How to recover photos & data when your memory card (compact flash/sd/xd) fails

For PC users, get PhotoRescue

*This came free with my SanDisk memory card purchase, and it worked to recover files when I had a PC.

For Mac OS X users, get Data Rescue II

*Just tried this out now and it works GREAT. Works even if you have a complete disk error and the disk won’t mount. It’s still able to read the files and recover.
The error looks like this:

Memory Card Disk Insertion Error Message Mac OS X

For some damaged memory card, when connected to your Mac, Mac may show error message – “Disk Insertion: the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer”. You may click [Ignore] instead of using DIsk Utility to erase it. It cannot appear as a drive on Desktop, but data recovery programs can still access and restore the data from the memory card.

About Steven Chu

Hi, I'm Steven! I'm an entrepreneur, photographer and art director in New York. Follow this blog for self expression, fun, and most importantly: looking comfortable, at ease, and amazing in your photos no matter who takes them! I dedicate this to my amazing friends who have let me inadvertently turn all of our hangouts and travel photos into a never ending photoshoot of fun. The proof is in the pudding-- our photos rock. My other projects: I'm the founder of, a face-to-face tech concierge service for NYC. Book a techie to walk you through something you want to learn! My work focuses on socially engaged art projects which use technology to create access to resources for communities. Visit Steven Chu Studio ( for branding & design work or Steven Chu ( for photography projects.

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