2GB SD card no longer registers as ‘visible’ to the digital camera and is barely readable within the Vista OS.
~1.5GB worth of photos and videos of Hong Kong.
Navigate to the ‘win‘ directory and run “photorec_win.exe”
Now, on my laptop here, there are essentially two drives that PhotoRec sees: (1) the hard disk, which can be easily recognized as the larger of the two (160GB); and (2) the SD card which weighs in at an easily-discernible 2002MB (2GB). On a desktop system with many hard drives and devices plugged in, this selection screen can be a little tougher on the eyes — so be sure you are selecting the right media.
Next, PhotoRec will ask you to select the “partition table type”; for our purposes, we’re using an “Intel/PC partition.” On next screen, PhotoRec needs to know which partition you want to scan, whether it be the a specific partition, or the entire disk. The default is for it to do the largest partition, I believe, but just to be sure I instruct PhotoRec to scan the entire volume. The partition selection screen for PhotoRec has the default set for the partition, and not the whole volume, curiously.
With “[Whole disk]” selected, I do not change any options but instead hit Enter to “[Search]” and because I selected [Whole disk]; PhotoRec asks me the filesystem type, I simply select “Other” which was the default which encompasses FAT/NTFS, etc. All normal for an SD card.
Now, as a final measure, PhotoRec asks where you want to save the recovered files. This screen is confusing for most people who are not accustomed to DOS-style screens. So be sure to look through the screen very carefully and slowly — you don’t want to rush this.
I launched PhotoRec directly from my downloads folder in Vista because I am not particularly concerned about the location. I don’t mind if it stores the files in the directory indicated in the photo, so I can just hit Y on my keyboard and let it scan the volume. However, if you did want to change directories, it would be helpful for you to know that two periods (..) in DOS syntax means “up one directory” — So, using your arrow keys, you can navigate through your directory structure in Windows to find the correct place to put your files. All the way to the right of the screen you’ll see, right near the top, two periods. Those periods let you go back all the way to the root of the drive. Also known as \ or simply the drive letter and a colon.
For my purposes, I hit the Y key and just write the files straight in the downloaded location since I will be moving them later with Windows Explorer anyway.
Once completed, it will indicate as such on screen. Simply close or quit from the command prompt window. Assuming you left the defaults in place as I have, the recovered data will be in one or more folders inside of the ‘win‘ directory labeled “recup_dir.*”:
(the recovered data from PhotoRec, deposited into the recup_dir.1 directory)
Scrolling through all 41 files, it appears as though that’s about everything. All photos and videos before the card became corrupt and was no longer readable by the camera or the computer. As such, I will not need to pursue further recovery methods which include but are not limited to, the following applications: (1) Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery; (2) GetDataBack; and (3) EnCase Forensic as a final measure.