Saturday, March 29, 2008

CF Card Failures - Photorescue Software

Yesterday I lost all my images of the day from card failure. I had been able to review the images in camera as I worked but after taking the card from the camera and immediately inserting it into the card reader - nothing. On going back to camera, nothing - no images. This was my most recent card purchase, a 4 GB Sandisk III - a bit disappointing. So far it's worked fine today for the previous dust tests so we'll see.

I was able (as always) to rescue the images via PhotoRescue. This commercial software has never let me down, generally rescuing 99% of all the images (in this case all but one of 105 images) - not bad in my book and essential to anyone's work flow. While cards do come with image rescue software, it has never been as effective as Photo Rescue and I highly recommend it. I note that they now have three versions, I have the $29 expert version and so far have not had to use any of it's more sophisticated rescue techniques.

My routine is to let a card fail once and I'll reformat as usual and keep using it, but if it fails again within a month or so - it's history. Don't know if this is efficient use, but it works for me - especially with cards coming down in price as they have.


James Duncan Davidson said...

Indeed, cards are too cheap to keep a possibly bogus one around. I too give cards a one-time pass. But when they act up again, out they go. Same thing for card readers.

nielsp said...

I have a little or maybe a lot of file-loss phobia. With my D70 I used always take the CF card out of the camera and connect to a card reader. After several years I was encountering pin seating problems, not always but sometimes.

With my new camera I resolved to almost never take the card out of the camera (8GB) and use the PC transfer function to download my images. This does use battery life and therefore I guess will shorten the length of my batteries.

I also reformat my card after every download. The 40 CF card just seem more prone to failure with its tiny pins. The types with its large tabs will probably never mechanically fail. This is the reason SD type cards are so cheap . Easier to make.

Niels Henriksen

Johnny V said...

Thanks George for a wonderful blog and site...

I also used the SanDisk supplied recovery app with not much success.

Hands down my favorite is PhotoRescue from

Here's my saga if you'd post #1 and #10 especially:

Also another recovery software is Data Rescue II, about neck and neck with PhotoRescue but costs about three times as much...

John V.