Thursday, January 21, 2010

How do I rescue lost photos and video from a formatted card? (PhotoRescue 3.1 Review)

DataRescue PhotoRescue 3.1

For the Photographer, there’s one feeling that is similar to, but much worse than the dreaded “oh, no – I locked my keys in my car”. It’s the realization that you just formatted the wrong storage card (potentially with family memories that can’t be replaced). Sadly for me, it’s happened more times here recently since video has come on the scene. I’ve tried to save precious moments in HD video with my Canon 5D Mark II only to remember that Lightroom doesn’t copy video files until AFTER I’ve formatted the card!!!! Precious moments lost forever – OH NO! Or are they?

Oh NO, where are my files???

I’ve used a product that used to come free with SanDisk Compact Flash (CF) cards called RescuePro which worked great for photos, but sadly it didn’t work for video (at least not from my 5D Mark II). I’ve even had some programs I’ve tried to use show me that it recovered videos, but when I tried to play them back they were rubbish (unplayable on most playback software and unusable when I did find something to play them).

How Does it Work

Here’s a simple walk through of screenshots that show this program in action. I tried it out on my old Transcend 120x 8GB CF card that I bought in 2007 and it took about 10 minutes (probably less) to recover my 6 videos. They were bit for bit the same as the originals and worked great as if I had never formatted the card in the first place.

Select your CF/SD card drive

Select a location for the recovered files

Progress during the recovery phase

Videos and photos located, now pick the ones to restore

Copy your desired recovered data to your disk

All done

As you can the user-interface is simply, friendly and effective. It should work with your CF & SD cards as well as USB sticks and much more. For more information visit support page here.

Advanced Features

What I really like about this product is that it does the one (and most important) thing right – in a simple way. It recovers photos and videos without any hassle are hard questions in the Quick Recovery option. This will work for nearly every restorable scenario. However, if you want have some control over what is or isn’t restored (i.e., no huge files over a size limit) then you might find the Advanced Mode shown above very useful.

The Advanced mode can also be used to load/restore card backups.

Afraid to erase your memory cards? – Try this!

I know some people have a half dozen or more memory cards because they are so afraid to erase their memory cards prematurely. Well, if you fall into that camp you are going to love the Card Image Backup feature shown above! This basically does a bit by bit (raw read to the disk i/o geeks out there) backup of your CF card so that you can format it without fear as your data is safe in a backup that may be restored at any time in the future.

Test your cards performance

This feature (under the Tools button) is super cool because it allows you to see if your card is functioning properly, but also helps you to understand what kind of performance you are REALLY getting from your memory card. In my case, I’ve always wondered what does 120x mean in terms of throughput speed on my Transcend 120x speed. Well now I know, it means 17MB/sec – COOL!

Try it FREE today

This is a cool product with many uses beyond just an emergency restore scenario. Try it out and see if it works for you! If it does, you can buy this program at a really great price using this special edition created for users of this blog:

NOTE: This version only differs in the link URL from the version you find on the site.


If you purchase this product using the link in the special edition in this article, I will get a commission. Thanks for supporting the blog!

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Anonymous said...

I tried the link, but it linked to a zip file which I then downloaded which contained a 3KB application, which I then decided not to run.

Seems like a weird way to do an associate link. said...

I will pass your feedback on to datarescue as I suspect others will feel the same as you, but this file comes from their server and can be validated by contacting their support (

StorageCraft said...

It is very rare to see someone suggesting on how to recover the photos. This will help me a lot as i myself am a photographer and have often come across such a situation.

Sarkar said...

Hi Ron,

The link for the RescuePro software does not work? Is there an updated link to check out?

Sarkar said...

Thanks for the comment - I've reported the problem and will report back when I find out what is up.

I hate this download a zip file idea.