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07-12-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
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A fatal accident leads a desperate camera situation.

As a new member, I'm sorry to begin my first post in such dire straights... but it is what it is.

My dear wife of 36 years died in a fatal accident on the afternoon of July 1st. There exists about a dozen photographs of her captured with a new K-30 (a camera I'm not very familiar with). These photos are the last we have of her from the past few years. These photos are extremely precious.

Of course, the photos are stored on a 64GB Ultra SanDisk SD memory card. I connected the camera (with SD chip inside), via the Pentax-supplied USB wire, to a Windows XP computer. No file shows up on the desk-top but when I try to open the "removable memory storage" file, listed under "My Computer", Windows sends an error message claiming the SD chip had never been formatted. Windows offers to re-format the chip but I'm affraid that would also destroy the photos.

Next, I connected the camera to a Linux computer and the K-30 photo file showed up on the Linux desktop, just as it should. But Linux recognizes the formatting as FAT-32, a Windows-only format.

I then removed the SD card from the camera and tried reading the SD card with a USB card reader... same result. Windows says it's not formatted. Linux says it's FAT-32, a Windows format that Linux can't read.

Please keep in mind that I am a complete newbee to this camera. I'm hoping there is something very simple that I'm doing wrong. My family and I would be overly greatful for any help offered. We need these photos in preparation for her memorial service on July 19th.

07-12-2014, 06:56 PM   #2
Ole
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I'm sorry to read about your loss and understand why these files are important to you.

Are you sure that Linux cannot copy the files off of the card? If the files were shot in Pentax RAW format (extention PEF) Linux maight not be able to show the files, but at least you'd now have a backup.

I have had similar messages from Windows. Using a different (newer) USB card reader solved that problem.

On the odd chance that you live in the greater Phoenix area I'd be glad to help you read the card.
07-12-2014, 07:07 PM   #3
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I'm so sorry for your loss, MrSmokestoomuch.

I've used software called 'Zero Assumption Recovery' to recover photo and video from damaged SD cards, perhaps you might want to give it a try with this.
heres the website: Data Recovery Software, Solutions, Tutorials, Forum - ZAR Data Recovery
It might take more than few hours since it's 64 GB, but it will be worth a long wait.

Hope you can restore good memories...

Last edited by dyoon153; 07-12-2014 at 07:20 PM.
07-12-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
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Very sorry to hear that.

I assume the photos show up when the card is in the camera?
It's possible that the computer cannot recognise the large sd card as it's too new a card type for the system or the card reader. I had this with my old computer.
Try connecting the camera directly to the computer with a usb cable (leave the card in the camera) then copy the files off. Hopefully.

Anyway, if that doesn't work, go to a camera shop for help in person.

07-12-2014, 07:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrSmokestoomuch Quote
As a new member, I'm sorry to begin my first post in such dire straights... but it is what it is.

My dear wife of 36 years died in a fatal accident on the afternoon of July 1st. There exists about a dozen photographs of her captured with a new K-30 (a camera I'm not very familiar with). These photos are the last we have of her from the past few years. These photos are extremely precious.

Of course, the photos are stored on a 64GB Ultra SanDisk SD memory card. I connected the camera (with SD chip inside), via the Pentax-supplied USB wire, to a Windows XP computer. No file shows up on the desk-top but when I try to open the "removable memory storage" file, listed under "My Computer", Windows sends an error message claiming the SD chip had never been formatted. Windows offers to re-format the chip but I'm affraid that would also destroy the photos.

Next, I connected the camera to a Linux computer and the K-30 photo file showed up on the Linux desktop, just as it should. But Linux recognizes the formatting as FAT-32, a Windows-only format.

I then removed the SD card from the camera and tried reading the SD card with a USB card reader... same result. Windows says it's not formatted. Linux says it's FAT-32, a Windows format that Linux can't read.

Please keep in mind that I am a complete newbee to this camera. I'm hoping there is something very simple that I'm doing wrong. My family and I would be overly greatful for any help offered. We need these photos in preparation for her memorial service on July 19th.
I can hardly imagine your grief at this time. This is the sort of loss for which there is no preparation. I know you will find support here on the Forum.

To the problem at hand. If you haven't already done so, SLIDE THE WRITE PROTECT TAB ON THE CARD TO "LOCK"!!! and DON'T USE THE CARD FOR FURTHER RECORDING!! This will give you some protection against accidental formatting, etc. Try reading the card with a USB card reader loading the files into Lightroom or Elements or Picasa, in other words a photo editor of some sort. If the pictures were recorded to the card in RAW Windows will not be able to read it.

My understanding is that transferring files using the camera link is risky in that a camera power failure - a dying battery - can wreck the files. Even if files are somehow "deleted" there are programs which can often recover them, if nothing has recorded. Deletion typically erases files' "addresses" from the FAT, file allocation table. Software can often recreate this table.

