XQD cards are widely used for storing large amounts of data in professional cameras and recording devices. However, like any data storage device, they are not immune to data loss. If you’re a seasoned photographer or videographer, you likely understand the frustration of accidentally deleting important photos, formatting your memory card, or encountering difficulties while accessing files on your memory card.
In today’s article, we will demonstrate how you can recover data from an XQD card.
Understanding XQD Card Data Loss
What if we told you that you could increase the chances of successful XQD card recovery right now? Sounds interesting, right? In this section, we will explore the common scenarios of XQD card data loss, how they affect data recovery, crucial ‘don’ts’ in the recovery process, as well as the necessary requirements for successful data recovery. Let’s start with the first one.
Important: If you value your data and aim to recover it (which we assume you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article), it’s crucial that you stop using the card immediately upon noticing data loss from an XQD memory card. Continuing to use it could overwrite the lost data, making it irretrievable.
- 📷 Deletion: It’s no surprise that this point tops our list. A common reason for data loss is accidental or intentional file deletion from an XQD card. This can occur when you inadvertently delete crucial files or clear the card without having a backup. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’ll likely be able to recover your photos or videos if you minimize the use of the memory card after the deletion. This applies to deleting files both from a connected card on a PC and directly from the card in a camera.
- 🧹 Formatting: Formatting an XQD card erases all data on it, which can happen unintentionally or as part of routine maintenance. However, in some cases, the data isn’t permanently deleted and can still be recovered. Usually, your PC or camera uses quick formatting by default, which doesn’t erase the data but merely marks all the space as available for writing. If your data hasn’t been overwritten, you have a high likelihood of data recovery.
- ⚠️ Corruption: An XQD card can become corrupted due to sudden power loss, improper card ejection, or file system errors. Before despairing and formatting your card, understand that you still have a chance to access the data on your card. How? Keep reading.
- 🔨 Physical Damage: If an XQD card suffers physical damage, for instance, from extreme temperatures, water, or impact, data can be lost. The card might become unreadable or permanently damaged, making data retrieval challenging. If you have some DIY experience and the damage to the card isn’t critical (for example, damage to the connector rather than the chip on the card), you could theoretically try to make your card recognizable by a device. However, we strongly recommend against self-repair attempts and advise contacting a specialized service.
- 💻 File Transfer Errors: Data loss can occur during file transfer from an XQD card to a computer or vice versa. This can happen due to connection problems, software conflicts, or interruptions during the transfer. We believe everyone has faced this issue at least once. The unfortunate news is that such instances might compromise the structural integrity of your data, and the files themselves could be damaged even if you manage to regain access to them. This is a complex topic deserving a separate article. We recommend seeking the source files on the device from which you were transferring the data. Even if they were deleted, you can recover them as long as they haven’t been overwritten.
Now that we’ve covered the main causes of data loss, we can transition smoothly to the recovery process. To maximize your chances of recovering lost data from an XQD card, the following conditions should be met:
- ✏️ Your data should not be overwritten: It’s vital to understand that continued use of the XQD card after data loss increases the risk of overwriting the lost files. To ensure a successful recovery, immediately cease using the card and avoid saving new data on it. Remove it from your camera or the device where you’re using the card and set it aside.
- 🧩 Your data should maintain its integrity: If the lost data has been partially overwritten or corrupted, the chances of complete recovery decrease. It’s crucial to preserve the integrity of the remaining data on the card. Note that data damage is different from file system damage on your XQD card. The latter can usually be easily restored.
- 🖥️ Your XQD card should be recognized by Windows Device Manager or Disk Manager (not to be confused with File Explorer): Proper recognition of the XQD card by your operating system is crucial for recovery. If the card isn’t detected or visible in the device manager, this might indicate a significant hardware issue. Conversely, if your memory card is recognized as a device, even if File Explorer can’t read it and shows various errors, chances are your data is fine and awaiting extraction.
- 🔎 Your XQD card must not be physically damaged: Physical damage to the XQD card, such as broken connectors or visible cracks, can obstruct recovery. Ensure the card is physically intact for the best chances of successful recovery. We reiterate the importance of avoiding DIY methods in such cases and recommend seeking professional help.
- 🧰 You must possess reliable data recovery software: Utilizing professional data recovery software specifically designed for XQD cards is essential. Choose reputable software that supports XQD card recovery and follow the recommended recovery procedures to enhance the likelihood of retrieving your lost data. Where to find and how to choose such software? We’ve done the work for you. Below, we will provide two options for excellent software that will help you rescue your files.
By understanding the potential causes of XQD card data loss and adhering to the necessary precautions, you can improve the chances of successful data recovery and minimize the impact of data loss incidents.
How to Recover Data Using XQD Card Recovery Software
Before we proceed to recommend the software we promised, let’s define what constitutes ideal data recovery software suitable for retrieving deleted or formatted data from an XQD card.
Our editorial board, with its considerable experience, believes that the following parameters should be considered:
- Compatibility with Operating Systems: The software must be compatible with your operating system and support the latest version to ensure smooth operation and performance.
- File System Interpretation: The ability to read and interpret popular file systems used by XQD memory cards, including FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT. This feature is essential for preserving the original file names and folder structures during recovery.
- Capability to Retrieve Large Files: Given that XQD cards are frequently used in high-end cameras, the software should have the capability to retrieve and recover large files, including high-resolution photos and videos.
