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Comprehensive Guide to SD Card File Recovery

Comprehensive Guide to SD Card File Recovery

Encountering issues with your SD card is not uncommon, and it can be a dreaded experience when you realize you’ve lost important files. Whether it’s invaluable photos, crucial documents, or treasured videos, the loss can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are methods and tools that can help you recover your lost files from an SD card. Among the top solutions, Disk Drill takes the first place as a reliable option for SD card file recovery. In this article, I’ll share my personal experience and the steps I took to recover my lost files using various methods. We’ll delve into techniques involving Disk Drill and explore other effective methods as well. To assist you with making the most suitable choice, consider this essential SD card recovery software for lost data (Article on LinkedIn). Let’s get started on the journey to recover your precious files!


Common Scenarios:

Accidental Deletion of Files 🗑

  • Accidentally deleting important files from your SD card can happen to anyone. It might be a series of photos, a document, or even a video you cherished, and suddenly, with one wrong click, they’re gone.

During my last vacation, I inadvertently deleted a series of photos from my SD card. The feeling was heartbreaking, knowing those moments were captured only once. But with thorough research, I found some reliable tools and methods to recover my lost data.

Corrupted SD Card 🚨

  • A corrupted SD card can prevent you from accessing any files stored within. You might notice the card is not being recognized by your device, or you receive error messages when trying to view or transfer files.

While preparing a presentation for work, my SD card got corrupted out of the blue. It was a dreadful situation as vital data was at stake. Thankfully, after exploring multiple solutions, I managed to retrieve my files successfully.

Formatted SD Card 😱

  • Formatting an SD card, intentionally or unintentionally, erases all the files on it. It’s a common situation where you might have formatted the card without backing up your essential data.

My cousin formatted his SD card by mistake, losing all his work-related documents. He was in panic mode until we discovered tools that could recover data even from a formatted SD card.


Step-by-Step Guide. Sd Card File Recovery:

Method 1: Using Disk Drill 🛠

  • Download and Install Disk Drill from its official website.
  • Connect the SD card to your computer.
  • Open Disk Drill and select your SD card from the list of available drives.
  • Click ‘Recover’ to start the scanning process. Disk Drill will search for lost files on the SD card.
  • Review the found files and select the ones you wish to restore. Click ‘Recover’ again to save them to your computer.
  • Access your recovered files in the designated folder.

Note: Disk Drill is user-friendly and supports recovery from various file systems and formats.

Conclusion: Disk Drill proved to be a lifesaver, effortlessly recovering my accidentally deleted photos with just a few clicks.

Method 2: Using Recuva 🔄

  • Download and Install Recuva from its official website.
  • Insert the SD card into your computer’s card reader.
  • Launch Recuva and select the SD card you want to scan.
  • Choose the file type you wish to recover (for example, photos, documents).
  • Start the scan and wait for Recuva to display the list of recoverable files.
  • Select the files and click ‘Recover’ to save them to your computer.

Note: Recuva offers both quick and deep scan options to increase the chances of successful recovery.

Conclusion: Although Recuva took a bit longer to scan, it effectively recovered a significant number of files from the corrupted SD card.

Method 3: Using PhotoRec 🖼

  • Download and Install PhotoRec from its official website.
  • Connect the SD card to your computer.
  • Run PhotoRec and select the SD card from the list of detected devices.
  • Choose the partition you want to recover data from and select the file formats you wish to recover.
  • Start the recovery process and wait for the software to finish scanning.
  • Access the recovered files from the output directory specified during setup.

Note: PhotoRec is a powerful tool, but it has a text-based interface which may be challenging for beginners.

Conclusion: Despite its less intuitive interface, PhotoRec successfully retrieved important documents from my formatted SD card.

Method 4: Using Windows File Recovery 🖥

  • Open the Windows Store and download Windows File Recovery.
  • Launch the command prompt with administrator privileges.
  • Type the syntax for recovering files from the SD card. For example, ‘winfr D: E: /extensive’, where D is your SD card and E is the destination folder.
  • Press Enter to start the recovery process. The tool will search for deleted files on the SD card.
  • Navigate to the destination folder to review and access the recovered files.

Note: Windows File Recovery requires familiarity with command-line operations for effective use.

Conclusion: It’s a robust tool for users comfortable with command lines, efficiently recovering my lost documents.

Method 5: Using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard 🧙

  • Download and Install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from its official website.
  • Insert your SD card into the computer.
  • Open the software and select the SD card from the list of drives.
  • Click ‘Scan’ to start searching for lost files.
  • Preview and select the files you want to retrieve, then click ‘Recover’ to save them.

