How to Recover Corrupt Photos From an SD Card

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

A Secure Digital (SD) card is no more invulnerable to having its file structure become corrupt than any other type of storage device. Recovering corrupted photos from an SD card involves repairing the file structure. This process can be accomplished with a photo recovery program, of which there are several freely available as well as for purchase. The programs operate in a similar manner to recover the photos before they can be copied onto the computer's hard drive. A SD card adapter also will be needed.

Things You'll Need

  • SD card adapter

Step 1

Download and install onto the PC's hard drive a photo recovery program, such as Recover My Photos, Photo Recovery Wizard or PhotoRescue. Restart the PC after the installation is complete.

Step 2

Insert the contact end of the SD card into the slot on the SD card adapter. Plug the USB connector on the SD card adapter into a USB port on the PC.

Step 3

Launch the Photo recovery program. Select "Start" and "All Applications" from the pop-up menu.

Step 4

Click on "File" at the left corner of the program's screen. Select "Open" from the drop-down menu.

Step 5

Click on the icon of the USB Flash drive in the left column of the window that appears. Click the "Open" button at the bottom right of the window to close the window.

Step 6

Click the "Start Search" or "Search" button on the program's screen. Wait as a progress bar appears at the bottom and fills in from left to right, or an animated icon appears and disappears after the search has been completed.

Step 7

Click the "Next" button on the window if one appears. Scroll through a list of photos that can be recovered from the list presented in a column on a new window. Otherwise scroll through a list of photos that can be recovered from a list presented in a column near the top right of the screen.

Step 8

Select a photo from the list to recover. Hold down the "Shift" key while selecting to select more than one photo. Click on "File" at the left corner of the program's screen. Select "Save To" or "Save" from the drop-down menu.

Step 9

Select "Desktop" from the "Locations" menu near the middle of the window that appears. Click the "Save" button at the bottom of the window. Quit the Photo recovery program after the window disappears and you have been returned to the program.

Tips & Warnings

  • Formatting the USB Flash drive again will correct any errors to ensure photos can again be put on it without difficulty.
  • Computers that have an SD card slot will not need the SD card adapter.