How to Recover Pictures from a Formatted Memory Card (Unformat Memory Card)
Are the lost photos recoverable after memory card formatting?
In most cases, after you format the memory card in a camera or on the computer, the boot area and file information blocks (root, FAT) were emptied and initialized. The memory card looks like as if it is empty and contains no files, but the file bodies are still there (disk format). Therefore, it is still possible to retrieve the lost pictures using photo recovery software including CardRecovery. But in some cases, it is unlucky when a camera (some types of digital cameras) may wipe the data completely upon formatting and make them unrecoverable.
If I accidentally formatted my camera memory card, what should I do?
First, please immediately stop taking new pictures on the same memory card. If you are on a trip and need to take new pictures, try to use a new memory card.
Second, download and try CardRecovery software from our website (Download). It will perform a quick scan of your formatted memory card, and list the recoverable pictures in minutes. CardRecovery does not write anything to your memory card, so it is safe to try.
What memory card types does the CardRecovery software support?
CardRecovery supports almost all memory card types including SD Card (Secure Digital), CF Card (Compact Flash), and SmartMedia, MemoryStick, MMC, xD Card. But please note, it does not mean every formatted memory card is recoverable. It depends on whether or not your camera has completely erased the picture data. The best and fastest way to know whether or not your lost pictures are recoverable is to download and try the evaluation version of CardRecovery.
Can I re-use the memory card after my photos are recovered?
Of course. You may use the memory card again AFTER you recover the lost pictures that you want.
If I have tried the software but cannot retrieve any lost images from the reformatted (formatted) memory card. Why?
Unfortunately, during the reformatting process, besides re-constructing the boot, directories and file entries information, SOME digital cameras may write "0x00", "0xFF"or other characters on every sector (sector: unit of storage, stores a fixed amount of data) of the memory card and make them impossible to be recovered. Or if you have taken new pictures on the same memory card after formatting, the digital pictures taken before "format" may be written over by the new picture files and lost forever.
But in most cases, the pictures on the formatted memory card are retrievable and it is worth a try to download and use CardRecovery software.