I need to recover todays videos from corrupted SD card

Posted by Charbax – April 14, 2012

Good news: all my 10+ video files have been recovered by a hacker expert on the 3rd floor of the Wan Chai computer market in Hong Kong (hkd$1600), he says they used a lab to open up the SD card and do some type of operation on the card, about an hour later they had all the files ready to be transfered back to my storage. Thanks to everyone who posted suggestions for how I could have done it myself!

Please let me know if you have a good idea for a way to recover the video files (I filmed about 20-30 videos today!) from a corrupted Patriot 32GB Class10 SD card. When I insert it to my PC it says that I have to format it before it can be used. I am worried to try to format it from Windows 7 or from my Sanyo HD1000 camcorder menu and restore the files after that.

I just paid $29 for http://www.wondershare.com/disk-utility/sd-card-recovery.html

"Photo Recovery 2012-04-14 at 16.47.02" is now full with 106 m4a audio files, 9 Jpg (those work fine!), 135 3g2 video files, 124 3gp video files, 166 m4v video files, 124 mov video files, 166 mp4 video files. All of them taking up 149GB (my SD card is only 32GB!). How do I identify which of these files can be recovered?

My camera is a Sanyo HD1000 which records 720p 30fps mp4 files using the H264 format.

I'm now trying a scan 40-minute scan of the SD card using GetDataBack for FAT from http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm (I don't know if it also is some trialware thing).

It might have happened as the battery on the camera ran out while recording a video. Or it may be due to using a cheap 1rmb SD card adapter that I bought in Shenzhen onto the media-rooms secured Windows desktop. Or I may have shaken the camera around too much, or the Patriot cards (that I think I bought at Fry's Electronics in Las Vegas about a year ago).

Thanks for your help if you know how to recover this card!

  • Anonymous

    Can you insert the card on an ubuntu laptop ?  
    Then you can to see the information that shows gparted of your sdcard …

  • Anonymous

    Can you insert the card on an ubuntu laptop ?  
    Then you can to see the information that shows gparted of your sdcard …

  • Nobbe

    first thing to do is a 1:1 image using Linux e.g. dd command like

    dd if=/dev/sdd of=sd_card_backup.dd this works if your sdcard is /dev/sdd Warning this will take VERY LONG and you need NTFS or ext3 formatted HDD for a 32GByte File. With that image you always have a backup. Just in case a program overwrites your Card…

  • Daniel M.

    charbax, the error sounds pretty bad for an sd card. I think it was probably the adapter if it took some kind of power source to flow data cause I’ve had a similar issue as yours. What I would try if you have a little bit of time is to use Hiren’s Boot CD. It has been a while since I’ve needed to use it, but TestDisk was able to copy over files from a hard drive that had a terribly corrupt mbr. I am not sure if TestDisk will work with an awesome class10 32gb card though, it’s definitely worth a shot. If you have an ubuntu  machine then you don’t have to download Hiren’s  Boot CD… It’s gonna be a sudo testdisk command to download it. I hope this will work for you. This page might help you if you need it… http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-recover-lost-partitions-and-hard-disk-data-guide/

    Let me know if it’s helped you! Good luck! Daniel.


  • Thanks for your ubuntu recommendations, I haven’t got an Ubuntu laptop right here. I can use one ina couple days, but it would be nice to recover the video files now to post them as soon as possible.

  • Thanks for your ubuntu recommendations, I haven’t got an Ubuntu laptop right here. I can use one ina couple days, but it would be nice to recover the video files now to post them as soon as possible.
    Maybe I’ll download and try to use a live usb stick install of Ubuntu. But I am super busy trying to video-blog as much as possible during the next couple of days.

  • Arum

    try using digital media from stellar http://www.stellarinfo.com/disk-recovery.htm product same as get data back

  • Steve Bélanger

    If you’re a Window’s user, you should try this free application : Recuva


    I’ve saved tons of pictures for my in-laws when their HDD got corrupted in some ways.

  • You can always use GParted as a bootable disc and try to recover the data/partitioning that way.

  • If you want to recover your data, the best solution is to try to fix the partitioning or recover the data.

    In either case, i’d recommend using TestDisk to try to fix the partitioning and if it doesn’t work you can use the included ImgRec which should ship within the TestDisk download and that will recover 99.5% of data with most data (images, videos) being recovered very quickly.
    If you use TestDisk, make sure you extract it to a big hard drive because the recovered files are saved within the folder you extracted the program to.

  • Two of the comments here are correct but need a bit more detail.  Until you can get the card to a computer with a flavor of Linux, OS X, BSD, or Solaris, just put it away and do nothing with it.  When you do get to a computer that has a proper OS, a bit over 32GB of free space you can write to, and root/sudo access so that you can raw read the device, that is when you’ll want to image the disk to prevent any possible further damage.  sudo dd if=/dev/mmcblk0 of=~/Documents/sdcard.img bs=16k conv=noerror.  Your input device could also be /dev/sda, /dev/sdb or other.  Run sudo fdisk -l to print partition tables for the block devices or blkid.  Once you have the image, attempt to use testdisk on it.  This will allow you to recover the partition if that is the only problem.  Otherwise get a program called scalpel.  You will need to update the definitions in /etc/scalpel.conf since they tend to be out of date, but that should do it.  The other program you were trying to use did the same thing as scalpel and its predecessor foremost, that being, it finds the header of a file in the filesystem and pulls the file out. Problem is, many formats don’t have footers, so it just takes a fixed amount of space afterwards and makes it the new file.  That is why the data recovered appears to be larger than the physical disk.  Each time it finds a header it just makes the file with that and the next 50MB (or other measurement). 

  • Pingback: Status of me trying to recover the 20+ videos filmed yesterday at the HKTDC Electronics Fair – ARMdevices.net()

  • Pingback: The 10 HKTDC videos on my corrupted/broken SD card have been recovered! Posting them soon – ARMdevices.net()

  • Sauronwiz

    Previously I was able to recover pictures and videos from corrupted SD card by using photo recovery tool.
    For more details visit: http://www.recoverpictures.net/corrupted-sd-card.html
    Here you can download demo version: 


  • Banzee Simmons

    I know its too late to reply to this post but for people who are going to read it later (as it discusses some of the most commons problem of data recovery), I would like to recommend a software that I personally use and showed excellent results over the time. It is a product from stellar which I downloaded from http://www.retrievephotos.com/ It works great to recover all my accidentally deleted or formatted media files..

  • Mandy

    Thank you for your useful posting! It
    helped me al lot when my camera SD card was formatted mistakenly.

    At that time, in order to rescue my card
    pictures back, I searched a lot and read numerous threads, articles and tried
    many data recovery programs.

    Fortunately, my preferred card photos were
    rescued with recommended data recovery software online.

    If you are interested, you also may take
    chance with it:


    Make SD card data backups from now on to
    avoid similar data loss problems.