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I've just got back from 3 weeks riding with a reindeer herding communicty in north Mongolia during their Autumn migration South before it starts snowing.  Before I went I brought 4 Sandisk 16GB 30MB/s CF cards.

I just plugged the first card into a generic card reader plugged into a current Macbook Pro.  Inside the card I could see the folder in which contained all the images.  I selected all images (1,900 rougly) and did "apple" "O" to open them.  The JPEG's oppened in "preview" and the RAW files started to open in "Photoshop" after a few moments I got a message saying "the device was not ejected properly" after that I can see the folder with the images, but when it is selected it shows as a file with a 0 K file size and the name of the folder had changed to nonsense.  No Images! Put the card back into camera and it showed no images.

Clearly the card has been currupted some how, for some reason.

Does any one have any experiece of this?
Are there any software solutions to find the images?
Can the card be sent to Sandisk, or any one else?

Hope some one can give me some advice here.

Images were taken on Canon 5D Mark I if that matters.

I'm not a Mac user so can't give you a step by step, but one of the first things I'd do in that situation is work out how to take a raw dump of the CF card to a file. Under Windows there's a program called WinImage that will do it, I think for OSX the equivalent will be the Linux 'dd' command so take a look into that but be careful with the options if you're not a regular command-line user.

That way at least you'll have a copy of all the file structure for safe-keeping and that can be copied to another card so any steps you take in the future won't make things worse. I doubt Sandisk would be that interested in data recovery but there are companies around that do it, but most seem to charge a lot. Anyway try to work out to take a dump of the card and restore it to another card, at least then you can try any suggestions received without worrying about making things worse, and if they do just copy the dump back and try again.


--- Quote from: meinthai on September 07, 2011, 06:03:49 AM ---I selected all images (1,900 rougly) and did "apple" "O" to open them. 

Clearly the card has been currupted some how, for some reason.

Does any one have any experiece of this?
Are there any software solutions to find the images?

--- End quote ---

That's very unfortunate!  Too late now, but for the future, remember that when you take your images, there's only one copy on one card.  So, the very first thing you should do is copy all the images to your hard drive, then eject the card.  Now you have two copies (still not ideal, but better than one).  Personally, I copy the images, process them, then they get backed up to two external HDDs in separate locations (and remain on my internal HDD as well).  Only then do I format and reuse the CF card.

I've never had a card corrupted, but on one occasion I wanted to go back to the original version of a file that I had decided to delete when I processed the images (it wasn't a real keeper, and I wanted the deleted file back only to illustrate a point about one of the images which I did keep).  It was also a chance to see if I could recover files, should anything go amiss.

I used this method, which involves using the Terminal. 

However, your SanDisk cards should have come with a free download (serial number on a little card in the box) for their RescuePro software.  I haven't tried it, but if you're uncomfortable with Terminal, that may be an option.

Good luck!

Sorry to hear about your problem. I have 3 simple rules to prevent such a disaster and I never had problems like that.
1. Do not buy any cheap memory cards on eBay or similar sites, ever!
2. Always format your new memory card in camera before using it!
3. Do not edit your photos directly from the memory card!
Just like neuroanatomist said, copy your photos to your hard drive and make a backup.
Now, when it's already too late, it is possible to recover your data. Try using a recovery software. I use Lexar CF memory card and they have a trial version of that software on their website
I never used it, but I think it could work for you. Good luck!


It maybe possible to get the information off the card, I'm a forensic investigator and it may still exist. I would warn against some of the automatic recovery processes.

When you do data recovery foresically you first do a bit by bit copy of the data  and then work on the copy leaving the card untouched theirfore leaving the original unchanged.  Some of the auto recovery tools can trash the card.



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