By Brian McCarthy

2011-03-17 13:59:31 8 Comments


I put in a friend's SD Card to format it because it was having problems. Then I put mine back in and I think my phone formatted my SD Card. I had a ton of pictures on there that are now gone! I put the card into the computer and there's only 2mb of cache files on there and none of the original directories.

I already tried the following freeware recovery applications:

  1. Undelete 360
  2. Recuva

Neither of them were able to retrieve any files.
Undelete took 1minute to scan for files and came up with 0 files. Recuva took 10 minutes for their "deep scan" which doesn't seem thorough enough at all for this 8GB SD Card. I need something that's a lot more heavy duty. I don't mind paying for an application to get the data back if necessary...


  • Which application can I use to recover my deleted picture files from my 8GB HD Micro SD Card?
  • Why did Anroid format my SD card?
  • How can I tell if it's a phone problem, data problem, or SD Card problem?


@abwagen 2016-07-16 07:31:59

Here are a few more to the list:

Pandora Recovery: It is very specifically recovers deleted files on drives formatted with the NTFS file system, not the older FAT or FAT32 file systems.

Puran File Recovery: It is a free file recovery program. The interface is simple and straightforward, simply select the drive letter or physical drive you want to recover from and start the scanning process.

Android Data Recovery: This program used to only retrieve deleted files from rooted Android devices and now it adds a new feature for SD card recovery.

@Bryan Denny 2011-03-17 14:13:23

Take a look at PhotoRec.

There are also similar question on Super User that may help:

Here's the full list of Data Recovery Program links:

@Brian McCarthy 2011-03-17 14:55:52

thanks for your response. I visited all the pages on here and added the Data Recovery links to make your answer stronger. Recuva is garbage freeware and only took 10minutes to search for their "Deep Recovery". I asked one of the IT guys at work and he found the files right away with •Easeus Pro - and says it will take over an hour for 8gb's so it's pretty thorough :))))

@Chance 2011-03-17 18:25:03

+1 for PhotoRec. Picasa used to have a "feature" of deleting files off my camera even if I didn't export them. PhotoRec isn't the easiest to use, but it worked, and I recovered photos of my daughter's first 2 months of life.

@Brian McCarthy 2011-03-18 13:04:15

@Chance, thanks for the input. I edited the answer to highly recommend photorec and Easeus Pro :)

@Brian McCarthy 2011-03-18 13:10:11

@Chance, any idea Why did Anroid format my sd card? How can I tell if it's a phone problem, Data problem, or SD Card problem?

@Chance 2011-03-18 14:07:57

@Brian, not sure. I've only had my Android phone for a couple weeks. Did you shut your phone off between swapping SD cards?

@Michael Hampton 2012-12-17 02:44:35

Before going to PhotoRec, try TestDisk first (they are part of the same package). It was able to repair the FAT boot block and get the SD card usable enough to copy all my photos off immediately, without having to use the nuclear option. I still reformatted it afterward, just to be sure, and copied my stuff back onto it.

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