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How to recover images, photos and videos from a damaged SD or other memory cards

Updated on July 12, 2011

Use free software to recover lost photos and video

How is this for a nightmare? You've just returned from a trip to Yellowstone National Park where you've shot over 600 images and HD video clips including a priceless video of your son catching his first rainbow trout on a fly.

You get home and start transferring the images off the SDHC card onto your computer only to discover that the videos haven't transferred. You try again and the computer says "You need to reformat your SD card" What?!! You pull out the SD card and put it back into the camera where in the past you've viewed the videos and it also says "Reformat". What the....!!??

At this point a cooler head prevails and you decide to look on the web to see it there is a work around solution. Nevermind that your DSL service decides to die for the next six days and the guys working on the DSL junction box seem unaware that the entire area street has been down as they are working on a single household. Finally they fix the problem.

Back on point - if you find yourself in the situation that your SD card or any memory card suddenly can not be read, don't panick. I've found that there are tools available, many of them free that can be used to recover the information off the cards.

In my case I downloaded a free utility called Test Disk and it worked like a charm. I was able to recover my precious video and uploaded it on to YouTube for the delight of all interested.

Here is the link to the free utility to fix problem SD cards. If this doesn't work, look around for others before giving up.

Free SD Card Recovery Utility


The recovered video clip of the fly fishing adventure

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    • itops profile image

      itops 6 years ago from the sea

      Thanks for sharing the link. I'm sure I'll be using it some time.

    • beolens profile image

      beolens 6 years ago from UK

      Nice work, thanks for sharing and glad you recovered your lost work