How to recover data from a Corrupted SD or Micro SD Card

Recently, a friend of mine ended up having his camera SD card corrupted after he mistakenly unplugged it while transfering the files. That is until he plugged it back in and he got the dreaded Windows Prompt that goes something along the lines of “* Drive is corrupt or unformatted. Do you want to format this drive?” The SD card showed up as a drive but he could not longer access the month of pictures that he had on it.

He asked me what to do and I googled for it. Then did I stumble upon this software called Zero Assumption Recovery. It is a free software that will recover images and movies from corrupted SD or Micro SD card (there is a paid version for $50 dollars which allows you to recover any files). This software can also recover images and movies that you have already deleted(!). The recovery process will be a bit lengthy but it worked like a charm for my friend.

The steps to be done are simple.

  1.  Download the free image recovery version or the full version as your wish (The free image recovery portion is just part of the trial so you will be downloading the free trial and the image recovery will stay free after the trial expires).
  2. Install and run the ZAR trial.
  3. Insert the memory card into the reader device.
  4. On the first screen, no adjustment is required, just hit “Next>>”.
  5. Program will then prompt you for an operation mode. Select “Recover images from camera memory card”, then hit “Next>>”.
  6. Select your memory card from the list of the attached devices. You can identify the memory card by its media size or by the model name (if available).
  7. The rest is mostly automatic. When the analysis is done, select files to recover, specify the directory to place recovered files to, hit “Start copying” and you’re done.

You can also follow this link for tutorial.

The tutorial above describes the procedure used to recover photos stored on the digital camera memory card if
  • the images were deleted before copying to the PC
  • the card was accidentally formatted
  • some camera failure occured and the images are not accessible any longer

Current version (ZAR 9.2) supports digital photo recovery for the following file formats: 

  • GIF
  • JPEG
  • TIFF
  • CRW (Canon RAW data)
  • MOV
  • AVI movie
  • WAV
  • CR2 (Canon CR2 RAW format)
  • ORF (Olympus RAW format) 
  • and most of the digital camera models.
 This software was successful for most of the people but for some people, few photos were missing among the recovered ones. In case, if it didn't work for you, tell me about it in the comments section and I will try to give you a better solution.
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About Jebin Tony Raj

An avid follower of all the technology changes happening around the world!
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  1. Recover lost deleted SD card, you can use Kernel for Digital Media Recovery Tool. That software quickly recover all lost deleted photos from SD card or all storage media.

  2. This was a real saver.

    I had my brother save 30GB worth data in my pendrive, only to accidentally format it, by connecting it improperly, to a settop box. I tried few of the software listed amongst the top 5 best free file recovery software 2016. Some had difficult GUI to work with, while others had an upper limit on the data that could be recovered. Nevertheless none of them worked for me, except for the ZAR, mentioned in the post above. The recovery process was pretty straight forward. And the tool was free for the media files I needed. The real surprise, however, was the recovery of even unintended files, that I had deleted several months earlier.

    I remember the panic call I gave you last night bro :) Thanks a ton for the reference, the blogpost, and the timely save of my (technically your) data.

    1. I'm really glad that ZAR helped you to recover your (technically our) files! Its really a boost for me to hear that my blog has been useful for real!!