The New York Times: Q&A: Getting Photos Off Broken Cards

Published: November 11, 2009

Q. Is there any way to get the pictures off a broken Secure Digital card?

A. The ability to rescue photo files from a physically broken camera memory card depends on how seriously it is damaged. If you press the parts of the card back together, but your card reader or camera won’t recognize it or allow the files to be copied to a computer, a data recovery company may be your best bet.

Data rescue services can be expensive, but you can usually get a lower price if you do not need the files immediately and can wait a week or so. DriveSavers Data Recovery (, for example, may charge $250 for the successful recovery of images from a damaged memory card if given five to seven days; contact the company for a free estimate before sending in the card.

LC Technology ( is a data recovery company that specializes in SanDisk memory cards; prices for a successful file rescue start at $100 for memory cards up to two gigabytes.
The company also offers free trial versions of recovery software like SanDisk RescuePro. File rescue programs can often help recover data if a camera or reader still recognizes the memory card when it is inserted — but not files stored on a card resulting from formatting errors or other problems.

The $40 SanDisk RescuePro software works on Windows and Macintosh systems; a video is at Lexar, another maker of memory cards, has its own $34 Image Rescue software for Windows and Mac OS X. CardRecovery for Windows ($40 at and CardRescue for Mac OS X ($40 at are two of the many other options available.

Read the original article at The New York Times