I visited the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International convention (WPPI). A fabulous show in downtown Las Vegas. As the owner of eProvided, I was curious. I spoke with the attendees at this conference. Presumably those with a broken SD card. Strangely enough this demographic often suffers from such catastrophes. Therefore it’s a concern of great magnitude.
Professional Photographers, End Users and Broken SD Card Questions and Answers.
How can you repair a broken SD card?
In many cases, you can’t. You wake up one morning after a photo shoot. You thought something appeared fishy the day before. As a consequence, you find the images from your wedding gig are missing. Regrettably, you do not know what to do. In fact, you call your colleague who has no answers. At this point you realize, what will I tell my client? No doubt you must be honest. The first step must be the right step. You call another colleague, your friend Cherylee. Cherylee advises you to contact a data recovery company.
How can you read data if you have a broken SD card?
Plugging in a broken or damaged SD card results in one of a few scenarios. For this reason, one must be careful not to make matters worse. SD card recovery options diminish when making changes to files. When you plug in the SD storage drive be sure all your photos are extracting. USB connected SD flash card readers can export your files even if issues are present. Look at your files transferred to your PC. If anything is wrong then SD card data recovery experts need to be called. Arguably not all SD card readers are the same. Shop around for highly-rated memory card readers. Research programs that allow you to make an image of your entire SD card. If you can make a byte to byte image then do so. In fact, this is the first step to preserving your data.
What options do photographers have in fixing a broken SD card?
You’re a wedding photographer. All things considered, you need a backup plan in case your photo shoot disappears. eProvided doesn’t recommend SD card recovery software. File recovery software can make matters worse. If you overwrite your files by accident, SD card recovery isn’t possible. As a result, you may have no solution. Consequently, your photos might be deleted for good.
You need to protect your photos. In fact, contacting a professional SD card recovery company is the best option. DIY types really could damage their data forever. So now what? A microSD card recovery expert will handle the entire process.
Can a Corrupted SD card be recovered?
You have a corrupted SD, maybe SDXC or SDHC drive. MicroSD, microSDXC and microSDHC camera cards are all the same. The difference is speed to write files. SD card data recovery companies take the same exact approach. Any SD card that is broken is a standard SD card or a microSD card. One is much smaller, the microSD based storage drive. Furthermore, it is important to delicately handle any microSD card damage. SD cards are sensitive. The keyword is micro. Micro is smaller, treat these with extra care. An SD card recovery service company can recover photos and recover files. Broken SD card retrieval services are lifesavers. In conclusion, don’t give up.
What causes damage to an SD card?
SD card damage happens from force and or bad workmanship. These are the two most common corruption causes. Strangely enough, they happen without warning. Most cases seen at eProvided are due to users bending and cracking the SD card. Be careful, do not apply force to the micro SD. Bad workmanship strikes at random. microSD cards can stop working for no reason. Accordingly, heat and water damage causes failure. Bending a microSD or SD card will damage the drive.
What type of damage occurs on microSD and SD cards?
SD card damage severity depends on each circumstance. On a microSD flash drive, the inner circuits are tiny. A broken micro SD card can have numerous shorted circuits. A bend on the SD card will break hairline sized traces in the circuit board. Scratches from blunt trauma will disconnect connectivity pads made from gold. By and large microSD and SD cards suffer from misuse. Damaged data and lost files can be caused by user error. Corrupted data stems from files that are deleted by accident.
SD card data recovery experts agree. Arguably, corruption of files on SD flash drives is commonplace. Furthermore, users must practice care to back up all thief data.
My broken SD card is not detected, can I recover my data?
The simple answer is yes. In addition, photographers need to contact the client and give them hope. It is important to keep the client abreast of the situation. By the same token keep yourself on top of the case. Data recovery companies like eProvided provide real-time updates on case progress. A professional photographer will find a professional file recovery company.
As a matter of fact, when an SD card is not detected eProvided will put the device in a lab. Using a microscope, broken solder joints are soldered back together. Do not try this at home. This is painfully complicated. No doubt, some try, almost all fail.
Who can recover lost data on a broken SD card?
Sophisticated data recovery firms are your answer. You need an experienced team. File recovery companies have years of experience. Furthermore, the years of experience produced thousands of parts. File extraction is less complex when parts are available to temporarily bandage broken connections. Stay with a data recovery service with an extended background. At the same time be sure to research who does. Arguably the longer a data company exists the more successful they are.
Can damaged microSD cards in Android smartphones be recovered the same as in an iPhone?
Yes. Damage from bent microSD cards is the same on iPhones and Android cell phones. Accordingly, the problem will be the same on both a microSD or SD card. Damages, bends, and cracks are common on both. Android and iPhones have a microSD card port. You plug in the storage device into this port. Consequently, ports become damaged. Actually taking time to carefully plug in a microSD os microSDXC is important. Above all, do not rush and insert cards in too fast. Smartphone storage is your friend. Take time to clean connections. Use an air can to remove dust from ports. Regrettably, photographers fail to clean all points of contact on storage drives. By and large, this is very important.
One Consideration of choosing a trusted microSD card: Speed Class.
This little circle to the left is important. The Speed Class indicates slowest writing attainment (performance) to warrant effortless writes of streaming data. In addition, it shoots HD video data at a higher rate of speed.
A broken SD card that’s not detected, with a higher class speed, more likely holds video files. This is important if you have multiple damaged cards and used the higher class speed for shooting video. Yes, our SD card recovery team has many cases like this.
My SD card is not being detected, what to do?
The moment you notice an SD card not recognized is the moment you stop in your tracks. Accordingly now is the time to take a breath and contact a specialist in recovering data. Do not mess with the device at all. If you are a professional photographer, take the next step properly. Strangely enough, most do not follow their own advice. Place the drive into a bubble wrap envelope. In addition place the card inside a static free baggie. From here on take care of the drive. Do not place it in any heat or moisture.
