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microSD can't be detected by laptop after being used on a handheld scanner

Posted on 2013-05-24
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Last Modified: 2013-05-30
I have a 4GB microSD which has been used fine on my X61 laptop for a couple
of years (by using a micro to normal-size SD adaptor).  I took out this microSD
2 days ago to insert into a handheld scanner (Skypix) & after scanning, when I
put it back into the same adaptor which inserts into the laptop's SD slot, Win XP's
explorer can't detect anything.  Another 1GB microSD using the same adapter
could be detected & its contents could be read.

Any way (or any freeware) I can use to attempt to recover what's in that
'suspect' 4GB microSD?
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Question by:sunhux
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 99 total points
ID: 39196114
Try GetDataBack  http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm  Free to try, if the free version sees stuff then other utils can be tried.


No joy then look at Photorec http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Also look at getting Photorec on the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:tailoreddigital
tailoreddigital earned 99 total points
ID: 39196115
This is a great recovery application for flash media,
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartrecovery.html
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 99 total points
ID: 39196347
Have you previously read such cards from your scanner on your PC and were there no issues? Did you remove the card while the device was turned on (that can corrupt the file-system on the card)?

The UBCD mentioned above includes PartedMagic (you have to start the same tool for photorec). Before running Photorec try mounting the card within PartedMagic, maybe you can access the data then. Also, getdataback mentioned above won't work with such cards, but photorec or testdisk (also included in PartedMagic) are both very good tools for recovering data from them.

It is also just possible that the card broke, they aren't built to last forever.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39196358
The files on my microSD are not accidentally deleted but rather
the entire microSD is now not detectable, so would the above
apps help?  

A bit too many apps to try, just wanted to narrow down first.
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LVL 87

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39196387
Only if the card isn't broken. As I mentioned above booting PartedMagic and first trying to mount it might help, and if you can't mount it then just try scanning it with photorec.

Getdataback that was mentioned above doesn't work with usb sticks or microSD cards or similar. But it is the best tool available for hard-disks.
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LVL 91

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 198 total points
ID: 39196463
what happens if you put it back in the scanner?
can you scan -or does it ask for formatting?
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39197592
>Have you previously read such cards from your scanner
This is a new scanner I just got.  My previous scanner's color scanning
function had failed thus I got this new Skypix scanner.

> Did you remove the card while the device was turned on
No.  But I have this habit of instead of just taking out the batteries
to quickly power off the scanner. Then only I'll remove the microSD.


> what happens if you put it back in the scanner?
If I put back the card (that was 3-4 days ago, it would show
the card was empty (ie nothing scanned in).

> can you scan -or does it ask for formatting?
It still scans without the error LED (which would normally
indicate I'm scanning too fast or my hands are 'distorting'
the scan motion.  The scanner never ask to format the
card.   The microSD card is physically intact.  Just 2-3 days
ago, I've just misplaced this card.

I'll try searching tomorrow & if still can't locate it, will close
this thread.  I got another microSD which works fine with
this new scanner & could be read on the same laptop.

However, the 'lost' card has more than 150 files scanned
into it by my previous scanner (which has its color function
malfunctioning but it still scan ok in B&W)
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LVL 91

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 198 total points
ID: 39197868
so the card still works in the scanner
then the problem seems to be with the reader - can it be the reader does not accept 4 GB cards?  (i suppose the reader can be too old for reading 4 GB cards) - check its specs please - in most cases you'll find them with the laptop manufacturer
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39208335
There's 2 problems:

Nobus got one of them right ie the SD to microSD adapter is faulty.
I went to the store to get another adapter & I could now read the
contents in the microSD on the very same Thinkpad.  I've been using
this adapter for a couple of years & so it now fails.

The other problem:
the dcim folder was somehow in Readonly mode: I had to issue
at command prompt  "attrib -h -s -r e:\dcim".  I certainly did not
set dcim folder to 'hidden', 'system file' & 'readonly'.  It's past
midnight now.  Will backup contents of this microSD to USB
HDD before I try it again on the handheld scanner.

Closing this thread by this weekend
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39208378
always good to see progress
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