Today, we will explore the possibility of recovering data from xD cards and discuss the factors that affect the recovery process, such as the condition of the card and the reason for data loss. We will also provide information on how to recover data from xD cards and recommend two reliable software solutions for the task.
What Is an xD-Picture Card?
xD card is short for eXtreme Digital card, which is a type of flash memory card that Fujifilm and Olympus developed in 2002. While they were widely used in digital cameras and other portable devices in the past, they have now been largely replaced by other types of memory cards such as SD cards, microSD cards, CFExpress, CFast, and XQD cards, which offer higher speeds and capacities.
xD cards come in different sizes, ranging from 16MB to 2GB. They used to be popular because they were small and had high-speed data transfer rates, but now they have lost their appeal with the introduction of more advanced storage devices.
Aside from digital cameras, xD cards were also used in other gadgets such as MP3 players, digital voice recorders, and handheld gaming consoles. However, they have limited capacity and are not compatible with modern devices, which is why they are not as commonly used nowadays.
Can you Recover Data from xD Cards?
Whether or not you can recover data from an xD card depends on several factors, including the condition of your data, the condition of your xD card, and how the data was lost.
Let’s examine this issue in more detail, starting with the condition your data and card must be in for recovery to be possible:
- 🖥️ Your card must be readable by your PC. When you connect your memory card to your PC, it should be recognized as a device. It may not appear in File Explorer, but it should be present in the list of devices connected to the computer in Windows Device Manager.
- 📁 The integrity of your data should not be compromised. Even if you have deleted or formatted your data on the xD card, if the integrity of the data was intact, it should be recoverable. However, if your data was damaged before deletion or overwritten after deletion due to further use of the card, some data may be unrecoverable.
- 🔨 Your card should not have serious physical damage. Ideally, your card should have no physical damage at all. But most importantly, the chip should not be damaged, even if there is a problem with the connectors.
Next, let’s discuss the reasons for data loss:
- 😨 Deletion: Accidental or intentional deletion is the most common cause of data loss and also the easiest to recover. Even if you have deleted files from the device where they were used or transferred your files to your PC and deleted them there, bypassing or emptying the recycle bin, your files may still be recoverable if they have not been overwritten.
- 🔃 Formatting: In most cases, a formatted xD card is recoverable because most devices and computers use “quick” formatting as the primary method of formatting. Quick formatting is recoverable, unlike full formatting.
- ⚠️ Logical damage: Data loss problems are often not related to deletion but to loss of access to the data. If your xD card shows clear signs of logical damage, such as various errors, problems with device recognition, or requests to format it for further use, don’t worry, your data is still recoverable in most cases.
After taking everything into consideration, this is our rough idea of the target audience for this article:
I recently found my old Olympus xD card that I used to take photos with my digital camera several years ago. The card has been sitting in a drawer for a long time, and I had completely forgotten about it. However, I realized that it might contain some valuable photos that I had not backed up.
I inserted the card into my computer’s card reader, but it was not recognized. I tried several times, but nothing happened. I searched online for ways to recover data from xD cards and found your article.
So, let’s move on to the recovery process.
How to Recover Data from xD Cards
So, to recover data from an xD card, we need specialized memory card recovery software. But what properties should a program have to successfully handle our today’s task?
The software you choose to recover data from xD memory cards should have certain capabilities, including:
- The ability to read popular file systems used by xD memory cards. xD cards typically use the FAT file system, which stands for File Allocation Table. If you need to recover your data with original file names and folder structures, you should look for a software tool that can fully and quickly/deeply scan the FAT file system.
- Support for a wide range of file types. Several camera brands used xD cards, including Olympus, Fujifilm, and Kodak. The file types used by these cameras may vary depending on the camera model, but common file types include JPEG for still images and AVI for videos. Some cameras may also use RAW or TIFF formats for higher quality images. Therefore, the software you choose should have all of the above-listed formats in its list of file signatures (supported file types) and be able to efficiently recover them.
- The ability to read xD memory cards with a corrupted file system. For some users, the ability to read cards with a corrupted file system, or those whose file system has become RAW, is a vital necessity since their problem lies in the fact that data is not accessible.
- The ability to preview files before they are recovered. This helps you not only to make sure that you recover the files you want but also to make sure that they are recoverable. Usually, if a file can be previewed, it can be recovered.
- Price. You should either focus on free programs or choose one that has a DEMO plan so you can evaluate the software and see if your files are recoverable.
We have saved you time and selected two reliable solutions that meet the above-mentioned requirements.
Option A: Disk Drill
Disk Drill is a great option for recovering data from xD cards because it meets all of the requirements. It can read the FAT file system used by xD cards and perform quick or deep scans to recover data with original file names and folder structures. It also supports a wide range of file types, including JPEG, AVI, RAW, and TIFF, and can efficiently recover them.
We also love Disk Drill because it can read xD memory cards with corrupted file systems or those whose file system has become RAW. The ability to preview files before recovery ensures that only the recoverable files are restored. Additionally, Disk Drill offers a free trial of 500 MB for users on Windows.
