Corrupted Flash Card ("card needs reformatting")

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Scott Brady Drummonds, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. 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
    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?

    Scott Brady Drummonds, Dec 15, 2003
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  2. Scott Brady Drummonds

    peweg Guest

    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.
    peweg, Dec 16, 2003
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  3. Scott Brady Drummonds

    Samuel Paik Guest

    MS-DOS FAT16 file system (essentially), JPEG images in files.
    Most card reader devices just provide block level access--the OS
    treats it exactly like a hard disk.
    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.

    Samuel Paik, Dec 16, 2003
  4. Scott Brady Drummonds

    Richard Guest


    Having obeyed that rule, you really need a file retrieval utility. I
    recommend R-Studio which you will find at 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

    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
    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

    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, Dec 16, 2003
  5. Scott Brady Drummonds

    Guest Guest

    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).
    Guest, Dec 16, 2003
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