Corrupted SD card - how to recover my photos and video files?

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Michael Trenton

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On a holiday trip this easter I brought with me my Sony RX100M4 camera as well as a couple of Kingston 256GB SDXC U-3 memory cards. Now after two days of shooting 4K video and taking tons of photos some write error or something occured while I switched the camera into photo mode while it was still busy writing a video file or something along those lines. After that there was an error message and the camera saying unable to read memory card - reinsert memory card.
Reinserting the memory card did nothing to help.
When I got back from my holiday and inserted the card into my card-reader the card simply doesn't show up on my computer at all.

So, this is the first time I've ever had a memory card go corrupt on me and I'm somewhat at a loss of what to do. I've been browsing about and there is a ton of recovery software out there, but I have no idea what to choose and how to go about it.
Anyone here who has experience with this and could give me some advice?
 

Michael Trenton

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Those companies charge thousands of £ so that is pretty much out of the question for holiday photos. I was rather hoping there would be someone who could recommend me some quality recovery software or similar solution. There is a ton of such software out there so I wouldn't know what's the best one without some recommendation. And would such software work if the card is not even recognised by my computer?
 

Michael Trenton

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Thanks. Do you think I should go for the free version of Recuva or the professional one?
 

bjornl

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Try the free one in a non-destructive mode.
 

Michael Trenton

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Thanks. I downloaded and installed the free version.
Unfortunately my computer doesn't seem to read the card at all when I insert it into the card reader so it seems I'm unable to use Recuva or any other recovery software.. Even my camera doesn't allow me to read the card. When I insert it and turn the camera on it displays: ''Unable to read memory card. Reinsert memory card'' and doesn't allow me to navigate any menus or anything. That error message doesn't go away until I turn the camera off and remove the card. On my computer (tried my old Macbook as well) it doesn't show up at all.
Seems to me it's not merely the data on the card that is corrupted as I first thought, but rather the card itself that's dead.
I guess the only way would be to send it to one of those data recovery centers, but they cost like $1000-2000 so that's out of the question unless I win the lottery anytime soon.

The card in question was a Kingston 256GB SDXC U-3 90MBPs read, 80MBps write. I bought two of these cards specifically for my trip so I would have enough storage space so they were both brand new cards. The second card worked alright, but I doubt I'll ever use that card again as I fear it might just die on me. I just don't feel like trusting the second card after what happened to the first. I guess I won't be buying Kingston again anytime soon. Luckily I also have a couple of 64GB cards to hold me over.

I guess I'll just have to take this as a bitter lesson; in the future I'm gonna use several smaller capacity cards rather than a few big ones and bring along a computer to back up the cards at the end of each day.. :(


 

pepi46

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Jun 18, 2016
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Hi Michael,I have the same problem with a Kingston 128GB U3 90Read 80 Write card,used in my Panasonic lumix fz1000 camera used on a 12 day Baltic cruise.Working fine for 9 days in tha camera suddenly stopped working and displayed the same massege like yours.Data recovery would coast around 700-1400US what is out of the question.I would never use a Kingston sd card again,should stick with my Sandisc extreme pro cards,they are working perfect.If you happen to find a solution to get the pictures back without going bankrupt please let me know.If I hear something I will also contact you.Regards Steve
 

Michael Trenton

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Feb 4, 2015
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Hi Steve. I'm sorry to hear this has happened to you too. Losing 9 days of footage sounds like a nightmare. Unfortunately I haven't made any progress as far as retrieving the data from my card. Professional data recovery is something I can't spend money on at this point so for now my dead Kingston card is just sitting in my drawer. Hopefully some day in the future I will find a solution or afford paying for expensive data retrieval (like if I get lucky and win the lottery or something), but for the time being I've pretty much given up on it. I'll post my results here if I happen to find a solution though.

And like you I'm not going to trust a Kingston card again. I still have that other 256GB Kingston card that (seemingly) works fine, but I'll definitely never use that card for something important. From now on I'll probably only trust the higher end SanDisk and Lexar cards and also when traveling I'll definitely be bringing a laptop or a tablet or something to back up my cards at the end of each day. I don't wanna risk losing my holiday photos and videos again.




 

Michael Trenton

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Feb 4, 2015
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It may be easy if the computer can actually read the card, but my problem is the computer won't even recognize there is a card inserted into the card reader so I don't even get to the stage where I can use data recovery software. Seems the SD card must be corrupted at a physical level or something.
(I've tried different computers, both PC and Mac, and different card readers but no luck - the card just doesn't show up)
 
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