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Corrupted Flash Card ("card needs reformatting")

 
 
Scott Brady Drummonds
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      12-15-2003
Hi, everyone,

After a few days (and about 100 pictures) on vacation, my Kodak DC4800
reported that the "flash card needs reformatting". I attempted to retrieve
the pictures in an internet cafe but received the same message. I'm aware
that there are commercial services for retrieving the data on this card, but
I'm hoping I can do it myself. Unfortunately, there is much I don't
understand about the process. This is where you, kind USENET reader, come
in.

1. What is the format of the data on the flash card? This would be
whatever format was specified at the factory since I never reformatted the
card.
2. How can make access to the flash card's raw data? (Not the file-level
access that is available via the driver when exploring the device on WinXP.)
Do you think that the camera/USB driver will provide an API were I can read
"sectors" or whatever chunk of data exists on the card? If not, do most
flash card readers provide this interface or do I need to buy a special one?
3. Any other recommendations as to how to do this cheaply/easily?

Thanks,
Scott

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peweg
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-16-2003
Scott,
I had the same problem. My camera gave me an error msg, but in my
Lexar reader the card showed up as a drive, so I ran chkdsk on it and
all the files were converted to .chk files. I renamed them to .jpg
(which is what I was shooting at the time the card got "corrupted")
and they opened up fine. FYI, I believe most cards are using the FAT
file system. Some of the larger capacity ones use FAT32.
Paul

On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 14:38:52 -0800, "Scott Brady Drummonds"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Hi, everyone,
>
>After a few days (and about 100 pictures) on vacation, my Kodak DC4800
>reported that the "flash card needs reformatting". I attempted to retrieve
>the pictures in an internet cafe but received the same message. I'm aware
>that there are commercial services for retrieving the data on this card, but
>I'm hoping I can do it myself. Unfortunately, there is much I don't
>understand about the process. This is where you, kind USENET reader, come
>in.
>
>1. What is the format of the data on the flash card? This would be
>whatever format was specified at the factory since I never reformatted the
>card.
>2. How can make access to the flash card's raw data? (Not the file-level
>access that is available via the driver when exploring the device on WinXP.)
>Do you think that the camera/USB driver will provide an API were I can read
>"sectors" or whatever chunk of data exists on the card? If not, do most
>flash card readers provide this interface or do I need to buy a special one?
>3. Any other recommendations as to how to do this cheaply/easily?
>
>Thanks,
>Scott


 
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Samuel Paik
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-16-2003
"Scott Brady Drummonds" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> 1. What is the format of the data on the flash card? This would be
> whatever format was specified at the factory since I never reformatted the
> card.


MS-DOS FAT16 file system (essentially), JPEG images in files.

> 2. How can make access to the flash card's raw data? (Not the file-level
> access that is available via the driver when exploring the device on WinXP.)
> Do you think that the camera/USB driver will provide an API were I can read
> "sectors" or whatever chunk of data exists on the card?


Most card reader devices just provide block level access--the OS
treats it exactly like a hard disk.

> 3. Any other recommendations as to how to do this cheaply/easily?


Use a real file recovery utility or a photo recovery utility.
There is a decent free (and open source) file recovery utility that
I've used, with a non-GUI interface; I can dig up the link if you
need it.

Sam
 
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Richard
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-16-2003
The first rule is DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING ELSE TO THE CARD.

Having obeyed that rule, you really need a file retrieval utility. I
recommend R-Studio which you will find at http://www.r-tt.com/ The file
system on camera cards is typically FAT16, so you should only need the FAT
version. I have the full version since my hard drive in my PC is formatted
using NTFS (typical if you have NT4, 2000 or XP). Download the demo version
first.

Here's what to do.
1) Stick the card in a card reader
2) Download a copy of the card (Disk image) onto your hard drive. This way
we can always get back to where we started by writing the image back to the
card.
3) Analyze the card. R-Studio will then tell you what it can find. Mine
has one partition (Partition0) formatted as FAT16. When I double click on
the Partition, it opens up the directories it can find. Don't be too
surprised if there are lots of red Xs. These are either deleted or "lost"
files. Follow the help file for details on how to retrieve them Normally,
you just have to change the $ to the correct first letter to retrieve the
file/folder.

In future, make sure that you do not remove the card while power is applied
to it. ALWAYS turn off your camera before inserting / removing the card
(even if it appears to turn off automatically) and ALWAYS use the "Safely
Remove Hardware" icon near your clock in the bottom right hand corner of the
screen before removing the card from your card reader.

Richard

"Scott Brady Drummonds" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
message news:brld5t$l7p$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hi, everyone,
>
> After a few days (and about 100 pictures) on vacation, my Kodak DC4800
> reported that the "flash card needs reformatting". I attempted to

retrieve
> the pictures in an internet cafe but received the same message. I'm aware
> that there are commercial services for retrieving the data on this card,

but
> I'm hoping I can do it myself. Unfortunately, there is much I don't
> understand about the process. This is where you, kind USENET reader, come
> in.
>
> 1. What is the format of the data on the flash card? This would be
> whatever format was specified at the factory since I never reformatted the
> card.
> 2. How can make access to the flash card's raw data? (Not the file-level
> access that is available via the driver when exploring the device on

WinXP.)
> Do you think that the camera/USB driver will provide an API were I can

read
> "sectors" or whatever chunk of data exists on the card? If not, do most
> flash card readers provide this interface or do I need to buy a special

one?
> 3. Any other recommendations as to how to do this cheaply/easily?
>
> Thanks,
> Scott
>
> --
> Remove ".nospam" from the user ID in my e-mail to reply via e-mail.
>
>



 
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nospam
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-16-2003
In article <brld5t$l7p$(E-Mail Removed)>, Scott Brady Drummonds
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> 3. Any other recommendations as to how to do this cheaply/easily?


http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/

photorescue a recovery utility that is designed for images.

download the free demo, and it will show you what it can find on the
card. if you are satisfied with what it sees, buy it for $29, and the
full version will let you save the images (the demo, obviously, will
just show thumbnails - no actual recovery).
 
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