Recovery software does not recognize my device?
Do not attempt using recovery programs. Many photographers actually make the problem worse. Furthermore, why bother getting deeper in the hole. At this point, you must preserve lost photos. Your clients require the images of this special day. Do not risk anything here folks. Recovery software won’t solve advanced failures. Micro SD card recovery services require hands-on work. As a result, you want to hire the pros. Contact one and ask questions. At the same time get answers. Above all make yourself comfortable.
My broken SD card is locked or write protected, does that matter if trying to recover data?
Your microSD card is locked, out of the blue. Consequently, the card is damaged. Accordingly, write protection is an option one can turn on and off. Read the manual that comes with the storage device. SD card data recovery is needed when a user can not switch the option back and forth. No doubt this shows card corruption has happened. Make sure you follow the manual guidance. Test the switch for write protection. Locate the lock on the left of the SD card. Next, check that the lock switch is facing upwards (the unlock state). At this point, you can’t delete files on a memory stick if locked.
Is it possible to fix my broken SD drive without formatting?
A broken SD card does not need formatting. In fact, never format a drive unless you are sure you want to delete data permanently. Presently proper methods to recover data from SD cards will not require formatting files. You can fix the problem by contacting a file recovery expert. Ultimately file recovery not the formatting of data is what you need.
There is a difference between a low-level format and a standard default format. Therefore it’s important, only if you want to delete files permanently to chose a low-level format. In addition, ask yourself, do I want to wipe this data out forever?
Default formatting options on devices vary by device. Some DSLR cameras have a low-level format as a default. Some smartphones have a default format option that is not a low-level format (LLF). Consequently, if you don’t know, find out before you start a format operation. So, what Is High-level Disk Formatting? It’s the method of writing a file system, partition label, cluster size and so on for a recently created partition or volume. A cracked or broken SD card might not have an option to format. Therefore, always use caution in any decision you make.
Can you repair a damaged microSD flash drive using the CMD option?
First things first. You have lost or damaged photos correct? Repair to a microSD is temporary. The CMD option on Windows rarely solves any problems with data loss. In fact, as an expert, I do not advise messing around with this. You do not want to rewrite data, scan and make changes to anything at this point. Moreover, you, as a professional wedding photographer must stay above the fold. Preserve your photos. Do not make mistakes at this time. Consult with a professional SD card recovery professional.
SD card damaged Vs. cracked, what’s the difference?
Everyone calls eProvided asking the chances at retrieving files. In particular is your microSD or SD card damaged? The difference between a crack and damage is important to understand. 1) Cracked micro SD or SD cards have a higher failure rate with data recovery. 2) The storage card is damaged. In this case, there are no signs of cracks, the success rate increases by 40%. If your SD card has bent but has no visual cracks, the same goes. A micro sd card broken in half does have a chance at document recovery.
Black epoxy plastic type shells surround each storage unit. Sometimes you might not notice the crack so look closely. If you notice a crack call a file recovery expert. Notice a bend? Your SD card is damaged. While plugged into your PC or Smartphone, if it’s not recognized you will need a file retrieval expert.
Understanding the key point. Generally, a damaged SD card experiences two important damage types.
- Cracked, and Maybe Bent, Mangled, etc.
- Not Cracked but Damaged, Bent or Corrupted.
Many sources, online, Best Buy, the manufacturer are not knowledgeable. Cracked microSD storage drives are recoverable. There are many variables. Above all, data retrieval experts at eProvided will get to the bottom of it.
My SD card broke in half, it’s cracked. What you can do.
MicroSD and SD cards do break in half. You only have one option now. Reach out to a photo recovery expert. Do not make the situation worse. Put the SD card carefully into a static free baggie and place it in a bubble wrap envelope. At this point, this is the only option. Accordingly, contact your client and be honest. Tell them this will take at least a few weeks to a few months to solve. This allows the data recovery experts to have proper time to diagnose and solve the case. Finally, a broken SD card does have a chance at success. Arguably, you must follow this advice.
When the data recovery expert has the broken SD card in the lab they will attempt data dump extraction. Trial and error takes time. Recovering lost photos is not a simple task. The expert will attempt a clean dump of data sets from within the MicroSD or SD card. The file recovery professional will unscramble algorithms. In addition, they will then turn the dumps back into user data. Therefore the files will be the same state they were in before the damage took place.
Know when your SD card has damage.
When you plug in your microSD card into a card reader and download the data a few things may happen. 1) You find photos, you see a thumbnail but the image won’t open. 2) You see a thumbnail, the image is open, half the image is blurry. You see strange colored lines. 3) No drive letter appears when plugging the card into a card reader. 4) The drive shows up as a new drive letter but with an improper size. 5) The file names include strange non-traditional characters. 6) In addition, a broken SD card will not transfer data.
All these symptoms point to the need for a professional SD card data recovery expert. Similarly, all these symptoms require the photographer to take great care to avoid further damages to the media.
Can I learn to fix my broken SD card by myself?
Damaged microSD cards with symptoms mentioned above are very difficult to recover from. Accordingly, years of experience and specialized tools will get you started. eProvided file recovery is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Questions about anything you read? Call us.
Writer: Bruce Cullen
Bruce has been written about in Popular Mechanics Magazine and consults with NASA where he recovered the data for the famous Helios mission. Bruce consults with NASA on the Future Mars Missions on data storage techniques & recovery. eProvided, in business over 18 years. Clients list: The White House, Army Chief Of Staff, FBI, Jet Propulsion Laboratories (NASA), US Special Agents and more. Toll-Free 1-866-857-5950.