64 bit in this instance), I unzipped it then I double-clicked on qphotorec-win.  The other application, photorec_win, will give you a command line interface.  The former is gui-based so I'm sure you'll find this easier to use.
I left the default settings as is (though you can narrow down the search to just jpg files if you're after missing photos), then I chose a directory for the recovered files to save to.  Start the scan process, and the recovered photos will start populating the destination folder.
It really couldn't be any simpler than this.  Best of all, it works!

So if you find yourself in an SD card dilemma, go straight to Photorec.  I highly recommend it.

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