Memory card formatted and now?

Iit happens not very often, but once in a while it does happen. You accidentally format the memory card in your camera and then you realize that the images on this card were not nacked up.


Memory card formatted and now?Om vacation or if you you handle more than one camera at a time the desaster occurs suddenly. You’re quite sure that the images are allready safe on your pc or laptop and after confirming the format process with the “Yes” you get aware thet the images or video clips on the memory card are not safe.

After this happens the first thing to do is keep calm, finish the formatting process and then get the memory card and most important don’t use it.

For the data recovery there is a tool  PhotoRec . Photorec is a opensource tool available for operating systems like Windows, Linux and Mac.

I did a little video on the data recovery process:


Almost all file systems don’t physically delete a file on any device they just delete the entry in the directory. And even a formatting process doesn’t delete the data blocks physically only the directory is newly written.

Memory card formatted and now?

After the download just unzip the archive file. There is no installation needed. Meanwhile there are two versions in the archive. One comand line tool and the same tool with a simple yet functional GUI.

Memory card formatted and now?

The later one should be easier to handle for Windows users. Just select the right drive with the memory card, in my example the USB card reader. At last select the drive and the directory where PhotoRec can store the recovered files. .

The process takes a little while but after this is finnished PhotoRec gives you a little statistic about the recovered files.

Memory card formatted and now?

After the process is finished the files can be viewed in the recovery directory.

Memory card formatted and now?Only the original files names cannot be recovered by Photorec but renaming should not be the problem.


Photorec worked very reliable in 3 cases over the past years where i needed such a tool. Just don’t use the memory card any more until you finnished the recovery since every storage will overwrite the “deleted” images since they are markded as free for the file system.

ciao tuxoche

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