Last exit: PhotoRec

There’s always a first time…

During my holiday trip I realized, something was wrong with my compact camera. Not that it showed any signs of a problem when taking shots. No, that would have been too profane. But when I tried to mount the SD card in my Linux laptop to send some of the pictures by mail, it showed this:

There was clearly something wrong and I immediately fired up dd to make a backup of the card. That went fine, so the camera must have had a memory corruption when writing the FAT. Sadly, this happend when the holiday was almost over and the camera had taken some memorable shots by then.

Forget fsck, forget testdisk, forget fatcat: If both copies of the FAT are broken in exactly the same way they can’t perform their magic. But there is one tool which won’t let you down: PhotoRec.

photorec was able to recover every JPG, MOV and RAF on the card. The file dates (which I use for renaming my files for the archive) could subsequently be restored with exiftool -r -overwrite_original '-FileModifyDate<DateTimeOriginal' recovered_dir.

All fine? Well, almost.

The compact camera is a Fuji F600EXR, so I almost always shoot in DR EXR mode (outside). The RAFs then contain two frames – the standard and the underexposed shot. But the recovered raw files were missing the latter one.

So I described my problem on the cgsecurity forum and Christophe Grenier was quick to ask for a sample. Within a few days he came up with a new version. The current 7.2-WIP is now able to recover multi-frame RAF raws. :tada:

Here’s a screenshot of a recovered raw in HDRMerge for you to enjoy:

It does not only prove the recovery of both frames but also that my fellow @heckflosse runs his own petrol station network in Sweden.



yes, PhotoRec is great for recovery. It saved me also a few times. Also their wiki has some nice scripts and tools to use after the recovery (sometimes one needs to recover hard disks not just memory cards :blush: ).

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I too can sing the praises of PhotoRec on some old, accidentally partially overwritten SD cards!

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I might worth adding PhotoRec to the software page…