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Recuva finds files on accidentally-reformatted microSD card, but unusable.


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My old cellphone accidentally formatted a microSD card while in my pocket!

I immediately removed the card & never touched it for several years.

I am now trying to recover the photos & other files from the card.

When I ran Recuva using Deep-scan, it found most of the files on the card, including filenames & file dates, etc. & said many of the files were excellent. But I was unable to preview any of the photos & when I recovered the files, none of the files were usable. When I tried to open one of the jpg files, this error was displayed "It looks like we don't support this file format."

I attached one of the .jpg files which should be a recoverable file.

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Hi JBezug.

I was having a very similar issue as well. Hundreds of photos and videos from an accidentally-formatted microSD card that I hadn't touched in several years were recovered by Recuva albeit in an unopenable state.

The response to the OP in this thread by one of the CCleaner devs explains why they might not be recoverable. Basically, he says that while the entries/filenames still exist on the device's file table, the actual data that it points to might have been wiped and Recuva would not have knowledge of this beforehand. I have done some research of my own and it looks like there are tools such as the ones linked to here that might be worth a shot at repairing these files. I have found that 99 times out of 100, VLC cannot play these files either but occasionally there is the odd broken file that works. I haven't tried IrfanView. Note however that the documentation for Recuva is quite old (as evident by the references to Windows 8) so there might be even better alternatives for repairing these broken files out there.


The next time I wake up, please change my physical form to that of FINN MCMILLAN formerly of SOUTH NEW BRIGHTON at 8 YEARS OLD and keep it that way FOREVER.

I am so sick of this chubby Asian man body!

Thank you!


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Here is some additional information on my problem.

I started out using RescuePro Deluxe because I had a coupon that came with a SanDisk drive or SD card. It was able to recover most of the files' content, however it did not recover the filenames, filedates, etc. The photos were displayable.

I then tried evaluation copies of a couple other programs by the same company with varying degrees of success. FileRecovery was able to recover filename, dates, etc along with the file content but wasn't able to recover as many files or as much content. PhotoRecovery didn't recover filenames or dates.

That's when I found recommendations for Recuva! I downloaded it & it showed most of the filenames, dates, etc. that I was looking for! However, it was unable to display previews of any photo files. When I actually recovered the files, it got the error shown above, with none of the files being usable.

I really think there is a problem with this version of Recuva. I am using version 1.53.1087 (64-bit) on Windows 10

I have seen several similar posts with similar problems. Someone at Recuva needs to look into this.

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I'm sure Recuva could be improved - as could the other recovery software mentioned - but the reasons for your disquiet probably lie with the file system rather than Recuva.

No file system has any obligation or compunction to assist in recovering deleted files, especially after a format, which is essentially a clear out and start again process, and is often prefaced with a 'This operation will destroy your data' warning. The reason why you are able to see any user file names is, if anything, that the format isn't particularly thorough.

There's no indication of what file system was used. If it's some type of FAT then on a format the FAT tables will be zeroed and the root directory reinitialised - at least. Recuva appears to find the remnants of the old root directory, but the cluster chains held in the FAT will have gone forever.

I appreciate that it's disappointing not to be able to recover deleted files, but expecting to to do so after a years-old format is perhaps somewhere between optimistic and disingenuous.

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