The day will very likely come if you are a digital photographer. The error message. The pit in your stomach. Your memory card is corrupt. Profuse sweating and/or illness might ensue depending on what it is on that particular card. The card pictured below was the card that single-handedly made me lose nearly two weeks of sleep. The images on there were of a clients wedding day.
Tips for Memory Card care and general use…
- Store them carefully – I love my ThinkTank card memory card wallets. Just be sure you pick the one for your memory card type – SD or CF.
- Avoid filling your cards completely
- Format your cards – but be sure you have multiple copies of the images on various locations prior to doing so
- Format the memory card in the camera you want to use it on
- Remove cards safely when connected to your computer
- Insert the card safely into your camera
- Don’t turn off your camera too fast after taking an image
- Two is better than one if you are a professional – Consider investing in a camera with two memory card slots!
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – Shoot on multiple cards so if one is corrupt you aren’t at a complete loss
I think my card is corrupt! What do I do?
- Don’t panic!
- Stop taking photos. Don’t delete anything. Don’t format anything. Just stop.
- If you are trying to import on your computer and nothing is happening check the connection between the card reader and your computer
- Try a different card reader
- Try importing direct from your camera with the camera cables (that are probably still in the box)
- Download a recovery software – there are many free options available online (recuva for windows or photorec for mac or card recovery for windows and card rescue for mac)
- Check your local camera store – they often have more advanced recovery options available you can try
- Remain calm!
- When all above options fail – reach out to the team at LC Technology. I shipped these guys my memory card when I had exhausted all options. They were my very last hope! I had a sick feeling in my stomach as I carefully packaged the card and sent it off in the mail. They disassembled and access portions of the card I didn’t know existed. They called to tell me they had recovered the images and I actually cried tears of joy on the phone. This is how the card was returned to me next to a disc with all the recovered images. I can not possibly recommend them enough. When you think all hope is lost – Please reach out to them!
**It is important to note that if you have any suspicion that your card is corrupt and even if you were able to recover images off the card in question. Get rid of it! Save yourself the headache of going through this again and get rid of the card for good. I usually sharpie a big X on mine before tossing them out for extra measure.
Please do not overlook this very important part of photography. Amazing images mean nothing if you can’t access them when you are finished taking them. I hope you don’t encounter this situation but if you do I hope this information helps you!!