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HELP! I erased priceless footage by formatting accidentally...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by zander lane, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. zander lane

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    HELP!

    I STUPIDLY hit "format card" instead of "calibrate compass" on my phantom 4 and wiped out once-in-a-lifetime footage of my family reunion...D'oh!!!

    Is there a "best practice" or certain Mac OSX software for data recovery from a phantom 4?

    Any help here would be incredibly appreciated, thanks!

    Signed,
    BIG DUMMY
     
  2. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    I don't have a solution (I'm a PC guy) but hate to hear this. Hopefully someone will help you shortly but don't do ANYTHING else until you have a plan in place.
     
  3. Mike Hall

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    There are some programs that will retrieve photos that have been deleted. You can google it and you will find plenty

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  4. hunch

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    i have software that can probably restore your formatted card. you see, when you hit format, the software basically just writes zeros "0"
    on the first block of the master boot record (MBR) of the file allocation table (FAT). so your data is physically still on the card, just needs
    to be restored.
    but i would have to have the card here of course. ;)
     
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  5. PTCX

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    There looks to be plenty of options out there.
    Google
     
  6. zander lane

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    ...the reason I'm searching for information here instead of a broad google search was I was actually hoping someone had specifics from a similar situation with a dji unit, as different recording devices have unique and specific methods of formatting and similarly, not all recovery software is created equal.
     
  7. TriadAerial

    TriadAerial Guest

    I have successfully retrieved data (thousands of pictures) from a computer hard drive that had been formatted and had Windows reinstalled on. I've been successful a few times actually using a program called Easeus. I can't say I've ever used it on an SD card or any other flash memory but it could possibly work. Best of luck! Also, any chance any of it got saved to your tablet or phone in the DJI app under Editor? Videos seem to automatically get saved to my iPad when recording. Photos will save if I open the editor and go to Photos in the DJI editor.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  8. bbfpv

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    They pretty much are. There's only 1 method to recover data, and all the tools use it. Just google for "sd card file recovery" and pick a free one. I've had to do this numerous times for numerous people, and I don't think I ever used the same recovery tool twice.
     
    BigAl07 likes this.
  9. zander lane

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    image.jpeg
    ...I'm not sure I agree; if all data recovery software is the same, how come there is so much variation in their results when applied to the exact same recovery task? (...which is why I was coming here for specific advice dealing with these specific units)
     
  10. WetDog

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    Because people do different things in different conditions.

    The FAT format used in the Phantoms is bog standard, industry complaint (for a change). So any software 'card rescue' software (that isn't malware or something weird like that) should work. I haven't had the need to do that in some time (knock on wood) but if you search around the forum you will see some recommendations.

    THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE CARD UNTIL YOU USE THAT SOFTWARE. Nothing. Don't even breath on it. Label it and put it in a safe place. Then download the relevant software. Then get ANOTHER card, put some video on it and then format it. Use the rescue software to get the files back. Once you are comfortable with the process, do it on your priceless originals.

    IF you have just formatted the drive and done nothing else then there is an excellent chance you can recover the data. All 'formatting' does is to write a few bits on the card that tells the drone's OS to 'go for it' and write anywhere it wants to. The file rescue software just returns those bits to 'normal'. If you have written more on the card, recovery is possible but much harder.

    Good luck. Take a deep breath, we've ALL done that before.
     
    cfd701 likes this.
  11. rcheing

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    Absolutely agree you. Testdisk is a good recovery software to use.
     
  12. zander lane

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    ...right then, I finally bit the bullet, took the card out of the vault and used a piece of recovery software I'd used successfully on other drives, Disk Drill, and the results were unfortunately...mixed.

    ...full recovery of all (20) still images from a litchi 360-pano (see little planet comp)
    sculpture gardens from the air_160718-1500px.jpg

    ...but, alas, none of the video from that day came back in a readable format - the files say .mov, but quicktime throws up its hands and says, "no go, not a movie file!" - drats and double drats!!!

    ...guess I'll give it another attempt later and see if the results are the same...if that fails, maybe on to another piece of pricey recovery software? - ugh...
     
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  13. rcheing

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    Use Testdisk along with Photorec. You'd be surprised at the results. Here, I'll even Google it for you: Testdisk and Photorec

    :D
     
    BigAl07 likes this.
  14. WetDog

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    Also try VLC. Quicktime can be picky. Don't give up just yet. Definitely try another program.
     
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  15. blown240

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    I agree with trying VLC. Also try opening them in GoPro Studio, its free. OR 5k player...
     
  16. robinb

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  17. RedHotPoker

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    Lexar have IMAGE RESCUE 4.
    Simply visit www.lexar.com/imagerescue4 & enter the passcode that came with your Lexar memory card...

    RedHotPoker
     
  18. zander lane

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    UPDATE: So, no joy with the recovery software from the card company (Lexar's Image Rescue 4) - just heard from DJI CS and they said they just recommend third-party recovery software and do not guarantee any recovery from formatting (...kinda expected such an unhelpful response) - the TestDisk solution scared me with it's lack of GUI and assumption of a lot of tech engineering knowledge ("...dammit Jim, I'm a photographer not an IT Guy!") - and the VLC software didn't recognize it as having movie or audio components - I think I am out of options - drats again!
     
  19. WetDog

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    Boy, you inna heap of trouble....

    Looks like you did everything you could short of spending some potentially serious dollars with a third party solution. Might be more fun to have the re union over again.
     
  20. zander lane

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    ...well, I did learn something from all this - just because you've tapped "calibrate compass" a ton of times in the past, DO NOT ASSUME you can skip putting on your reading glasses and do it with blurry vision - "format card" looks amazingly similar when you are quickly trying to set up your bird...LESSON LEARNED!!!

    ...oh, and thanks for the helpful posts guys!!!