How to Recover Deleted Files from SD Cards

SD Cards are great as an external storage system. But what if all the data you stored became inaccessible due to corruption or other issues? As you might already know, SD cards are mostly used in phones and cameras. So if you have lost some apps, you can reinstall them later. And lost music files can also be recovered free of cost if you remember the file names. However, document files, pictures which you have taken, or videos you have recorded are the most precious data stored on the SD card. So these are the main files which are to be recovered. Hence, the question lingers: how to recover deleted files from SD cards?

But before starting to read on how to retrieve files from memory cards, here are some precautions and tips which you should keep in mind. First, don’t format your SD card or else the files might become lost and unrecoverable. The next thing you need to do is find a card reader. If the built-in card reader of your laptop or PC can recognize your card then fine. Or else you will have to find a new card reader. Once all this is done, it is time to download file recovery software and start the process. But hold on, which file recovery software should you be using?

Which File Recovery Software to Use for Data Recovery from SD Card?

There are many free software pieces touted as a capable data recovery solution for Windows. One such program is Disk Digger which is basically data recovery software for PC, but it can help to recover files from your SD cards once connected to your PC. If you don’t like Disk Digger for any reason, then you can also go with other programs. But while choosing one, bear in mind the following points.

1) There is no guarantee that all your files will come back intact. Typically some files might become corrupted to the extent that it can’t be recoverable. Also in some cases, the files might even end up losing their original file names, and you will have to rename them.

2) Some free recovery programs will only allow for a limited number of files or data to be recovered. So check out these limitations before you install the program.

3) Sometimes these freeware might prompt you to download additional unnecessary and unwanted software. So never use the recommended settings.

4) Also, use the manual installation method and deselect installation of search bars and other software on your system.

Now for the sake of this review, ZAR or Zero Assumption Recovery will be used. The software is quite efficient as files recovery software and is also generic. This implies that if you choose to install some other file recovery software, the process of recovery will be quite similar to this one.

How to Recover Files from SD card Using ZAR

The first thing would be installing ZAR on your PC and then inserting the compromised SD card into your PC. Now ZAR might get registered as malware by your security software, so remember to turn it off before working with ZAR. Also turn off your internet so that there is no chance for virus infection.

Step #1: Launch ZAR on your computer.

Now after launching ZAR, you will be prompted to click on the image Recovery Option.

Step #2: Select that to start recovering photos from your SD card.

ZAR will start to look for installed devices.

Step #3: Once you see your SD card, click on it.

There you will find the correct disk option.

Step #4: Click on that and go to Next. ZAR will start to analyze the SD card. Be patient till the scanning process is over.

Once the scanning process is completed, you will see a list of recovered files.

Step #5: Select all the file you want to be recovered and then click Next.

This will allow you to browse which folder you want to have your recovered files to be placed into.

One thing that you have to note here is that you should always choose a folder in your PC’s Hard Drive to copy the recovered files. Do not copy it back into the damaged or corrupt SD card. So after you have selected the destination folder, the copying process will take about a few minutes. After that, you will find all your recovered files located inside the destination folder which you selected. The files names and the extensions might be missing, so you have to rename them along with the extension so that Windows can recognise them.

But how to Fix the Corrupted SD card?

So now you have recovered all your data. The important bit is done. But surely there might be some means for fixing the SD card and reusing it? Well, there are some basic methods which you can apply to see if it fixes a corrupted SD card. But do remember, the methods described here will not to fix an SD card which has suffered from Hardware damage.

An SD Card is generally very thin and delicate, and so these things can easily break if mistreated. Also, there is a write protection switch on the card, and if it falls out, then your card will stop working. So be careful that these mishaps don’t happen to your device.

If your card is otherwise physically okay but still facing some issues, then these can likely be fixed. If there is a lock switch on your SD card, then do remember to unlock it for the process to work.

Once you have unlocked your SD card, insert it into your PC. Now, either your SD card will be detected by the Windows Explorer, or it won’t be detected.

If detected by Windows Explorer:

Right Click on your SD card and then select Properties. From there go to the Tools tab. Click on Check and your PC will start to scan the card for errors and try to fix them.

If not detected by Windows Explorer:

If you don’t find your SD card through the Windows Explorer, then go to Disk Management. It is readily accessible by searching through the search bar in the start menu. Here you will see which drives are readable by Windows including some drives which don’t have any letters.

When you manage to locate your SD card but the drive letter is missing, you can right click on it and use the provided options to add the drive letter. You might also have to format it into a file system file readable by Windows and then give it a drive letter.

By doing this you should have repaired your SD card. However, if you’re unable to locate your SD card, then it is either dead or your card reader isn’t working properly.

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