Hey everyone, Pat here. I’ve decided to start my own little section on the blog called “Behind the Business”. Right now my day job is remote office support for computers, networks and phones. I also help manage technology projects as well as day-to-day maintenance in my home office. Needless to say, I’ve been married to technology for about 25 years now. I’m always getting myself into projects at home that takes hours. Kate hates it, but that research has saved us a few times now. So, I say it’s worth it! 🙂
Today I want to talk about our memory card management and how we deal with keeping things straight, and also how to recover images should something go wrong. In the photo above you can see my Gepe Card Safe Extreme which has 4 of my 8 GB compact flash cards. As we fill cards up, we flip them upside down, put the next label-side-up card in the camera, then back to shooting. We format the cards the night before, but only if after I’ve verified the backups are successful.
It’s happened to me before, instead of copying the files from the memory card to my backup drives, I did a “move”. Everything seemed fine until I got about 300 images into editing and started to see that I had major data corruption in my images. The corrupted files were also in my backup stream, and I didn’t have access to my source photos anymore since the move deleted them off the card. Now what!? Panic set in.
I knew that the technology behind storage is when you delete a file, it doesn’t actually get deleted right away. The computer marks those data sectors as “available to write”, but the original data itself is still there somewhere, UNTIL it gets re-written with a new photo or file. So if you’ve just deleted something, and haven’t used the memory card since – chances are you’re still safe!
With that in mind and hours of trying a bunch of recovery programs, I finally found one that worked – Recover My Files for Windows (sorry Mac guys, don’t know of anything for Mac yet). I scanned the memory card for all files to recover. Since I hadn’t used the card since deleting those files, it was able to find all of the deleted CR2 Canon Raw files. I then verified the photos, got my backups cleaned up and life was good. Crisis – averted.
So in summary, what we do is shoot with a verified formatted card, flip it upside down. Then when we’re home, we COPY the data to the backup drives. Verify the photos, then format the card before the next shoot.
Anyways, I know it’s a little long, and I hope you found it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!