- Support for Diverse File Types: The software should support a wide range of file types, not limited to common formats like JPG. It should accommodate specific file types associated with the device you’re using your XQD card with, including but not limited to RAW photos (ARW format for Sony, CR2/CR3/CRW formats for Canon, NEF/NRW for Nikon) and various video formats.
- File Preview Function: The software should allow you to preview the recoverable files prior to the actual recovery process. This feature helps ensure that you’re recovering the right files and that they are indeed recoverable.
- User-Friendly Interface: Ease of use is crucial. The software should possess a simple, intuitive interface that facilitates the scanning and recovery process in a few easy steps.
- Access to Corrupted File Systems: The ability to access and recover data from XQD memory cards with a corrupted file system or those that have turned into RAW file systems is critical, as data on such cards often becomes inaccessible.
- Reasonable Pricing: Free programs are ideal, but if not available, choose software that offers a DEMO or trial plan. This feature allows you to evaluate the software’s capabilities and effectiveness in recovering your files before purchasing the full version.
- Generous DEMO Version: If the software isn’t completely free, it should at least offer a generous DEMO or trial version. This lets you assess the software’s recoverability potential and, ideally, recover some of your data at no cost.
- Reputation for Trustworthiness and Reliability: The software should have a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy, with positive user reviews and experiences attesting to its effectiveness in data recovery scenarios.
And now, as promised, let’s move on to specific software suggestions.
Option A: Disk Drill
Disk Drill, a comprehensive and reliable data recovery tool, is an excellent solution for dealing with these data loss scenarios. This tool offers a user-friendly interface and effective recovery methods for over 400 different file formats, making it our top pick for XQD card recovery.
Follow the steps below to recover data from your XQD card using Disk Drill:
- Download, install, and launch Disk Drill from its official website. The free version for Windows allows you to recover up to 500 MB of data.
- Connect your XQD card to your computer. Disk Drill should display it in the list of available drives.
- Select your XQD card from this list.
- Choose the type of scan you want to run. Disk Drill recommends using the default ‘All Recovery Methods’, but you can also try the ‘Quick Scan’ or ‘Partition Scan’.
- Click on ‘Search for Lost Data’ to start the scanning process. As the scan runs, you can pause and resume it as needed.
- Once the scan is complete, click on ‘Review Found Items’. Disk Drill also lets you review items while the scan is ongoing, a useful feature if you need to recover data urgently.
- From the list of found items, select the files you wish to recover. You can use filters to navigate quickly. For instance, typing “.jpg” or “.cr3” will locate those specific file types.
- Use the preview feature to confirm that your files are intact and to view details like the last modified date and size.
- After selecting the files, click on ‘Recover’.
- Specify a destination for the recovered files. Avoid selecting the same XQD card you’re recovering from to prevent overwriting data.
- Click ‘Next’ to complete the recovery process.
Disk Drill is not only an excellent tool for recovering data from XQD cards but also for other forms of portable flash storage. Furthermore, according to detailed evaluations found on the internet, this software is completely secure and safe to use.
Option B: PhotoRec
PhotoRec may not fulfill all the recovery criteria mentioned earlier, but its biggest advantage is that it’s completely free. Even though you can’t preview files before recovery, and it’s less intuitive due to its command-line interface (though there’s an optional GUI called QPhotoRec for Windows), PhotoRec is still worth considering because of its extensive range of file signatures it can recover.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to recover files from an XQD card using PhotoRec:
- Download PhotoRec from its official website. For Windows users, the downloaded archive will contain QPhotoRec, a GUI shell for the program.
- Insert the XQD memory card that contains the files you want to recover into your computer.
- Launch PhotoRec and Select the Device: Run QPhotoRec or PhotoRec and select the XQD memory card as the device to recover files from.
- Click on the ‘File Formats’ button and select the file type(s) you want to recover.
- Make sure to specify the correct file system type of your XQD card. It’s recommended to select ‘Whole: Extract files from whole partition’ scan option, which is helpful even if you aim to recover files from a formatted XQD card.
- Choose where you want the recovered files to be saved. It’s advisable to save the files to a different drive or location than where they were originally stored to avoid overwriting the original files.
- Click on the ‘Search’ button to initiate the recovery process. PhotoRec will scan the XQD memory card for any recoverable files and save all found files to the location you specified in the main window.
- The scan duration depends on the size and condition of the XQD card. During the scan, you will see the progress in the form of processed sectors, remaining sectors, and types and counts of files found.
- Once the recovery process is complete, eject the XQD memory card from your computer safely.
- Go to the folder you specified as the recovery location and inspect the recovered files. Note that as PhotoRec mainly uses a signature scan for recovery, the recovered files will not have their original names.
By following these steps, you should be able to successfully recover files using PhotoRec from your XQD card.
In conclusion, despite their popularity for storing large amounts of data in professional devices, XQD cards are not immune to data loss caused by deletion, formatting, corruption, physical damage, and file transfer errors. However, the positive news is that taking immediate action, preserving data integrity, ensuring proper recognition by the device manager, avoiding physical damage, and utilizing reliable recovery software can significantly enhance the chances of successful data recovery.
As illustrated in this article, both Disk Drill and PhotoRec offer effective methods for recovering data from an XQD card. We have provided step-by-step procedures for each. By understanding the potential causes of data loss, choosing the right recovery software, and adhering to recommended precautions, users can optimize their chances of retrieving lost data, thereby minimizing the impact of data loss incidents.