Andy Westlake puts CardRecovery through its paces

CardRecovery at a glance:

Most photographers, I hope, know the golden rules of file handling. You should always copy your photos off your memory card after every major shooting event, either to your computer or to a portable backup device, and ensure you have duplicate copies. Modern storage systems are remarkably reliable, but it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Sometimes though, you can end up losing images. Inadvertently removing a memory card from your camera or computer while it’s being accessed can result in a corrupted file system and those dreaded ‘card error’ messages. At this point you might think all is lost, especially if all your devices demand that you reformat the card. But normally your image files will still be intact and can be saved using specialist card-recovery software. The key is not to do anything that will overwrite the data, so don’t shoot any more pictures using the card.

CardRecovery is a tool that will parse through your card, sector by sector, and attempt to recover lost data armed with a knowledge of the file structure of almost all image and movie files (including raw). It’s free to download for Windows or Mac, and will show you all the files it can recover. You can then choose to pay for the software, after which it will save all those files to your computer.

I used it recently after suffering a corrupted card. It did exactly what I needed, painstakingly searching through the card and finding the files I’d lost. It’s difficult to ask for more.

CardRecovery tool

SCORE: 5 out of 5