Memory card recovery

  1. Stop using the memory card immediately once you discover a data loss. Do not take any more recordings onto it. If you take a new shot, it overwrites the lost data, making recovery impossible.
  2. Consider using a card reader device for a recovery, not a device itself. Certain devices do not support direct card access. For these, a card reader is required. For more info, please refer to how to connect a memory card to a PC properly.
    Additionally, have a look at the mobile phone memory cards page if you deal with a memory card from a mobile phone.
  3. Download, install, and run ReclaiMe File Recovery software.
  4. Identify the memory card you want to recover in the device list. Most likely, it falls into the "USB devices" category. If you do not see the memory card in the device list of ReclaiMe and all the connections are correctly set, then it may be a zero size issue.
    Memory card recovery with ReclaiMe
  5. Double click the memory card in the device list to start recovery.
  6. Select the file(s) or folder(s) you want to recover.
  7. Click Save button on the toolbar. Alternatively, click Save and select Save All from the menu.

Recovery time

The memory card recovery takes about the same time it takes to transfer the cardfull of data to the computer normally. Examples:

  • 2GB SD card recovery - less than 5 minutes.
  • 32GB Compact Flash card recovery - about 40 minutes.


As for a memory card format procedure, there are two types of format that are significantly different. After using one of them, data can still be recovered but after the other - data is unrecoverable. Learn more about the format procedure.

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