A few years ago I bought a Minolta Dimage 600 digital camera. Simple small cool thing, not too bad. Back then it came with a 128 MB SD card, and as my family shoots pix like crazy, a few weeks ago I bought a 2 GB card, which made everybody happy. Yesterday disaster struck. As we had had a local thingy called Sinterklaas here (mix Xmas and thanksgiving and you have kinda the idea) there were 300 pix sitting on the card, a blazing 15% hehe. I said “oh, let me unload it”, took it out of the camera, into the external card reader and did a mindless (mistake #1) copy – paste to the network drive. Shoved it back into the camera, where it said “cannot read data”, so (mistake #2) I reformatted and it was happy again. Happened before, no big deal. Yet.

Next I notice the last pic on the network is about halfway of what it should be. The last file copied is 0 bytes long. Uh oh. Now I am in BIG trouble. Spent till 1:30 AM to try to recover, downloaded (and payed, mistake #2.5) for 2 forensic recovery tools, and I save a few pix more, but not really. I am in BIGGER trouble. I decide to let the better tool run during the night, but when I woke up, it had locked up and recovery had stalled. I am in BIGGEST trouble.
This morning I had a mindwave. What if it weren’t the camera or the card, but the rather old reader? Last straw. So, instead of using the reader, I hooked up the camera, shoved in this card, connected it though a USB cable and started with making a raw image copy of the card, as analysing on the card would certainly not last the camera’s battery. Then let the pattern-seeker plow through the 2GB file. Bingo!!!!!!

Want advice for a situation like this? WinHex, really,  although a tad steep to use. The other software, MediaUndelete, although slicker didn’t even come close. These guys at X-Ways are going to get a real nice letter. Oh, and now, I am going to get a sledgehammer and trash that card reader. Be right back.

update: done!