CF Card Recovery on Mac

CompactFlash cards were primarily developed by SanDisk. It became the most popular recording media especially for digital cameras and camcorders. CF cards offers storage capacity up to 137 GB at lowest prices and facilitates read / write operations at 1 Gbits/sec. Hence makes it suitable for DSLRs, digital camcorders, Point & Shoot cameras etc, for storing digital photos, graphic images, videos, audios and other multimedia files. Other popular brands like Kingston, Transcend, Lexar, MicroDisk, Alcotek, A-DATA etc, also manufacture CF cards.

Even though, CF cards makes it simpler for you to store and carry media files, but everything can’t be just right. Sometime or the other, CF card users definitely might have experienced problems like card corruption, accidental format or unknown error asking for format, and come across a state where you lost all your priceless pictures, video clips etc.

Let’s see, what are the reasons behind data loss from CF cards?

  • Disk Format - It’s really frustrating to see “Format Error” (“Disk needs to be formatted”) on the screen, as soon as you connect your CF card to your Mac machine. This error message compels you to format the CF card drive, which in turn will erase all your music, photos and video files stored in it
  • Files Inaccessible – This situation occurs as a complete shock for CF card users, because sometimes after clicking plenty of pictures or shooting many videos, when user connect his CF card to the Mac machine, it shows that the CF card is empty. This type unknown error causes inaccessibility of media files that are stored in the CF card
  • CF Card Corruption - In case, if the Compact Flash memory card gets corrupt, then it may also corrupt the media files present in it, causing inaccessibility to them. CF card corruption can occur due to many factors, like switching off the camera / camcorder when CF card is processing, forcefully using it when running out battery power, sudden shutdown in between file transfer, virus attack, dropping the CF card etc.
  • Unintentional Causes – This is the most common scenario which any memory card user face. That is formatting the CF card in the device or when connected to the Macintosh. Another is deleting your photos, music, video etc accidentally by pressing the “Erase All” button / option in the camera / camcorder or deleting a good photo while removing a bad one
  • Wrong Usage – Sometimes using the same CF card on different cameras or on different computers, leads to either formatting of the CF card or file system corruption of the CF card. Hence, costing you to lose your precious multimedia files

How to recover files after such situations?

You may think that after such situations like deletion, format, loss, corruption etc, you have lost your files forever. But that’s not true; you may still recover them back. Because the photos, videos, songs etc that are deleted, lost or formatted are not permanently erased, rather they still exists in the memory space of the CF card. When you delete or lose a photo from the CF card, only its entry is cleared from the allocation table and when you format a CF card, a new file system is created. However, in both the cases data is still present in the CF card until it is overwritten with a new file. But the recovery of these media files cannot be performed by you and to do that you need a third party recovery utility.

Why Yodot Mac Photo Recovery Tool?

Yodot Mac Photo Recovery is a pure Compact Flash recovery application, which aims to recover your lost or erased pictures, music and video files from your CF memory card. Not just the generic photo files like JPG, PNG, JPEG, BMP,TIFF etc, but also the RAW images of digital SLRs such as Canon - CR2, Nikon – NEF, Sony – ARW, Olympus – ORF etc. Also retrieves other video and audio file formats like AVI, MP4, MOV, MPEG, MP3, WAV, AIF etc that are stored in the CF card.

Instructions for performing recovery

  • Download and install the free trial edition of Yodot Mac Photo Recovery application in a Mac machine
  • Connect Compact Flash card to that Mac machine using card reader
  • Launch the application and follow the instructions
  • Two options “Deleted Photo Recovery” and “Lost Photo Recovery” appears on the first window.
  • Choose as per the data loss scenario, i.e. for accidental deletion- select deleted recovery option and for formatted CF card- select lost recovery option
  • Next window will show all the drives / volumes present on that Macintosh, select the drive representing the CF card
  • Choose the file type you need to recover and click “Next”
  • Let the software to scan the entire CF card
  • Recovered files will be displayed in a Mac finder styled interface. Select the files that are to be recovered, use two view types for this purpose
  • Preview them and save to another location, different from the CF card
  • If you are using a trial edition, then use “Save Recovery Session” option and save time by avoiding re-scan after software purchase

Things To Remember

  • Since CF cards don’t have write protect knob, so it is suggested to regularly transfer files to your Mac machine
  • Do not use the same CF card in different cameras or camcorders
  • If you have lost or deleted the data from the CF card, then do not use it further.

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