Using PhotoRec

First off I would like to thank CG Security for the amazing product, you have shown us that the best things available are provided with trust that donations will be made when possible, and please donate to this cause, as you will see a huge amount of work went into making this application function and on all platforms.

I will describe my technique for using photorec, which I have found to work quite well for all Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Pentax DSLRs, as well as iPods and computer hard drives. As always you proceed at your own risk. At the bottom of this post there will also be a link to the official step by step on the cgsecurity website. I recomend that you consult both if unsure.

The following settings and steps are based on recovering media from digital camera media. A macintosh was used however, the process is the same on all platforms.

  1. download photorec/testdisk from cg security at
  2. unpack the download
  3. navigate to and execute the file named photorec
  4. Select the disk that is same size as the one that you are attempting to recover. Remove all unnecessary external disks and drives to facilitate the process.
  5. In the case of camera cards, ipods, and most computers you will select Intel from the list
  6. The next step is to select the valid partition table. In layman’s terms select FAT from the list unless it is unavailable, in which case select no partition.
  7. Choose other from the next stage
  8. choose whole from the next stage
  9. create a folder on your desktop named recover
  10. select desktop
  11. select recover
  12. strike the y key to begin recovery
  13. wait, be patient this is complicated stuff and can take some time.
  14. when the application is finished take a look in the recovered folder and if it was successful immediately copy/burn the data to another source before continuing.

For those who require visual aids I have made a massive step by step screenshot that can be found here:

There you go, you are all ready to hopefully never need to know how to use this, and if you are reading this line while recovering, best of luck!

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