Recover lost photos from a camera card with PhotoRec

So, you saved your photos from your flash disk onto your computer, and thought “Great! They’re safe”, and then proceeded to delete the images from the Flash card.

Next up, something happens. You reinstall Linux, your harddisk gets eaten by a cabbage-shaped computer-eating alien….. it could happen. Either way, you’ve lost the photos and somebody in the family is probably going to want to kill you. Well, Photorec and Testdisk are going to save your life!

Let’s get PhotoRec

Install testdisk which includes a program called PhotoRec 6.11, Data Recovery Utility

Install and use PhotoRec

1. Open up your terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install testdisk

2. Plugin your card or multi-card reader and wait until it is mounted (It will show on your desktop)

3. Now run the command to start PhotoRec

sudo photorec

4. Photorec will start by showing you available partitions, including your Camera Card (1Gb, 2Gb etc). Use your arrow keys to select it and click enter.

The next parts of the sequence are easy (and common sense).

5. Choose the Intel option, Partitioned, Fat 16/32 files system and then Other (fat, ntfs etc) to recover from the Whole Card . Next choose where to save the recovered photos (save them to your computer, NOT the flash drive), just selecting your Home directory is the easiest.

Step by Step Screenshots

Testdisk and PhotoRec have an indepth suite of tools which can offer complete analysis and recovery of different storage media. The above guide is only a basic recovery technique to recover data from an unformatted flash drive. There are far more options and tools for those wishing to look into data recovery a little deeper.

More Info
Christophe GRENIER


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