How To Recover Deleted Photos From a Memory Card

It happened. I never thought it would, but it did.

I was in the midst of taking pictures of my daughters classroom Christmas party. It was near the end and I had taken some pictures that didn't come out right, and deleted them. All of a sudden I realized that the delete function was taking much too long. I started to panic. The LCD screen on my camera showed 'no images'. Oh my, I deleted all my images!

Of course, it was worse than that. Earlier in the day I had taken pictures and video of another event my daughter had participated in and they were all gone as well. Almost 1 Gig of pictures and videos gone.

The first thing I did was not take any additional photos. What I've learned from recovering deleted files on a hard drive was that when you delete something, it's just marked as deleted in the file structure, but physically still there. But if you add more data after accidentally deleting files, it may overwrite the files you are trying to recover. So the first rule is DON'T TAKE ANY MORE PHOTOS. Either remove the flash memory card or put away your camera and head home.

When you get to your computer, download a program called 'Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery'. This is part of a more extensive file recovery program written by a programmer from Russia, and the image recovery functions are easy to use and free.

Install and run the program and follow the simple instructions to recover your images. You may need to slip your flash memory into a card reader so it shows as an additional drive on your computer (normally via USB) if your camera is not supported directly.

In a few minutes all but 2 of the 93 photos and videos I took that day were recovered and copied to my computer. 2 photos were corrupted, but not bad compared to the alternative (having none!).

Being careful and not rushing when deleting images on your camera is the first lesson. But of course, mistakes happen. If they happen to you, try this and you'll most likely have a smile on your face a few minutes after your photos are recovered and safely on your computer.

One Response to “How To Recover Deleted Photos From a Memory Card”

  1. rabble robble Says:

    PC INSPECTOR – Smart Recovery

    I used this FREE program to recover 350 photos lost on a corrupted SD memory card (improperly ejected). **The trick I used was not to insert the SD card directly into my CPU’s memory card reader, rather I had an after market cheapo single SD Cardreader that plugged into an open USB port (stuck the card in this and then into a USB on my CPU). That somehow made the connection that allowed this program to recover the files. It took a few hours because most files were 4 mbs, but I believe it recovered every single one.

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