SD / RAW file recovery tool..?

Anyone had any experience with a data recovery tool for an SD card? I have a Nikon Coolpix P900 and I was transferring photos of the SD card and for some reason, one directory was unreadable. I retrieved all of the other photos off the card with no problems. Then I got a warning from Windows that data from one of the directories was corrupt. I skipped the transfer of those files, but when I went back to look at the files on the SD Card, I was told that I needed to format the SD card (which I did NOT do).

Even if I put the card back in the camera, it also says I need to format the card (which I did NOT do). Doing a CHKDSK on the SD card I’m told that it can’t perform that function on a disk with RAW format (I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like it is not seeing it as an NTFS file structure?).

The files only represent a small portion of a single day in Australia (maybe 60 or 80 photos), but I’d love to recover them. Anyone have any experience with that type of recovery program?

I’ve only got experience with the EaseUS tools: How to Fix/Repair RAW SD Card | SD Card RAW Format Fix - EaseUS

This seems to be a pretty common problem.


There’s an open source tool called TestDisk that I’ve used for broken disks a long time ago. They do seem to do Photo Recovery stuff as well, but not used it.


Cool…I’ll give that a crack first…! Never know, it may recover the National Geographic Shot of the Year winner…or my thumb. If I were a betting man…I’d go with thumb.

RAW when talking digital camera’s usually refers to the format that the image file is saved in. The RAW file (usually with a *.dng extension) is the raw data captured from the sensor, that your various photo software’s use to create a view able image. I ran chkdsk on one of my SD’s just now that had client photo’s, and ran totally normal. Not sure what you’ve got going on there.

Data recovery on flash memory is different than on spinning drives do to the way they work. So I’m guessing you’d have to find a tool designed for it. Good luck!

Yeah, I don’t think it is that though. First, the camera was not set up to save files in RAW format…just normal JPG files. I think maybe the card wasn’t formatted prior to use, OR, when I took the card out and plugged it in to my new laptop, it either wrote something or scrambled something:

“The RAW drive is a hard drive partition which has not been formatted with the file system neither FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 nor NTFS/NTFS5.”

Just interesting that only a certain portion of the data became inaccessible.

This looks to be working - I’ll let you know in about 30 minutes as it wraps up. Photorec_win.exe seems to be doing the trick…now just to see if it manages to snag the ones that were giving a corrupt message on initial copying…


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Looks like I got back about 80 of 110 images. The point where the images begin to be corrupted the file names change to xxxxmoov which is an odd name (it isn’t a mov extension…but rather part of the image file name). I tried changing the extension but no luck on getting those few images back. Not a real big deal…it was a very limited portion of a single evening (about 30 minutes and 20 or 25 photos while hiking on a trail…). Interestingly, the recovered directly does have the thumbnails of the original images, but not the full size images…

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