Help recovering images without formatting the sd card.

edited January 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
I put my micro sd card into my galaxy note cell phone to view the pictures I took with my Nikon D3200. Then, when I put my sd card back into the D3200, the camera says to format the sd card! How can I recover my images? I have not formatted the card because I might lose my pictures. What should I do?


  • edited January 2015
    Can you still view the pictures in your cell phone or some other computer that has a card reader? If you can, then download what you can before doing anything else. If not, there's little you can do. Unfortunately, sometimes a card can become corrupted, especially if your device writes to it. I've lost some files in my laptop this way, and gotten into the habit of always downloading the images to a computer's hard drive before performing any operation on them.

    I also have gotten into the habit of saving images relatively often, rather than letting them sit on the card. Save first, edit second. Better to have multiple copies of junk than to lose the treasures.

    If it's a micro SD card, make sure it's making good contact in the adapter too. Try unplugging and replugging it, and try it in multiple machines before giving up.

    You will lose the pictures if you format. Do not format unless you are sure that the pictures are lost forever.

    What measures you take to recover a corrupted card will depend a bit on how important the images are. There is software for this, and services that can sometimes help, but unless your images are irreplaceable, it's probably best to let them go.
  • edited January 2015
    Unless your memory card is somehow corrupted, you don’t need to recover anything. Just save the pictures to your PC in whichever way you normally do.
    Most likely what happened is that your Note probably added a few files or folders to your memory card. Android tends to do that when you mount a memory card, and then your camera refused to accept the memory card due to the addition of those files/folders.
  • edited January 2015
    As a general rule the D3200 is pretty forgiving of having files written to the card. I've written files both to the root directory and to the folder containing the images, and usually the files are either ignored by the camera or cannot be read, but the untouched files remain readable. Of course that was the intentional copying of files from a PC. What happens by accident can differ.

    (note: not advised - I just did it to find out what would happen)
  • edited January 2015
    Thanks for the help gentlemen! I appreciate your advice and expertise. I'm currently on vacation and did not bring a laptop with me. Now I plan to for the next vacation! I decided to buy another SD card for the time being and I will let my friend who is a professional photographer work on getting my pictures for me. Thanks again for your help!
  • edited February 2015
    Not sure if I am right in doing this, but after transferring shots via card to PC I pop the the card back into camera and always format again to make sure it is formatted by the camera and nothing else on it. I probably do not need to do it every time, but it's a habit I have got into.
  • edited January 2015
    Ordinarily just reading on another device should not bother the card, but things can happen. A new format after transferring is the safest solution, as well as helping with organization. Unfortunately, the original poster is traveling without a PC, and may not have had room to store the files.
  • edited February 2015
    I agree that traveling makes things a little more difficult to do. I wasn't suggesting that they should do this.
  • I'm afraid you need to format your SD card first, so you can use it later.
    However, format will erase all the photos and videos on your card.
    You can use Yolisoft Photo Recovery to retrieve formatted files from your SD card.
  • Recently a friend had trouble with a card, having apparently erased a bunch of images when trying to reset the date. This was a pocket camera, and shortly after doing this, she dropped it and broke the display so little could be seen, and one thing led to another, and the images disappeared, probably forever.

    I tried to recover them but could not find them. However, in the process I found that most of the recovery programs, though they will scan for free, require you to pay to recover.

    I found, however, an open source program called "testdisk" that includes a deep recovery program. I never found the files wanted, which had probably been overwritten, but found deleted images going back for years.

    The program runs in Windows but drops into Dos and it's a bit tricky at first, but if you spend time with it, it appears that it can do some pretty serious recovery.
  • edited November 2017
    Hope your problem has been solved. If not, you may try RePicvid Free Photo Recovery to restore images from your Nikon camera SD card.
    Check the guide:
  • I deleted my "camera roll" photo album in my Gallery. However, I recovered back these pictures from my SD card through the help of this photo recovery software
Sign In or Register to comment.