Accessing a memory card

The program doing a digital photo recovery needs a direct access to the information on the memory card. "File level" access would not do, because there are most likely no files left on the card by the time photo recovery is needed. The recovery software uses special command set to access the data directly, bypassing normal file access rules.

There are two ways to access the memory card: either leave it in a camera and connect the camera to the PC, or remove card from a camera and use a separate card reader device.

There are two special cases:

  • Digital camera with a built-in memory, which is a part of a camera and thus not possible to remove.
  • Digital camera which does not support direct access to the card.

Nikon cameras have a setting to use it either in "USB drive (storage) mode", or "PTP mode". You need to configure it in "USB mode" and it would work just fine in most cases.

Canon Powershot series do not allow direct access to the camera memory. You have to use a standalone card reader with them.

In cases where a flash card itself is damaged (got a bad block on it), card readers generally provide better result. This is because cameras tend to choke on a bad block, stall, and then do not allow any more access to the card. On the other hand, a card reader, being more "dumb", just swallows the error and carries on.

Continue to Digital photo recovery.