Note: EaseUS provides a reliable and straightforward recovery process with a handy preview feature.

Conclusion: The preview feature was very useful, allowing me to confirm the files before recovery, ensuring I retrieved exactly what I needed.

Method 6: Using Stellar Data Recovery 🌟

  • Download and Install Stellar Data Recovery from its official website.
  • Connect your SD card to the computer.
  • Launch Stellar Data Recovery, select the file types you want to recover, and choose the SD card.
  • Click ‘Scan’ to initiate the scanning process.
  • After scanning, preview the found files and select the ones you want to restore, then click ‘Recover’.

Note: Stellar Data Recovery offers a comprehensive scanning process and supports a wide range of file formats.

Conclusion: Stellar Data Recovery’s thorough scanning managed to recover files that other tools missed, making it a valuable addition to my recovery toolkit.


Watch on Youtube: Comprehensive Guide to SD Card File Recovery


Precautions and Tips:

Preventive Measures and Best Practices 🛡

  • Regularly back up your important files to avoid losing them if your SD card gets corrupted or damaged.

One effective way to secure your data is by regularly backing it up to an external hard drive or cloud storage. This ensures that even if your SD card fails, your crucial files are still safe and accessible.

Regular SD Card Maintenance 🛠

  • Ensure that your SD card is properly ejected from devices to prevent file corruption.

Improper ejection is a common cause of data corruption in SD cards. Always eject your card safely using your device’s native ejection functionality.


Important Insights

Recovering lost files from an SD card requires not just the right tools but also a good understanding of how to use them effectively. Disk Drill, detailed in this guide, is renowned for its efficiency and user-friendly interface. However, other programs like Recuva and PhotoRec offer valuable options depending on the complexity of your situation.

For instance, if you’re comfortable using command-line tools and seek a free solution, Windows File Recovery might be a great option. On the other hand, if you require a program with a robust GUI and extensive file format support, Stellar Data Recovery or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard would be suitable alternatives. Many of these tools offer step-by-step tutorials or community forums for additional support.

It’s crucial to act quickly when you realize your files are lost. Continued use of the SD card increases the risk of data being overwritten, making recovery much more difficult. Furthermore, ensuring your devices are free of viruses and malware can prevent accidental deletions or corruptions. Keeping your SD card firmware updated can also contribute to its overall health and functionality.

For more detailed insights on data recovery, you can explore resources like HandyRecovery and CleverFiles Blog. These sites provide extensive information and user experiences that might help you navigate through more complex recovery scenarios.


Dealing with the loss of precious data from an SD card can be highly stressful, but remember, it’s not the end. With the availability of diverse tools like Disk Drill, Recuva, and more, there’s a good chance you can recover your files. Referencing this guide, you can select the appropriate method that aligns with your technical comfort and specific requirements. Always remember to back up your data regularly and handle your SD cards with care to prevent future losses.

Mac users, explore the LinkedIn tutorial on how to recover deleted files from an SD card using Disk Drill. This app is top-rated for its features, scanning options, reliability, price, and user reviews. The tutorial is simple to follow, although the scanning process takes some time.


To recover deleted files from an SD card, use specialized software like Recuva or Disk Drill. Insert the SD card into your computer, run the software, and follow the recovery steps.

Popular software for SD card recovery includes Recuva, Disk Drill, and EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. These tools scan your SD card to retrieve lost or deleted files.

Yes, corrupted files can often be recovered using software like Disk Drill or Stellar Data Recovery. These programs attempt to retrieve any data from damaged or corrupt SD cards.

Yes, it's possible to recover files from a formatted SD card. Software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can scan the formatted card and recover previously lost files.

If your SD card isn't recognized, try using a different card reader or computer. If it still doesn't work, data recovery services like DriveSavers can help.

Avoid using the SD card to store new files after data loss. Overwriting can make file recovery difficult. Safely remove the card and use dedicated recovery software immediately.

Physically damaged SD cards may require professional services like those offered by CBL Data Recovery. They use specialized tools to recover data from damaged hardware.

Recovery software scans the SD card for lost or deleted files. It reconstructs the file system to locate and retrieve these files, which can then be saved to a different storage device.

Yes, viruses can complicate SD card file recovery. Use reliable antivirus software to clean the card before attempting recovery to avoid further data corruption.

If software fails to recover your data, professional services offer advanced techniques for successful recovery. They are more effective, especially for physically damaged or severely corrupted cards.