Please don't despair. There are others on PentaxForums far more knowledgeable than I. Odds are very good that these precious pictures can be recovered.
07-12-2014, 07:39 PM   #6
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Ditto on locking the card. Have you tried ignoring the windows error message and copying the files on the windows computer? If the card was formatted in camera, Windows will sometimes pop up the error message. Just click no or cancel, and try to use anyway, AFTER locking. My sympathies for your loss.
07-12-2014, 07:51 PM   #7
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dyoon 153 (post no. 3 above) mentions 'Zero Assumption Recovery' and that would be an excellent choice to start with.

If that doesn't work,
I wonder if this could be recovered with Recuva which you can download here: https://www.piriform.com/recuva
I have had good success with recovering what I thought were totally lost image files.
It does work on any "modern" Windows versions:

Here's a complete list of operating systems Recuva currently supports:
Windows 8 (all versions)
Windows 7 (Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, 64-bit)*
Windows 2008 Server (all versions)
Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, 64-bit)
Windows XP (Home, Professional, Tablet Edition, Media Centre Edition, 64-bit)
Windows 2003 Server

The newer version would probably be able to handle FAT32 volumes: Piriform News - Recuva v1.51

Best of luck !

JP
07-12-2014, 08:11 PM   #8
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I don't have anything to add on the technical front, but I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for your loss. Take care.

07-12-2014, 08:45 PM   #9
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Thank you Ole, Dyoon153, Calsan, Grhazelton, MDave13, Jpzk and Outis.

I believe you're right about old computer reading a larger, newer, memory chip. It's been quite a while ago but I've had something similar happen to me before. So, I need a newer computer or an older/smaller camera chip.
07-12-2014, 09:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrSmokestoomuch Quote
Linux says it's FAT-32, a Windows format that Linux can't read.
Linux can read FAT-32.
07-12-2014, 09:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrSmokestoomuch Quote
These photos are the last we have of her from the past few years. These photos are extremely precious.
....Windows offers to re-format the chip but I'm affraid that would also destroy the photos..
"Past few years" ? The K-30 was announced end of May 2012 and became available in July 2012, so it's barely two years ago. Was the card used in a previous camera also??
And you saying that pictures from a few years ago have never been saved off to a PC or uploaded to a photo sharing host or even FaceBook?
You are correct that formatting the card will delete the images

QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
I assume the photos show up when the card is in the camera?
Correct question..!
Would the OP please answer this very important point.

QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Try connecting the camera directly to the computer with a usb cable (leave the card in the camera) then copy the files off. Hopefully.
OP said he did this in post#1

Sorry for your loss.
07-13-2014, 01:54 AM   #12
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I have nothing to add on the technical side.

I am sorry for your loss and hope that you can recover the photos.

Best regards.
07-13-2014, 02:40 AM   #13
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Testdisk/Photorec is the only chance you have. Any other free software is pretty bad. Just whatever you do don't restore the files back to the card or even continue using the card.
07-13-2014, 03:22 AM   #14
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So sorry to hear about your loss. The advice you have here is good. LOCK that card. If you have previewed the images on the camera LCD then there are images on the card and they can be recovered.


Coincidentally, I had a similar copying problem just a few minutes ago. I took the card from a Lumix (someone else's camera) which had a day's shots on it and tried to copy them to my computer. It told me the card was not formatted and it could not read a SDHC card. I took the installation CD for the Lumix, installed the software on my computer and copied them all across without a problem. It really had nothing to do with formatting. (But I knew that if I formatted the card I would lose the lot.)


I am aware that many different types of file format can be copied from different cameras using non-proprietary software. But some are a little more finicky. Do you have the Pentax software that came with the K30 installed on your computer? If not, it might be the place to start. If that is not the issue, don't despair. If there are images on the card they CAN be recovered.


Let us know how you go.
Peter
07-13-2014, 04:18 AM   #15
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I am very sorry to hear of your loss and wish you the best through these tough times.

I do concur with putting the tab into lock position. Most replys so far are good information but not picking up on some vital initial information. To clarify a few things from your original post... If you have an Ultra 64GB card then the card has to be an SDXC type and the file system for that is exFat not fat32 for which most Xp systems do not have the capability to read without an update that adds that capability nor obviously does the linux system as it is misreading the file format as Fat32. There is a code that can be implemented for Linux to utilize the exFat file system but that may be more than you want to take on at present.

So my suggestion is, before you try recovery software or anything else try updating your xp computer to read the proper exfat file system for the card. Make sure you have Xp service pack 2 or 3 prior to installing an exfat download. Here is a download link for that update. Download Update for Windows XP (KB955704) from Official Microsoft Download Center. If that doesn't work then move on to other solutions.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 07-13-2014 at 05:08 AM.
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