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Thread: M8 user in distress

  1. #1
    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Unhappy M8 user in distress

    Something terrible happened: I was touring and shooting in the acropolis of Pergamon, and suddenly the battery died. Apparently it died while the camera was busy writing a RAW file and its b+w jpeg sibling.
    Upon inserting a charged battery, I saw the ominous "SD Card locked" prompt. I took the card out, moved its locking slider to and fro a few times and reinserted it in its slot, but nothing changed. Trying to view my shots was not possible. The M8 told me that there were no valid images to display, although I could swear I had at least 150 RAW files on that card.
    Upon returning home, I was unable to read the card with any of my card readers; its image does not mount on the desktop. Is there any other way to rescue those images other than formatting the card in the M8, and then trying to save them with Rescue Image software, or equivalent?
    Thanks,
    Osman

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Osman,

    Get a copy of Lexar Image Rescue 3 - this will be able to read the card and determine if it can be recovered or not. Don't worry too much that it doesn't mount on the desktop because Image Rescue can typically load it and test it and recover for you.

    If you don't have it, you can download a trial which will determine if it can recover the files. You pay to unlock it so that you can recover the files.

    BTW - do NOT reformat the card or do anything like that until you've tried running the image rescue software on it. It'll pick up the raw SD card and do it's own low level diagnostics and scanning to find what's there. If you attempt to reformat the card to make it visible to the OS you'll lose most/all of the directory information and it'll become much more like a forensic recovery that's less reliable, more time consuming and may require manual intervention.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 20th April 2010 at 08:18.

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Thank you for your input, Graham. I do have a paid copy of Lexar's Image Rescue version 4. Unfortunately it did not recognize the unmounted card. Maybe I should try the Windows version of this software, being a Mac user, I tried the Mac version first.

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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Osman,

    I am presuming you have access to windows software. I also use Mac as a primary computer but I found windows better for such purposes.

    First try ZAR from z-a-recovery.com. This is free and will perform a deep scan even on corrupt SD cards.

    If it fails try cardrecovery From CardRecovery.com. This is also free and will perform very deep scan but may take hours even up to a day. Usually it finds the files in 10 minutes or so. If this happens let it recover the files completely. If it does not show the files in about 15 minutes do not waste your time.

    Hope this works,

    Sven

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    Member Zlatko Batistich's Avatar
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Also try Sandisk's RescuePRO. Do not reformat the card.

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Sven, Zlatko, thanks a million! I shall try all you have kindly advised.
    Best regards,
    Osman

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Update:
    Nothing worked, unfortunately. Looking from a brighter point of view, I consider myself lucky to learn these hard-earned rules:
    1. Never use high-capacity cards, because if it fails, you lose all,
    2. Always replace batteries before they run out, and
    3. Never use a 16GB Transcend SDHC card in a Leica M8.
    Thought I should share this experience of mine. Thank you again for all the input.
    Osman

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    Super Duper
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Quote Originally Posted by otumay View Post
    Update:
    Nothing worked, unfortunately. Looking from a brighter point of view, I consider myself lucky to learn these hard-earned rules:
    1. Never use high-capacity cards, because if it fails, you lose all,
    2. Always replace batteries before they run out, and
    3. Never use a 16GB Transcend SDHC card in a Leica M8.
    Thought I should share this experience of mine. Thank you again for all the input.
    Osman
    Osman: That's too bad. A tough way to learn.

    Best, Matt.

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    Re: M8 user in distress

    I'd contact and send the card to Transcend and see if they can recover it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    -Marc

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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Sad story. Glad to read it though.

    I think the battery did it! A couple of weeks ago I turned my laptop off at the wall. Somehow ?????? the battery had fallen out. Just before I turned it off there was a message about compacting and saving the emails in a database. So it was doing that when it turned off suddenly. When I logged back on - all of my emails were gone. Everything received/sent ever. Nothing could be retrieved. All that was left was the address book.

    I think your battery advice is spot on.

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Matt, Marc and Ricnak; thank you for your response. One must try and see a positive side in everything, I guess.
    Marc, I shall try to locate local Transcend distributor.
    Best,
    Osman

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    Re: M8 user in distress

    M8 is the only camera for which I always have to carry a backup camera.
    My M8 was dead with a similar battery problem (w/o ruining my card fortunately) during a tour, and my replacement battery didn't work either. Then, after fully recharging the batteries, a few days later, it started working again perfectly for no reason, so I had to forget about the problem until the next time.

    I don't think the Transcend card is to be blamed for this. I agree with the first 2 of your hard earned rules. I will change the battery in the future the moment the indicator stops showing a full battery.
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    Re: M8 user in distress

    There's definitely something really sketchy with the way Leica accesses SD cards. With my canon bodies, I can leave the camera on and yank the card out at anytime without any problems. However, with the M8.2, if I ever forget to turn off the camera before ejecting the card, the card never gets detected on my computer. I always have to put the card back into the camera, then turn the camera off and eject it again.

    You might want to try leaving the camera on and plugging the card in and then turning the camera off and try a recovery of the card again.

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    Re: M8 user in distress

    Sorry to hear about this. I've had no problems with Transcend 8Gb SDHC Class 6 cards, as well as Sandisk (budget, Extreme 2s, and 3s), Kingston, PNYs and budget ones from buy.com and newegg.com.
    My Photography Blog here

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    Re: M8 user in distress

    The M8 can definitely be a little weird some times. One time I thought my battery was dead, so I swapped it out for another I had on-hand. Alas, when it came back up all my settings were reset to defaults. Now I'm not so sure it was the battery...

    I use 2GB SD cards for the M8 and G9, and 4GB cards for the Canon 1D2N. I refuse to go out and buy all new cards for the sake of more capacity for one thing (they all still work perfectly). But I also don't care for using fewer, larger cards over many small ones. For one thing, the smaller cards have never been an issue for me - and god forbid something goes nuts with the card or you lose it... You won't lose everything you've shot. On the Canon, changing cards is a no-brainer that you can do blindfolded and takes two seconds. On the M8, well, okay it's more of a pain in the @ss... But a small inconvenience if you think about it the alternative.

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