How to recover photos and videos from memory cards
Recently, I had accidentally deleted a very important video from my camera, and was looking for ways to somehow recover it. After trying out a bunch of useless applications, I stumbled upon the misleadingly titled PhotoRec.
PhotoRec comes from Christophe Grenier, the same dude behind TestDisk, which had saved my ass more than once in the past. The utility is console-based, but menu-driven and quite simple to use. I’ve posted screenshots of the entire recovery process, which took around 15 minutes and recovered a little more than 1000 files from a Kingston 8GB Class 4 SDHC card.
NOTE: Though this works on all kinds of data storage media, if you are using it to recover data from your memory card or Memory Stick, I suggest using a card reader, as it is much faster and also more suited for data recovery.
- Download PhotoRec.
- Extract the archive to some location and run the
- Select the drive you want to recover data from.
- Select the partition that has the data. In most cases, there’s just one FAT32 partition on memory cards.
- Select the filesystem. Again, the partition would be a FAT partition. (Geek gyaan: Ext2/3/4 are the filesystems used by Linux.)
- Select ‘Whole‘ to scan the entire media for recoverable files.
- Now browse for the directory where you want to save the recovered files. Make sure you have enough free disk space! Once selected, press ‘
- The recover process starts now and displays status on screen.