a corrupted sd card may not be the end of the world

This is a story about a SD card corruption nightmare. It is one of loss, regret and rediscovery, and is sure to pull at your heart strings.

So you recently came back from a holiday, right? Yeah, I recently came back from an overseas holiday to the USA. It was fantastic! (goes on and on)

So you have any photos to show us? (laughs) Well yeah, now I do.

Wait, what do you mean “now I do”? Well actually (pause), my SD card corrupted on me and I thought I had lost everything. Man, you have no idea what was running through my head. (spinning action)

Are you serious? Tell me what happened. Well my 16 gig SD card with 4000 photos on it just decided to corrupt itself. I didn’t do anything. (shrugs)

Damn, that’s horrible! I don’t think the card corrupted on its own though. (eyebrow raise) How did it happen? I put my SD card into the SD card slot in my television. The television says that you can do it, so I did it. The photos look much better on the big screen. But I think that is what corrupted it. It was fine up until then.

So what was wrong with the SD card? Well it only displayed 2000 photos. I took 4000 photos, right, so I knew that was a bit weird. After the television, I put the SD card into various computers and they all showed that I only had 2000 photos. It even showed that I had only used up 2 gigabytes as opposed to 4 gigabytes. It was then that I knew something was really wrong.

If it was me, I’d be panicking. What did you do? Well, like you, I panicked. It’s only a natural and very reasonable reaction, right? I just wanted to know where my photos went. (hands waving) At that point, I just wanted my photos back. (shed a tear)

That must be hard feeling, the realisation that you may have lost all your photos. Yeah, I think my heart skipped a beat. All those memories from the second half of my trip, that is, those photos from New York and San Francisco disappeared just like that. You just can’t get them back, you know. I can’t relive all those moments again. I remember the trip through the photos. It felt almost like those days did not exist anymore.

So how did you try to get them back? I went on Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone knew how to recover photos. I’m thankful for those people that replied with advice. But it didn’t work.

That’s no good. What advice did your fellow social networkers give you? Firstly, I was told not to do anything to the SD card. That is, not to take any photos or modify the SD card. Essentially, the consensus was that the photos were still on the card and that I should not jeopardise potentially losing any photos by doing something stupid. That was comforting to say the least.

That’s a great tip. It would have saved you further heartache down the track. That’s right. (nods)

But did they tell you how to recover the photos? They did. I was pointed to various software programs including Recuva, PhotoRec, RescuePRO and several others. Free and paid.

Any luck? Nope, no luck on those. Some were too hard for me to use, and I had computer issues with the others. My computer that ran Windows did not recognise my SD card at all, and continuously asked me if I wanted to reformat.

(laughs) Make sure you don’t press the wrong button! Yeah. That would be stupid. (sarcasm)

So nothing worked. Were you still panicking? I think at that time I had comforted myself with the idea that the data was still on the SD card. It was just that I could not see it, so I stopped panicking and tried to recover as best as I could. Although, I came to the realisation that I was going to need professionals. Nothing worked. (sigh)

When did you make this realisation? Well after my several failed attempts, I thought it’d be best to stop jeopardising what was left on the SD card, and just give it to the pros.

How did you find these professionals? I was lucky that a friend was able to recommend me one. If you’re in Sydney, I recommend Payam. Just google “data recovery” and you should be able to find one near you.

Were they able to help you recover the photos? I suppose I was expecting them to be able to, and thankfully they delivered, and more.

“And more?” Yeah, they even found photos that had been deleted ages ago.

(laughs) That’s pretty good. At least you were able to get them all back, right? Well not all. About 100 photos got corrupted and as a result, were either decolourised, joined together with other photos, or disappeared altogether. Having said that, I was really happy to just get my photos back. I suppose taking a few shots of the same thing helped in the end.

Awesome! Was it expensive? In a situation like this, you would be willing to pay any amount of money. I think it was money well spent.

I agree. Well thanks for offering us an insight into this nightmare of yours, I am sure it will be useful for others in the same plight. No worries. I hope that people can learn from my experience. I think that it’s best to avoid the problem coming up altogether and backup regularly.

Well said. Thanks very much. Thanks.

This was a true story.

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3 responses to “a corrupted sd card may not be the end of the world

  1. So… what was the TV (brand & model) that corrupted the SD card? Have you figured out why it did it?

  2. Well my television is Panasonic and it has an official SD slot. I suspect that the reason why it corrupted is because it was incompatible with my SD card in terms of the speed. I don’t exactly know why, but I have learnt not to put it back into my TV!

  3. More than likely the SD card is not the right “class” for the tv, hence the corruption.

    And yes, I have just re-discovered your blog again thanks to the link you just posted over on facebook about the Japan nuclear power plants and whats happened lol.

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