Help me un-corrupt my corrupted images.
August 24, 2007 10:50 PM   Subscribe

Can you suggest a free image recovery software for corrupted images? Bonus question: is my flash card boned?

The images show up in thumbnail (same as a question from 2005), but attempts to get them off the card have... not been fruitful. Namely, the error message reads: Cannot copy DSC__###: The parameter is incorrect.

The reason I'm asking is because I'm hoping that in the two years since that last question was posted, some kid has made an open-source data retrieval software, and that you could point me to it.

A google search tells me that I should be formatting the card on my D50 soon, and testing it's reliability for quiiite some time after that (hundreds of photos of my front curtains, perhaps), but are there any 'warning signs' I can watch out for to tell if the card itself has gotten boned?
posted by flibbertigibbet to Technology (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Note that I'm not optimistic enough to actually expect a free data recovery program, I'm just hoping beyond hope that there is one.

If there isn't, give me cheap-ish alternatives that you like. I'd appreciate any feedback.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:51 PM on August 24, 2007

PhotoRescue. You don't specify your platform, but there are demos to try out for either Mac OS X or Windows.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:59 PM on August 24, 2007

Response by poster: Durr. I knew I forgot something: Windows XP.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:04 PM on August 24, 2007

No one's mentioned PhotoRec yet. Not only is it free, it's Open Source. I used it and it worked perfectly although it was a bit of a pain to find, figure out how to download, and run. I also had to buy an adapter so that I could load my SD-card as a hard drive under windows.

But yeah, totally worked.

It's hard to Google for I had to do "Open source photo recovery". "Free photo recovery" turned up a bunch of crap.
posted by delmoi at 11:35 PM on August 24, 2007

(I actually commeted about the picture I recovered using that software, which ended up being pretty popular :P)
posted by delmoi at 11:38 PM on August 24, 2007

(as far as platforms go, photorec works with WindowsNT/2000/XP, Windows9x, DOS, Linux, MacOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and Solaris :P)
posted by delmoi at 11:52 PM on August 24, 2007

Best answer: Not open-source, but it is free and worked for me (recovered most of the photos from a totally b0rked memory card when nothing else I tried would):

Zero Assumption Recovery
posted by boosh at 3:23 AM on August 25, 2007

Look no further than GetDataBack. You'll want the FAT32 version, and you'll want to create a disk-image file (bit-for-bit copy of what's on the card) first, then eject the card, put it in a safe place, and do all your recovery against the image file.

If that's no good, try PC Inspector File Recovery or their purpose-built Smart Recovery which claims to be specifically for recovering flash memory devices. I've had better luck with File Recovery, even on flash drives.
posted by Myself at 6:49 AM on August 25, 2007

Response by poster: For anyone who finds this question later:

PhotoRescue was fine, but required me to purchase it to actually transfer the photos off the card. I had no money.

PhotoRec was simply a pain to use (once I finally found the download link, which was of the 'hidden in plain sight' type) -- I'm sure that, for somebody who hadn't already spent 5 hours on this, it would work fine.

Zero Assumption Recovery worked. Less than 10% of the files are still borked (50% flat gray space or more), but it's a lot better than what I had before.

I didn't try GetDataBack or PCInspector File Recovery because I simply stopped after Zero Assumption Recovery.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:56 AM on August 25, 2007

Response by poster: Sorry, clarification: I simply wasn't patient enough to dig through PhotoRec's readmes etc.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:58 AM on August 25, 2007

Best answer: I used PhotoRec on a cardful of accidentally-deleted vacation snapshots a few months ago and it worked perfectly, fire-and-forget, an hour later I had a directoryful of recovered images. The UI isn't as straightforward as it could be but I didn't actually have trouble getting it to do what I wanted.
posted by hattifattener at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2007

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