Card Error / OM-D E-M5 / corrupted Lexar SD card/ Recoverfab

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by spacecreature, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. spacecreature

    spacecreature Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 7, 2012
    Hi guys,
    I was shooting with my OM-D E-M5 the other day at an important family gathering, using a Lexar Professional 16GB SD card class 10. Everything was fine until at some point I got an orange "Card Error" sign flash on my screen. That was right after I snapped a photo, which did not record when I checked. So tried taking another photo, and this time the error message flashed and stayed on the screen and would not go away , just black screen with the orange error sign. ...so switched off the camera and turned it back on and from then on it was the same problem.. The event was like half way through, and I just pretended the battery of my cam died, not wanting to upset anyone. I had brought with me an extra battery as back up, but didn't think of getting an extra sd card. But anyway the important stuff had already passed so another SD card wouldn't have solved all my problem but maybe just made it less tragic....

    The card is only being used on this camera. I remember that day I went into the camera's options and erased all files to make room and start fresh . I could have formatted it instead but the card hadn't been anywhere else..now I am not sure if that would have a difference. I only started formatting recently before that I would just erase in camera..

    Anyway, the sd card now seems totally corrupted coz I cant access my files on the pc. When I insert it, I get the option to format it (which I haven't done ofcourse).

    I tried running many data recovery softwares but the all gave zero files! Not sure if turning on and Off the OMD would format anything when it notices an error? Anyway tried a long list including Zero Assumption Recovery, Card Recovery, and RescuePro... Finally I tried PhotoRec which ran for a while before giving me a "Error reading sector" message and stopping...so it's one or more damaged sectors that might be the problem..PhotoRec has another program called TestDisk that might fix or maybe overrun bad sectors or something of the sort (too complicated for my technical understanding) but because it will re-save over the sd card itself I am scared of using it and losing what little hope I have left.

    Heard Lexar has some form or Data recovery service too, though I am not sure if it covers dead sectors etc..but figured if its their product they might know best what to do?? Some people online went through similar thing and they said they couldnt recover their files and that they could just replace the sd card ...(That's how I heard of the company mentioned below).. Anyway sent Lexar support team an email today, so still waiting to see what they reply..


    Now I am trying to see what other options I have. I googled a while and found a company in Germany called Recoverfab that might be able to help. They also work on broken sd cards, basically they dismantle everything and reconnect stuff to override bad sectors or something of the sort ....I can't really trust all the positive reviews they show on their site coz there is a clear conflict of interest there obviously, so was wondering if anyone has ever used their services or if anyone has other better suggestions for me..Didn't find many reviews online..One forum had a thread about it, but the messages left seem very similar to the ones posted on their website so it was just very weird to me.. The other thing is you have to send them ur sd card, they will dismantle it and look for files, if they dont find anything you dont have to pay them, and when they do they will send you a quotation. They have posted an average price list, but you are expected to wait for their email for the final price after they view your card..Which seems like a good idea at first, but then you are stuck with their estimation and you can't really go back. It's like a situation of extortion waiting to happen..I will try to email them later to ask more about that..


    This is the first time this has happened to me and now I am scared of shooting with my camera lol! I feel terrible, coz I can't share the images that everyone is expecting me to deliver..and the occasion was a rather emotional and personal one and I had so many great shots :( Still haven't told everyone about my situation, I am hoping I wont have to :) This was not a paid job, but I use the same setup for that as well and now I am terrified of it. I mean I usually have extra sd cards but what about images I have already shot , what would I tell my clients! That is crazy! I feel I am better of with a smart phone or a point and shoot, I have never had such a problem with those!

    Plz help!!!
     
  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
  3. spacecreature

    spacecreature Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 7, 2012

    I tried that already as stated in my post. It didn't work for me. It stopped after a while and gave an "Error reading sector" message.
     
  4. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Sorry, missed that in the details
     
  5. spacecreature

    spacecreature Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 7, 2012
    Lexar offered to replace my card, but that isn't what I care about at this point.. I also tried their Image rescue software, took all day and night for it to process and in the end no files were found, nothing!

