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Rescue photos off memory cards with PhotoRec UNIX
There are a lot of good tools out there to restore data from corrupted memory cards but most of them are for Windows. I remembered using an open source command line tool for this purpose. It is called PhotoRec and is cross platform as well. Although their web site has detailed instructions on how to use the software I still wanted to share my straightforward procedure for doing so on a Mac (you are still doing it at your own risk).

Here is a summary of the step-by-step procedure.
  • Download PhotoRec (the latest version is 6.11.3).
  • Extract the files in the Finder (I downloaded it in Downloads folder and assume it is located there).
  • Open the Terminal and type (watch out if you have a different version number):
    $ cd Downloads/testdisk-6.11.3/darwin/
  • Run the PhotoRec with typing (no need to be super user or root, PhotoRec will show only external Fat16/32 drives): $ ./photorec
  • Select the appropriate disk (memory card) with arrow keys on the keyboard and proceed (press the enter key on the keyboard).
  • Select Intel/PC partition type with arrow keys and press the enter key.
  • Select your FAT partition with arrow keys and press enter.
  • Select 'Other' and press enter.
  • Select 'Whole' and press enter.
  • Type 'Y' (no need to select other folders to store photos in) and it should start extracting photos.
After it's done you'll see the window similar to the one below. You can close the Terminal. Your photos will be placed in Downloads/testdisk-6.11.3/darwin/recup_dir folder. If everything was OK of course.

For more details, including screenshots of the procedure, see my blog entry about this.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Rescue photos off memory cards with PhotoRec
Authored by: bcometa on Jun 28, '10 09:47:54AM

Any idea how much better/worse Photorec is vs. say Data Rescue III?



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Rescue photos off memory cards with PhotoRec
Authored by: Joe OReilly on Jun 28, '10 09:51:17AM

I've been using this for some time now, it's quite flexible as you can recover a large number of file types not just photos.



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Rescue photos off memory cards with PhotoRec
Authored by: asmeurer on Jun 29, '10 04:06:03PM

I had luck with a program called EXIF Untrasher once. Just in case anyone is looking into these things.



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Rescue photos off memory cards with PhotoRec
Authored by: 8Macs on Jul 03, '10 06:19:54AM

I just recently heard of photorec and I can confirm that it works quite well. Though I wasnt familar with your procedure - I will give it a try next time. (Actually, Im hoping there wont be a next time ;) Nice screenshots on your blog post.

---
We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars. - Oscar Wilde



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