Flash drives and memory cards have dramatically come down in price over the years. They are now made much more cheaply than in the past and as a result they are easier to break. The simplest way to ruin a flash drive is using it cross-platform (i.e. saving on Mac to use on a PC or vice-versa which can lead to the permanent corruption of data on the drive). If you’ve somehow managed to damage your flash drive or memory card you’ll be relieved to learn there are ways to recover your data.
Keep it Simple with Card Recovery
Card Recovery is compatible with JPEG and RAW image files, don’t expect it to search for documents or archive formats. It doesn’t even like some PNG file types. However it does find CR2 files really well. The prompts on the screen are simple to use. All you have to do is follow the steps as they come up.
Recover Your Files with PhotoRec
This free program is designed to recover up to 390 types of files from just about any device you can think of. The interface for PhotoRec is nothing fancy but what it lacks in design it more than makes up for in power. This program can run a full scan on an 8GB device in 10 minutes. Choose to search through your device’s free space or full drive.
What sets this program apart from others like it is that it not only can recover files from drives that have been damaged but it’s also a text only interface which might scare GUI-friendly users away.
Recover My Files
Created for Windows users, this data recovery tool is not a cheap investment but it’s well worth the price if you’re serious about file recovery. You can use this tool to locate individual files or run a full scan of the entire drive. Once you’ve found your files you can choose to save them to another device.
This free tool allows you to scan for a specific file, drive, or drive type. You can recover files from damaged drives as long as they haven’t been deleted. Files that have been recovered can be displayed as thumbnails.
This free to try data recovery tool runs similarly to Recover My Files. The program is offered in different editions that rise in price the higher the edition. The Basic Edition will do just fine for a light scan but if you need something that will really run deeply go with Pro Edition which can access files in lost partitions. This recovery tool is offered for Mac users as well. If you would like you can preview your files before recovering them but if you write-protect any of your media, Remo Recover will crash a lot.
This free data recovery tool was designed with Windows users in mind. Aside from a pretty interface, this is a light scanning tool best used with recently deleted files. The file types it handles are extremely limited though.