I had a scary moment on my most recent trip. My card appeared to fail after I had taken a week’s worth of pictures in Nepal.
My Nikon D70s started flashing “For”, which indicates the compact flash card inside needs to be formatted. I was unable to view the pictures and if I put it into a card reader and tried to access it on Windows, it just wanted to format the card.
I waited a month, until I arrived home, to try and recover the pictures. I tried 8 different programs and I found two that were able to do it.
RescuePro was one of them. They let you download a trial of it and see if it will actually work before you have to buy. It will access the flash card and then scan it. After awhile, it shows you thumbnails and will let you recover a small number of the files for free. If you see your files and think it is worth it, then you can pay the US$40 for a license.
Active File Recovery is the other one that worked. This program is a little more full-featured. It can recover files on hard drives as well. RescuePro was strictly for flash cards.
Anyhow, if you have ever deleted, formatted, corrupted, or had some other failure with files or flash cards. Don’t just erase the card and start from scratch thinking you lost everything. Download a trial copy of RescuePro from the link above and see if you can spot your missing items. It will be well worth the $40 in a lot of cases.