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Recover Deleted Files from Digital Camera's Memory, External SD-Card, USB & Hard Drives

Updated on May 1, 2017
Canon EOS C100
Canon EOS C100 | Source

To Recover Deleted Photos/Videos from Any Storage Device

So; you had great pics and/or videos you took during a memorable event or function, and they are all gone mysteriously, and you are like ...ooh my! What am I gonna do? Take a sigh of relief because this article is compiled just to assist you undeleted "deleted" files in a memory card; and all computer drives including internal hard drive, external hard drive, flash drive, memory stick, cellphone's SD memory card, and any other computer storage device you can remember.

In real sense; what happens when your photos or videos are deleted from your memory card; or files in any other computer storage device for that matter; is that they are not completely deleted and they can be recovered using different ways am going to show you- ways that I have personally used to recover erased files from digital camera, smartphones, and computers.

However; if you want to recover deleted photos or videos captured on digital camera or smartphones, before we go any further, did you take more photos and/or videos after your memory card was erased? I hope you say NO! Because if you say YES, you did a big mistake and your photos or videos may not be undeleted: Taking more photos will overwrite your memory card so that "deleted" files will be completely deleted. Also important; your memory card/drive should not stay for a long period before trying to recover lost files.

This mistake is also valid in all computer hard drives, external storage drives such as flash disk, external hard drive, cell phone SD card; when more files are stored once these drives are formated or erased by mistake, the files will be so hard to recover if not impossible. Here are the best and easiest ways to recover that file you lost from any storage device.

1. Using Command Prompt (CMD) in Windows Computer

I recently used this method to recover hundreds of pictures and several videos for a friend who is using Canon SLR camera. This method is effective in recovering all image types be it jpg, png, jpeg, bmp, tiff, tif, and all other raw image formats including videos.

Probably; the most easiest and cheapest way you will use to undelete your pictures in your digital flash memory card, also known as digital film; whether SD, CF, xD Picture Card, Smartmedia, Memory stick, MMC Card, etc etc; is by using Command prompt (CMD) in a Windows Computer for those who use Windows.

If your digital camera came with USB connecting cable; good for you. If you don't have one you can go ahead and get one from local electronic shop dealing in digital cameras; or just order one from Amazon store depending on how the pictures and videos you need to recover are important to you.

Now, having one of these options; USB cable or memory card reader, connect the memory and ensure that it reads as a drive letter in your computer: By reading as a drive letter I mean E, F, G, H etc etc in your computer. Of cause C and D may be available depending on how your hard drive is formatted.

Another alternative is to find a compatible memory card reader and use it on your computer with the erased memory card. If You needed to recover files from hard disk, flash drive, or SD card (use card reader) etc; just ensure that the device you need to undelete reads as a drive letter in your computer.

Does it read like one of those letters in your computer? Either of the options should work just fine. If it reads like a drive letter; perform these following steps for me:)

  1. Click on 'Start' menu at the bottom left of your screen
  2. In the search programs and files dialog box (Run) type cmd
  3. Click OK, or click the cmd icon at the top depending on the operating system you are using; and Command Prompt window will appear
  4. Change to the drive letter of your digital flash memory card: For example, if your drive reads as F, type 'F:' and hit enter; of cause it's written without quotation marks, see an example in point no. 5.
  5. C:\Documents and Settings\user>F: then hit Enter
  6. The drive will change to the drive letter of your memory card i.e. F:\>
  7. Type ATTRIB -S -H *.* /S /D and press enter, see example in point no. 8
  8. F:\>ATTRIB -S -H *.* /S /D then hit Enter and wait for about a minute for your memory card drive to appear in next command line. However, if You get the message; 'File not found - *.*', you are not lucky.
  9. Type Exit and press Enter, see example in point 10.
  10. F:\>Exit then hit Enter
  11. Open your drive and smile for me:)

This method also works so well with all other computer drives such as hard disk, external hard disk, flash disk, memory card and more; in case they are formatted or all files are deleted by mistake: But remember to take caution not to save more files once files or pics are deleted from these drives.

2. Using Recovery Software

The second option you can use to recover deleted pictures and videos from your digital camera's memory card is by using recovery software.

There are a number of digital flash memory card recovery software out there; which also has an added advantage since you can use them not only to undelete digital camera's memory card; but also on all other types of computer drives, external hard drives, flash disks, cell phone's SD card, Recycle Bin and all other computer storage devices out there.

However; the way they are used, their ownership, prices and requirements differ from one recovery software to another. Most of them will need to be installed on a computer before they can be used. Here are among the best and popular photo recovery software in the market that I guarantee will not let you down.

iCare is an excellent data recovery software that is installed and run on a computer for it to work: It supports nearly all Windows OS computers such as Windows 8/7/Vista/ XP/2000 Pro; and Windows Server 2008/2003/2012.

With this free data recovery software; you can recover all images, videos, multi-media files formats, file systems, and archive file formats in all types of drives be it computer's hard disk, digital camera's memory card, flash disk, etc etc.

iCare has a very user friendly interface and nearly everyone can easily download and launch it; and use it successully to recover deleted files and pictures from any storage device.

Recuva Data Recovery Software
Recuva Data Recovery Software | Source

B. Recuva for Windows

Recuva is another option for Windows users similar to iCare. With Recuva, you can easily recover your photos and videos deleted from digital camera's memory card, computers drives and other storage devices within a very short time: It is also very easy to download, install and run.

You can recover all image types and computer files deleted either by mistake, formatted, destroyed by computer virus and so on. There is free version and paid version which has more advanced features. However, the free version is just fine if you need to recover small capacity of files.

Recuva data recovery software has a simple wizard that helps new users on how they can recover photos and other file from memory cards and other storage devices: Here are complete screenshots of recuva in action.

PhotoRec CGSecurity Data Recovery Software
PhotoRec CGSecurity Data Recovery Software | Source

C. PhotoRec CGSecurity for Mac and All Other OS users

PhotoRec is a good alternative to use in recovery pictures from digital camera's memory card suitable for Mac users and all other operating system users. PhotoRec is the most powerful data recovery software in the market; and it can recover pictures and videos from digital flash memory; and all other computer files including videos deleted accidentally.

This software is easy to download, install and use to undelete pictures, videos, and files from any drive including digital camera's memory card, computer hard drive, flash disk, and more. It is free to use and is distributed under General Public License. It also supports all operating systems Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Sun Solaris and more.

Here is complete PhotoRec step by step guide on how to recover photos from your digital camera's memory card and other files from other computer drives and external storage devices.

7 Tips to Prevent Lose of Photo/Video from Digital Camera Storage

Photo lose in digital camera's memory card like any other file lose in all computer storage devices do happen if extra care is not taken when handling data files. Here are few tips that you need to keep in mind all the time to prevent future data lose in your digital camera's memory card.

  1. Be careful all the time never to press your digital camera's buttons by mistake unless you need to press a given button
  2. Don't keep your memory card connected to a computer for a long time
  3. Use save removal application to safely disconnect your memory card before removing it phisically
  4. Never shut down your computer with memory card connected to it
  5. Protect your memory card from bends, soaking in water, and breaking
  6. Ensure that the computer you are using with your camera's memory card is virus-free and virus protected
  7. After deleting or formating your memory card by mistake; take care not to take more photos or record more videos as this will over-write your memory card
  8. Don't leave your formatted memory card for a long time before attempting to recover lost files as this may over-ride the content.

Which one is your favorite make of digital camera?

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