1. AC Question's Avatar
    I had hundreds of photos saved to the Micro SD card in my Galaxy Note 3 and quite unexpectedly I open my phone to look at a picture and I see that all my SD pictures are missing from the Gallery. What can I do to recover my pictures?
    09-29-2014 02:21 PM
  2. SpookDroid's Avatar
    I truly hope you had a Cloud backup (and if you didn't, now would be a good time to start considering making those... if you keep a 3MP version on Google+ it doesn't even count against your storage quota).

    The first thing I'd try is to see if the files are really gone. Try to read the card in a computer. I've had way too many issues with Samsungs and SD Cards in the past to keep trusting them. Never store my pictures on SD card now, just random files I manage through my computer like movies or music or files I already have elsewhere.
    09-29-2014 02:29 PM
  3. Rukbat's Avatar
    If the computer shows no pictures on the card, download PhotoRec, burn a CD (or DVD) with it and boot the computer with the disk. Plug the SD card (directly, with an adapter, not through the phone) into the computer and let PhotoRec start recovering. (This would be a good time to watch all the Burn Notice marathons, because it's going to take a long time.) PR will "recover" any block of data that looks like a file format it "knows" (and, if you look at the list of filetypes on the site, you'll see that it knows more file formats than you do). About the only thing that would keep PR from recovering deleted photos is if some other file was written over the photo.

    BTW, there have been times I would have paid a few hundred dollars for PR - but it, and its companion program, TestDisk, are free. If you repartition a disk (or SD card), TestDisk can find the old partitions and give you a chance of recovering files that were on them.

    (If the computer shows pictures, copy them to the computer. Then format the SD card [in the phone] and copy the pictures to it.)

    Now as to why this happened (you don't want it to happen again), we'd need to know the make of the SD card. Cheap cards may be made with used chips. They don't last long. There are counterfeit cards - the card says 32GB, the controller in the card tells the phone that it's 32GB, but the memory chip in the card is 4GB (or some other cheaper chip). Save up to 4GB on the card and your fine. Add one more file and the card zeros out (becomes blank). That's why, even though they're about the most expensive card on the market, I don;t use anything but SanDisk. They make the chips (there are two factories that make SD card chips, one owned by Samsung, one jointly owned by SanDisk and Toshiba) and they make the cards. They're also VERY easy to deal with if you have a problem with one of their cards (which doesn't happen too often).

    As far as backing up, first, there's an old computer saying, "Any data not backed up to at least to independent destinations is data you don't really need". If you don't want to lose it, back it up. Second, cloud accounts are plentiful and free. Get a few and back up all your important files, each file to at least 2 cloud servers. Plus a local backup to a hard drive or even your laptop or desktop. The odds of Google Drive, Dropbox, your SD card and your laptop all failing at the same time are so great that I'd sooner worry about being hit by a falling alien space ship. And I wouldn't waste more than a nanosecond on that one.
    09-29-2014 06:01 PM

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