How can I recover deleted raw files from my memory card?
June 16, 2010 12:58 PM   Subscribe

I recently moved about 200 pictures off my memory card onto a laptop which I then had to return, forgetting that I had pictures on it. What is the best way to try to recover them from my memory card?

The pictures are in raw pef format. I've taken about 200 new pictures on the memory card since (I took it out of the camera as soon as I discovered that the original files were gone). I've tried free recovery programs like Recuva and Glary Utilities which see about 300 photos but when I try recovering them they only show up as blurry thumbnails even though the file size is listed as about the correct 14 mbs. I'm assuming it might be because of the raw format. What is the best and most powerful recovery software to recover as many photos as possible? I don't want to buy a program that might not work.
posted by blue shadows to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
No need to pay for anything. PhotoRec is free and better than any commercial product out there anyway.
posted by Mwongozi at 1:04 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's worth running recovery software of your choice more than one time if necessary. I've had an experience where the recovery app I was using (can't remember which one) failed on the first try but worked on the second.

Also, if the recovered files don't have the usual file extension (EX: ".nef" in the case of Nikon raw files), you may need to rename them with the appropriate extension for them to be recoginzied by your OS for what they really are.
posted by imjustsaying at 2:59 PM on June 16, 2010

Like Mwongozi said, PhotoRec is a great recovery software.

If it doesn't work, try Easy Revovery Pro. I think fosi has a copy. Ask your friend Goog if you don't know what fosi is. ;-)
posted by bbxx at 3:28 PM on June 16, 2010

Also if one works, try another one.
Another software could recover different or more pictures (most likely has to do with fragmentation on the card, and different JPEG parsers). Also, some recovery software adds a trail of garbage to files it recovered, making them significantly bigger.
posted by roerek at 4:08 PM on June 16, 2010

Thanks! However, while all the programs I've tried recover several hundred photos, all of them are in thumbnail size only. Am I doing something wrong or is there a solution to this?
posted by blue shadows at 12:22 AM on June 17, 2010

Those are probably thumbnail images that your camera created to preview raw images. Recover only files that are large in size (several megabytes).
posted by bbxx at 3:24 AM on June 17, 2010

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