    Anyone????? I think I might just give this German company a try.
     
  6. spacecreature

    spacecreature Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ok got another email from Lexar (and from their sister company "crucial") saying they would send it first to their lab in UK, then to their headquarters in California to attempt recovery and that it would take 12 weeks and they would put my data on a new sd card as a replacement and ship it back to me, ..........and its for free....BUT I had already sent it to that German company so....Oh well, Now I wait and hope for the best ....wish me luck!! Will keep you posted on what happens, in case someone else finds himself/herself in this situation ....
     
  7. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    841
    Oct 1, 2012
    Colorado
    If you are tech savvy install linux in VirtualBox, and mount the SD card to the linux OS. The install then package foremost and point it to the SD card, I have used this successfully many times.


    Cheers,
    -Joe
     
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  8. JackieKP

    JackieKP New to Mu-43

    1
    Jan 7, 2015
    I recently had a GREAT experience with Recoverfab and I highly recommend them. My memory card bent in half when I was ejecting it from my camera. I was so upset because all of my Christmas pictures were gone. The camera and my computer were no longer recognizing the memory card. I searched online and found a company in California that wanted a ridiculous amount of money. After searching for a while I found Recoverfab (located in Germany). I mailed them my memory card on a Tuesday (from NY) and by the following Monday they emailed me with the great news that ALL of my pictures were recovered. I was also able to see a snapshot of all of my pictures before sending payment. They were super fast and reasonable in price.

    I highly highly recommend using Recoverfab.
     
  9. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    What if your card reader doesn't recognize there is a card in, when you insert the Bad SD card, or you get a card error message?.

    Can you tell us this reasonable price in terms of dollars and cents??
     
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Try another reader, if it says its not formatted try to run the app anyway. Sounding dire though...
     
  11. spacecreature

    spacecreature Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ok guys a quick update, the company is legit! I got most of my pix back, and I can't describe how relieved I was when i saw the previews! I invited everyone to dinner to celebrate lol! Some of the pix remained corrupted , partially greyed out, some i just cropped and some were unsaveable with just the tip showing or raw files that would not open , but in general I got most of them like 98% saved hourayyyyy.. I was trigger happy that night also so I had shot more than I usually do, which helped a lot! Just finished editing all the pix and gave copies to everyone..and they seemed happy with them, I am happy with them at least:)

    I was charged on the size of my card not on the number of pix saved..I was using a 16GB card so the price was a bit steep, but ..anyway...When I bought my new replacement card i was about to buy two 8GB cards instead (just in case) but hesitated and went with another 16gb still.. I don't think I want to go lower and keep swapping cards especially when i start shooting videos etc..But I decided I will start using my cards for just one year and then simply throw them away even if they are still working, I don't feel like going through this again. This card was like 3 years old, and it served me well until now, so it might be due to its age , I suspect it gets more prone to corruption as it ages?? From all the multiple save-delete-format process..anyway..

    Basically you get to see a preview of the pix about 2 days after they receive your card, then u get the offer which is same as the prices listed on their website (I was worried they might over charge once they got hold of my card, but they didn't) Oh and the reason for all those suspiciously positive reviews and spam like threads regarding Recoverfab is basically due to the fact that you get a 10% discount if you talk about them right before you pay. So if you are put off by them, like I was originally, don't be ..after all that's how I learned of the company in the first place..so win-win for everyone..

    I hope I never have to use them ever again, but if ever I face a similar problem at least I won't panic as much knowing there is a very high chance most of the pix are still on there..wheteher it's their service I use or that of another specialized company, just know all is not lost! Just put the lock on the sd card to prevent any further damage and keep it in a safe place until you figure out what to do..try all the softwares you can get ur hands on (the ones I mentioned above are the most famous ones, so I would srart there first), then try to contact the manufacturer like I did to see if they have any services/warranties for your sd card...by the way they contacted me again saying they would attempt to recover my data but that it would take 12 weeks, I think I would have had a heart attack waiting that long not knowing of the outcome. Plus I figured they might just say they tried and it didn't work (since they mention it many times in their emails that is not guaranteed)..At least here this company only makes money if they save my files , so they have more to lose if they don't do everything possible..whereas for Lexar it was just out of courtesy..

