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So yesterday I got given a corrupt SD card to recover. It was from Kim’s new camera which arrived a few days ago, she bought a 1GB card from the London Camera Exchange before we went to take some photos the same day. While we were out the SD card died and the camera wouldn’t read it.

So I took it home to my underground laboratory and started the pain staking procedure of recovering the data from the card.

After analysing the card it turns out that the card didn’t have a file system structure, something must have corrupted it, I tried Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional but it only found 5 of the photos and could only find 7MB of unpartitioned space on the card. So I pulled out PhotoRec and scanned it. If you need to get photos off of a camera memory card PhotoRec is the app to do it, it works like a treat and has earned a place in my arsenal of applications.

It took about 30 minutes to scan the card fully, all 115 photos that Kim took were recovered, but here’s where the weirdness starts, along with the 115 photos I expected to be recovered there were also 50 or so photos of people I’ve never seen before at Goodrington and other locations…

The sealed SD card bought from the London Camera Exchange contained OTHER PEOPLES photos and videos!

Obviously they had been wiped from it previously, but even though it had been formatted, a low level scan of the data revealed photos in the sectors that hadn’t been overwritten. Below is one of the photos I found on there…It looks like someone’s holiday snaps.


One of the photos on the SD card

Looking at the EXIF data they were taken between April and May 2007 on a Nikon Coolpix S6 Camera, I have no idea why they were on the card and I have no idea why the London Camera Exchange sold a card that was sealed and apparently ‘new’ but obviously wasn’t.

It just goes to show what these companies get up to, recycling what is probably a useless card that had been returned into something they can sell again.


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  1. Out of all the photos you had to upload that one…. I’m scared… I truely am.

    Thanks for the nightmares.

  2. Tell that to the person who took it, I don’t know WHAT they were thinking

  3. Pingback: Ok, A Couple Of Weeks Has Turned Into A Couple Of Days! « Kimberley Wilson