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Retrieving Your Pictures From a Damaged Memory Card

Memory cards are in use in almost all digital cameras and camera phones. Most of these cards are either CompactFlash or one of the variations of the Secure Digital (SD) card format, which include miniSD, microSD and SDHC. There are several other types of cards on the market as well. All of these digital photo cards have one thing in common: they are susceptible to data corruption by mishandling or simply from excessive use. Once this happens to your memory card it may be difficult if not impossible to retrieve your photos using either the camera or your personal computer.

According to SanDisk, one of the major card manufacturers, memory cards can be corrupted by using them with a camera which is low on battery power, removing the card from the camera or computer while it is still being accessed, or exposing the card to extreme conditions such as excessive heat or moisture. Another source of corruption can come from normal use: all memory cards have a limited number of read/write cycles that they can sustain before they wear out. Heavy usage or even light usage on a poor quality card can cause the file system to be corrupted as the storage media deteriorates. In addition, frequent deletion of photographs from the card combined with filling the card to its capacity can lead to fragmentation. When this happens portions of the same photograph are scattered across different locations of the card. This can increase the amount of work needed to save and retrieve photos from the card, shortening its lifespan in the process. One other way that pictures can be lost from a memory card is by accidental reformatting of the card in either a camera or computer.

If this happens to you with a memory card that has important photographs still stored on it, all is not lost. Pictures can usually be recovered from corrupted or even reformatted cards if the damage is caught soon enough. There is a lot of advice on the web for how to recover data from corrupted cards yourself. Some of these techniques may work in some situations, but they may also make the situation worse and remove all chance of recovery. If your photographs are important to you, the best thing to do as soon as you notice a problem accessing the card is to stop using it. Then contact a professional digital photo recovery service. Hampton Photo Arts, located in The Hamptons, is able to recover files from all of the different types of cards in use today at reasonable rates and with a high rate of recovery. They will take your memory cards by mail or you can bring them into their store in Bridgehampton, New York.

The best thing you can do to protect your digital photographs is to use high quality memory cards, handle them with care, and upload your photographs to your computer frequently. But if you get caught with a corrupted SD Card, CompactFlash Card, Picture Card, Memory Stick, or even one of the other less common formats then reach out to Hampton Photo Arts. They'll have your back.