What to Do When You Lose Your Photos on Your Memory Card
So there I was Friday night shooting down at Mike Arrington’s biggest Web 2.0 tech meet and greet of the year, TechCrunch 9. After filling up one 8 GB card I went to my car to get my second 8 GB card and also to begin transferring the shots from my first 8 GB card (both SanDisks by the way) onto my Mac.
But a strange thing happened. When I plugged my USB card reader into my Mac, my Mac froze. And there was no getting it unstuck. For about 5 minutes I tried. Finally I rebooted my Mac. When I rebooted my Mac I went to copy my images from the card to the Mac and they were gone. The card was empty. All my shots disappeared.
The card read 7.8 GB available and none of my shots were there.
Now this has happened to me in the past before so I thought I’d write up a little post on what to do if you lose photos on your memory card. There’s lots of ways you can lose photos on a memory card. The card can malfunction. You might accidentally erase some of your photos. Your kids might accidentally erase some of your photos. You might even accidentally *reformat* your entire card. But don’t go too crazy. In general your images are rarely ever truly gone and it’s just going to take a bit of work to get them back.
1. Don’t panic. Like I said. You will probably be able to get the shots back. Don’t let it ruin whatever you are doing or shooting.
2. Once you know that you need to recover photos from a card stop using that card immediately. Don’t try to reformat it. Don’t reuse it. Put it away and wait until you get home where you can try recovery. If you do keep shooting with the card you might overwrite some of the data and be unable to recover some of your photos.
3. When you get home run DataRescue’s PhotoRescue. You can download and run this software for free on your memory card.
4. If PhotoRescue can recover your images they will show you the thumbnails of the images. At this point you will need to buy the software if you want to use it to actually recover your images. The software cost’s $29 but usually this is a small price to pay to have all of your images back.
I used PhotoRescue on Saturday to get back all of the shots that I took at Arrington’s big party and it worked like a charm.