Photo Data Recovery Service

Specialized Data Recovery : Photo Recovery (and video) from small NAND flash based devices

[Information about photo recovery and repair services in Dutch language]

I have been un-officially recovering photos for clients for years. I am now offering this as a regular service, my Photo Data Recovery Service. I use professional data recovery hardware so you can rest assured I can handle memory cards and flash drives in the most safe and efficient manner. I handle cases from all parts of the world. This service should not be confused with my photo repair service aimed at repairing individual files.

In short the service is aimed at cases where:

  • DIY type software fails. So, you have already tried recovering lost or deleted photos using various end user software.
  • Other labs or services were able to repair a damaged flash device or dumped NAND but failed to extract intact files.
  • In addition I am often able to recover data from failed flash drives and cards.

Photo Data Recovery Service Starting at $50 (ex. VAT)

Recovery type Cost Total (ex VAT)
Base rate (logical recovery, minimal NAND degradation) $50 $50
Complex (Severe fragmentation, requires disk editing, special hardware) + $50  $100
Repair (broken connector, reflowing, board repair) + $50  $100
Off chip (chips can be de-soldered, supported model) + $100  $250*
Complex chip (non supported, monolith) To be quoted To be quoted

* $50 in advance, non refundable attempt fee

Pricing explained.

Note: For specialized video recovery, see this page.

Photo Data Recovery Service:

  • Specialized data recovery service for photos and videos stored on memory cards or other small flash memory devices (USB thumb drives, SD Cards and such). That being said, I can recover other file types from small flash based devices too.
  • Photo formats: ANY but we have advanced methods for reconstructing JPEG (generic), CR2 (Canon RAW), NEF (Nikon RAW) and Video formats: MP4, MOV from fragments scattered all over the drive.
  • For photos lost due to accidental deletion or formattingOf course countless file recovery tools claim they can do this too, and they probably can in standard situations. Even if they fail I can recover your photos, and it’s even more safe than DIY attempts.
  • File system corruption: File system listed as RAW or Windows warning when accessing the memory card: you need to format this drive. There can be many reasons for this, ranging from corrupt file system data to hardware issues. What ever you do, don’t format or initialize!
  • System freezing as soon as memory card is inserted, I have equipment that will still allow me to read the card or flash drive even if the memory card or flash drive is severely degraded.
  • File recovery software freezes while recovering photos, Using special equipment I will image/clone the card or flash drive and then recover your photos.
  • Connection to drive (The USB thumb drive, SD card etc.) is dropped, SD card is disconnected while accessing it. This a symptom indicating something is seriously wrong and continuing DIY attempts may push the device over the edge.
  • Inaccessible memory card due to bad sectors; Windows Explorer never produces a file list and freezes.
  • If file recovery software only recovers corrupt photos, I can often recover intact photos. Using in-house developed techniques I puzzle photos back into one coherent file.
  • For all small flash based devices; Secure Digital card, SD card, SDHC, MicroSD, Compact Flash card, USB flash drives, USB thumb drives etc.. Consult me first for SSD, NVMe etc..
  • Option for small physical repairs that require micro soldering (broken USB connector, re-flowing controller and NAND chips etc.) .

In short, I can recover photos from small flash based devices such as USB keys and SD Cards even if your DIY software can’t and other data recovery services only get corrupt photo and video files.

How does it work?

I need access to the full contents of the memory card.

  • Fill out the form below. I will give you a shipping address (Netherlands, Europe).
  • You ship the physical memory card or flash drive.
  • I will recover your photos (and videos and other data). I can provide file list and samples.
  • You pay the recovery fee.
  • I will make photos (or other recovered data) available for you to download.

Contact me using below form and I’ll provide you with a shipping address. Alternatively, for purely logical recovery you can instead share a sector-by-sector disk image with me using Google Drive or a similar file sharing service.

Important! Do not use a regular envelope, tiny MicroSD cards may just escape, and USB connectors are easily broken off. Use a small box or padded envelope instead. Make sure the card can’t be bend. Micro SD Cards only need a small tear in a regular envelope to slip out, I have seen examples of labs receiving envelopes that were empty apart from note that accompanied the card.

I will NOT return the card back unless my recovery is unsuccessful. Note that these unstable devices aren’t fit for continued use anyway. If the card requires chip-off I will contact you. Some cards require the NAND memory de-soldered from the PCB or micro soldering to connect monolith devices directly to a NAND flash reader. NAND memory is then ‘dumped’, such a dump in itself is not very useful and it needs to be error corrected, decoded and descrambled. This is a complex and time consuming procedure. We have adapters for most common NAND chips and use Soft Center Flash Extractor to recover data from memory dumps.

How are your files returned?

I make recovered files available via Google Drive or a similar file sharing service. If desired I’ll put them in an encrypted ZIP and will email password separately. Whenever possible I will try maintain the original folder structure and file names, it depends very much on the state of the file system. If file system is too damaged, files will have generic filenames and the folder structure can not be recovered.

Once you have downloaded the files I will remove them from the server and delete the files from my local PC.

What’s the advantage of this service over using file recovery software?

By all means, try yourself first but be warned you’re taking a risk. If the card however is in good working order and you avoid writing to it, it is quite safe. For added safety create a disk image of the card. I know my service is a last ditch resort for many.

Safety first!

Specially for this service I acquired specialized professional hard ware that allow me to guarantee the contents of the card are never changed. It also allows me to stabilize the drive to prevent physical issues it may have from getting worse. First thing I do is creating a sector by sector image of your flash drive or memory card. File recovery is then done from that drive image file.

Custom tools

If needed I customize my software in order to be able to achieve my goal: the recovery of your data. This allows me to address logical issues and recover data where other software fails. I know every one tells you they can recover data that others can not, so you have to take my word for it.

Consider this: Many labs are focused on the hardware side of data recovery. Once a device is fixed to a degree where it can be imaged, logical data recovery is done using software. Many labs use professional yet off the shelf software. Using custom tools and in depth knowledge of logical disk structures as well as digital photo and video structures, is where my service can make a difference.

Professional grade tools

Apart from professional hardware that allows me to detect cards that would normally not ID and that allows access to degraded cards that would hang or freeze file recovery software without it, I also use professional grade software.

ReclaiMe Pro and USB Stabilizer, a powerful combo

ReclaiMe Pro and USB Stabilizer, a powerful combo allows me to recover data where end user software fails .. But this is just one of my tricks