Here’s how to recover files from an xD card using Disk Drill:
Step 1: Download and Install Disk Drill
Download Disk Drill for free from its official website and follow the installation instructions. You will need administrator privileges to install the software. Disk Drill is compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Step 2: Connect Your xD Card to Your PC
Connect your xD card to your computer using an all-in-one external memory card reader. If your xD card is recognized by your computer, it will appear in Disk Management.
Step 3: Launch Disk Drill and Scan the xD Card
Launch Disk Drill and select your xD card from the list of connected storage devices. Click “Search for lost data” to start the scan. Ensure that the scan option is set to “All recovery methods” for the best results. Wait for Disk Drill to finish scanning.
Step 4: Analyze the Scan Results and Select Lost Files
After the scan is complete, use Disk Drill’s file filters and preview feature to help you locate and select the files you want to recover. To recover a file, click on the checkbox next to it to select it. You can also double-click on a file to see a preview of it. If you can preview the file, it is 100% recoverable.
Step 5: Recover Selected Files to a Safe Destination
With all recoverable missing files selected, press the Recover button. Disk Drill will ask you to select a recovery destination. Choose any storage device except the xD card you’re recovering to avoid overwriting. Click “Next.” After the recovery process is complete, click on “Show recovered files in Explorer” to view the files in Windows Explorer.
It is essential to remember not to recover lost files to the same storage device. Overwriting can make the recovered files unreadable and ruin future data recovery attempts. By following these simple steps, you can use Disk Drill to recover lost data from your xD card.
Option B: DMDE
DMDE also fulfills all the requirements mentioned above for data recovery from xD cards. It can effectively scan the FAT file system used by xD cards, and can retrieve data with their original file names and folder structures. DMDE also supports various file types including JPEG, AVI, RAW, and TIFF, and can restore them proficiently. The software can read xD memory cards with corrupted file systems or RAW file systems and, what is most important, it is virtually free.
Here is the guide for using DMDE to recover deleted photos from an xD-picture card:
Step 1: Download and install DMDE
DMDE works on both Windows and Linux. Start by navigating to the DMDE website and downloading the tool. Once downloaded, extract its contents and save it to a different drive than the one you are trying to recover data from. Run the program by double-clicking on the dmde.exe file in the extracted folder.
Step 2: Select logical view
DMDE offers both physical and logical views, and for Windows 10/11 users, it is recommended to use the logical view.
Step 3: Select the drive/partition
You will be asked to select the drive or partition that you wish to recover data from. If the drive appears in Windows, select ‘Logical Disks’ followed by the drive letter. If the drive doesn’t appear in Windows, leave ‘Physical Disks’ selected. DMDE will display information about the type and size of each physical drive, helping you identify the missing drive. In this case, select the xD card and click ‘OK’.
Step 4: Scan the drive for partitions
DMDE will scan the xD card for partitions. Don’t be surprised if errors appear, and then a number of possible matches should appear. Select the partition you’re looking for using the volume name (and drive letter if applicable), partition status, f.system, and size to identify it.
Step 5: Construct virtual file system
Click ‘Open Volume’. After a second scan, a dual-paned window will open. On the left are three entries – to view all recoverable data from the xD card (including deleted files), double-click All Found + Reconstruction. In most cases, clicking ‘OK’ at this point is sufficient, but advanced users can click ‘Parameters’ to tweak settings if necessary.
Step 6: Browse for recoverable items
You can now explore your xD card’s contents via the expanded $Root directory. Click the arrow next to a folder to expand it, or double-click the folder to view its contents (including files) in the right-hand pane. Look out for folders with red dots – these contain deleted files, so double-click to explore. Deleted files are clearly marked by a red ‘x’.
Step 7: Search for specific items
Alternatively, click the ‘Search Panel’ button (with the magnifying glass) to open a Search window. Use the file filter to define your search – use wildcards if you’re not sure about a file’s exact name, or to search by file type (such as *.jpg or *.avi). Use the annotation to help refine your search further, then click ‘OK’ to let DMDE scan for matches.
Step 8: Select what to recover
Select the files you want to recover and choose ‘Tools > Recover’. If recovering files from a search, you must recover each file individually by right-clicking it and choosing ‘Recover the Object…’.
Step 9: Recover your data
Click the ‘Size’ button to get an estimate of how much space your recovered items will require, then click ‘…’ to select a different drive with enough space to recover them to (never recover files to the same drive). Make sure ‘include deleted’ is selected if applicable and finally click ‘OK’ to attempt file recovery. Wait while the files are copied.
Step 10: Verify data recovery
Once complete, a dialogue box will display the results of your recovery. Browse to the folder where your recovered files are and see if you can open them. Not all files can be recovered, but if the file was only recently deleted, then your chances of success are greater. Return to DMDE to continue recovering other files.
Remember to run DMDE as an administrator and start off with a small USB pen to get the hang of the software.
Today, we learned that xD cards, which were once popular, have been replaced by SD and microSD cards. However, individuals who still possess old xD cards with valuable data may wonder if it is possible to recover their lost data. The possibility of data recovery depends on the condition of the data and the xD card itself, and requires the use of reliable data recovery software. In our opinion, Disk Drill and DMDE are ideal solutions for this task. We sincerely hope that you can successfully recover your precious photos or other data from your xD picture card.