    Hope you find my experience useful to you, and happy shooting!!

    PS: I'm friends again with my OMD, I don't think it was completely its fault ;) Now I need to seriously start looking for a backup cam , coz I feel my next misfortune might be the camera itself! Wasn't impressed with the EM5 MK2, so still waiting..................
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    921
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Glad to hear it worked out.
     
  13. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    Lexar used to be a brand not noted for ultimate quality. So to avoid problems in the future I recommend using SanDisk. That's all I've used since 2008.

    Format in camera, do not erase files. When you erase files all that is done is the first couple of characters of the file names are changed in the File Allocation Table (FAT), the files remain on the card but can be overwritten, As they are overwritten, they may only be partially overwritten. Over time this leaves lots of "chunks" and "debris" on the card which sooner or later will result in what you experienced.

    If your camera offers a low level or "deep" format, do this rather than the quick format. All the quick format does is "zero out" the FAT which again leaves files still on the card. The low level format goes through the media and "zeros out" everything. If you camera doesn't offer a low level format option do a low level format on the card in a PC. Do this at least every few card uses, then format in camera..

    If you see a "card error" pop up, stop shooting, wait a bit and turn the camera off then remove the card. Do not try to do ANYTHING with it, put in a replacement and continue shooting. Probably all your work except for the last file should be OK. It is as people try to access the images on the card in camera that everything gets scrambled.

    Copy the bad card contents (with the write protect tab in the protect position) to a computer then try image recovery software.
     
  14. spacecreature

    spacecreature Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 7, 2012

    Actually the new card I got is a Sandisk :) Let's hope it behaves differently...

    I am using an OMD EM5, there is the erase option and the format option, but not sure if the format is the "deep" or regular one? Anyway I read somewhere that formatting on a PC will bring in more problems, so are you sure about that? as a PC behaves differently than the camera or something, ..Anyway I used to sometimes delete pix while I'm on the PC so I guess I will also stop doing that and stick to formatting in camera on every new shoot ..

    I read online about a few programs that could supposedly fix corrupted images, do you think it's possible to save those images? (Raw files that won't open or images that are half greyed out I mean)..Anyway I have enough pix , but just wondering if you have any experience with that..

    Thanks again..
     
  15. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    921
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    The sandisk support pages have always had instructions on how to format their cards on PC's. If it were a bad thing, I think they would mention it.

    I've also put the same formatted SD card in different cameras (Sony, Olynpus, Canon, Pentax, Konica, Nikon) and all were able to write pictures to it. Most of them could read the JPG's from the other cameras too, although some of the bigger ones from my newest cameras would only show as small thunbnails on the older cameras. It would appear to me that format is a process that is similar between PC's and cameras. Canon does offer a low level format option that leaves a card unrecoverable by software.

    On JPG repair, have you seen this article? http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/recover-lost-photos-how-to-repair-corrupt-images-1117764
     
  16. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    Quick format. Zero's out the FAT but leaves files on card (to be overwritten).

    Quite sure. Been doing a low level format on a PC ever since I converted from Canon to m4/3 gear. Canon offered a low level format which I used, Panasonic GH 2/3/4 and Oly E-M5 only have Quick Format so since 2011 I've been doing a low level format in a PC. Then when you insert the media card in the camera the file folder structure the camera needs is installed. Just to be sure and safe I format in camera when a clean card is inserted.

    Macs need some special utility to do this.

    .Anyway I used to sometimes delete pix while I'm on the PC so I guess I will also stop doing that and stick to formatting in camera on every new shoot ..[/quote]

    This is a good practice, but without periodic low level format, even SanDisk will eventually develop problems from "clutter" on the media card.

    I once accidentally did an in camera format on a card I hadn't copied files to a hard drive from. Since it was a quick format, SanDisk's Recovery Pro got them all back for me.

    But in the case of corrupted files, attempting to continue using the card will often complete the corruption process. That's why I advise to immediately stop, turn off the camera, and remove the card at the first sign of a problem.
     
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