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When good cards go bad, a personal testimonial

By Joe Farace

Memory cards fail for lots of reasons. Sometimes it’s the card’s fault, other times the camera's and often it’s (heaven forbid) the user who creates the problem. Laying blame is irrelevant when you just want your files back.

When my 4GB Lexar Professional CompactFlash card failed, I reached for PhotoRescue software, which will usually recover images from reformatted cards. But it couldn’t solve this particular problem. Next I tried ProSoft Picture Rescue, but it wouldn’t work on this card either. The Image Rescue software included on every Lexar Professional CF card can recover lost or deleted JPEG, TIFF and RAW files from erased, reformatted, or corrupted memory cards, but after recovering just a few files, it stalled.

Since Lexar Professional cards have a lifetime warranty, I contacted Customer Support, FedEx'd my card off to Fremont, Calif., and waited with my fingers crossed. A week later (rescue time varies depending on their work load), I received a stack of CDs with 500 recovered images and a replacement 4GB CompactFlash card. My wife, Mary, is considering a return to professional photography. When she saw this story play out, it helped make up her mind about what kind of memory cards she would use to shoot weddings.