Formatted SD Card Recovery

Using PhotoRec to recover lost data
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xaid
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Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 04:22

Formatted SD Card Recovery

#1 Post by xaid » 28 Sep 2017, 04:49

I, accidentally, formatted my phone's SD card :(

I tried testdisk and photorec, but, unfortunately, I was unable to recover my files. My SD Card is 128 GB, it was formatted by the phone (Android), and I am using the data recovery solutions (testdisk and photorec) on windows 10.

I appreciate your hints towards recovering my data as I had tons personal files on that SD!!!

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cgrenier
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Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#2 Post by cgrenier » 28 Sep 2017, 05:57

Run PhotoRec. In Options, enable the Expert mode. Start the recovery, choose a blocksize of 512 bytes, use the default options otherwise.
Does it work better ?

xaid
Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 04:22

Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#3 Post by xaid » 28 Sep 2017, 14:18

I would like to thank your efforts in availing such amazing utilities and dedicate time to respond to our inquiries.

I did the following steps (in red):

1)
PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
PhotoRec is free software, and
comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
Select a media (use Arrow keys, then press Enter):
Disk /dev/sda - 500 GB / 465 GiB (RO)
Disk /dev/sdb - 128 GB / 119 GiB (RO)
Drive C: - 272 GB / 253 GiB (RO)
Drive D: - 2147 MB / 2048 MiB (RO)
>Drive E: - 128 GB / 119 GiB (RO)
Drive F: - 225 GB / 209 GiB (RO)
>[Proceed ] [ Quit ]

2)
PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
Drive E: - 128 GB / 119 GiB (RO)
Partition Start End Size in sectors
> Unknown 0 0 1 15632 28 12 251129856 [Whole disk]
P exFAT 0 0 1 15632 28 12 251129856
>[ Search ] [Options ] [File Opt] [ Quit ]
Start file recovery

3)
PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
P exFAT 0 0 1 15632 28 12 251129856
To recover lost files, PhotoRec need to know the filesystem type where the
file were stored:
[ ext2/ext3 ] ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystem
>[ Other ] FAT/NTFS/HFS+/ReiserFS/...

4)
PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
P exFAT 0 0 1 15632 28 12 251129856

Please choose if all space need to be analysed:
[ Free ] Scan for files from exFAT unallocated space only
>[ Whole ] Extract files from whole partition

5)
I chose the destination

6)
PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
Try to unformat a FAT filesystem (Y/N)

Are these steps correct?

xaid
Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 04:22

Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#4 Post by xaid » 28 Sep 2017, 15:02

After a long process, it gave me:

7)
PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
Please select the block size, press Enter when done.
[ 512 ]
[ 1024 ]
[ 2048 ]
[ 4096 ]
[ 8192 ]
[ 16384 ]
[ 32768 ]
>[ 65536 ]

xaid
Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 04:22

Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#5 Post by xaid » 28 Sep 2017, 15:46

After about 2:20 hours of processing, it displays the following:


7)
PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
Create an image_remaining.dd (128571 MB) file with the unknown data (Answer N
if not sure) (Y/N)


It did not recover any of the formatted files! What did I do wrong?

it showed the following where the two recovered files are already added to the SD Card after the format.

PhotoRec 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
Drive E: - 128 GB / 119 GiB (RO)
Partition Start End Size in sectors
P exFAT 0 0 1 15632 28 12 251129856
2 files saved in /testdisk-7.0/SGS7SD/recup_dir directory.
Recovery completed.
You are welcome to donate to support further development and encouragement
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Donation
[ Quit ]

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cgrenier
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Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#6 Post by cgrenier » 01 Oct 2017, 07:21

Looks like nothing can be recovered.
Run TestDisk, Advanced, Image Creation. Compress (ie .zip) the image.dd file. What is the size of the compressed file ?
If it's less than 20MB, the content of the SD card has probably been zeroed while formated.
If it's 1 GB or more, the content of the SD card was probably encrypted or there is physical defect altering the reading of data.

xaid
Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 04:22

Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#7 Post by xaid » 20 Oct 2017, 18:32

Thanks, cgrenier!

The file image.dd was 119 GB and the image.rar yielded 121 MB (cannot compress with zip because of the file size)

What does that mean? What can I do further?

It is maybe useful to add, whenever I work on this SD card, testdisk recognizes the filetype as [None]

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Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#8 Post by cgrenier » 24 Oct 2017, 06:38

It means that unfortunately the data can not be recovered. The memory card are been wiped.

DragonFireDon
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Joined: 28 Nov 2017, 19:46

Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#9 Post by DragonFireDon » 28 Nov 2017, 19:50

Are you serious?

I also have the same problem. How the heck did Android format it into a state where it's not recoverable( from accident)? That is just a little scary that it does that. I am sad!

:(

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Re: Formatted SD Card Recovery

#10 Post by cgrenier » 29 Nov 2017, 07:30

When the formating occurs a TRIM operation has been used to discard the old content: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trim_(computing)#SD.2FMMC
It helps to improve the wear leveling https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_leveling
Unfortunately it means no data can be recovered.

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