Recovering SD card data

So I learned a fun lesson about SD cards with my Canon HF10. Apparently if the battery gets too close to dying, it can corrupt the card and you’ll lose everything. Awesome! I’d be super mad if I’d been sitting in a hot-ass park for hours and lost all the footage I’d filmed. Oh, wait, that’s precisely what happened.

So we went online and looked for some solutions, grabbed the first recovery tool we found (Rescue Pro) and ran it. It managed to find four video files, two of them were the MTS files that would be expected on there and two were Flash video files. One of the MTS files was something we’d recorded tonight (one of 40 or so takes) and one was something we’d recorded last week, deleted, then had the card formatted before re-initializing it for use in the camera. So that’s weird.

Now we’re just telling the program to recover whatever files it can find. End result, it’s pulling up a ton of JPG files which are just random snapshots taken from all of the footage we shot. Like instead of using it as a video camera, we’d just been using it as a still camera.

Is there any favorite program anyone out there uses to recover SD cards? Anyone had a situation like this turn out for the best? Anyone have any idea why we’re pulling Flash video, deleted video and JPGs out of a card that should’ve had nothing but MTS videos on it?

Man. No wonder people still use tape.

The JPGs might have been internally-generated by the camera for preview/indexing purposes. The deleted videos are simply because rescue tools usually don’t differentiate between regular files and deleted files, since people are often trying to recover accidentally-deleted stuff. I’m not sure about the FLV files, other than that the recovery tool might be misidentifying fragments of the video files that just happen to have the right “magic header”.

Otherwise, I don’t know of any SD-specific utilities. It’s just another type of plain old “hard drive” as far as recovery utilities are concerned, and some were recommended back here and here.

PhotoRescue is the only rescue program that we got that saw all of the files. Sadly, it’s only pulling the first 13 seconds of each one. The support team for it is awesome though and they’re looking into why it’s truncating the videos. That it even sees them at all is fucking awesome in my book. I thought those suckers were gone gone.