I formatted my card so it showed empty. I took photos for two weeks. The next day after taking a few the card said FULL. I scrolled back. Only the new photos plus some very old images were there.

I removed the card to download to my iPad. The card reverted and showed previous images, not ones taken that day. It performed as normal until another occasion when the same thing happened.

How can the card have this double life and how can I get the few images off?

  • 3
    AS you mention an iPad: IOS and its relatives have a funny way of deleting files, they are not deleted but moved to a "hidden" directory, but other devices just recognize those as valid files, so they don't display the expected free space. If you have a windows computer, configure it to show hidden files and you'll be able to see all the card's contents. Make a safe copy and then format the card either on that computer or in your camera. Every time you "empty" your card with mac's software, format it in your camera. – Jahaziel Oct 4 '12 at 15:37
  • Ah, good to hear about another reason to move to Windows 8! I can't wait to do tethered shooting out in the field... – jrista Oct 5 '12 at 2:07

What's the make of the card? did you buy from a reliable seller? Shady sellers use to play nasty tricks with the internal chips of the card (usually to cheat on the real size) and this has obviously nasty consequences on the integrity of the filesystem.

Just in case, you should always download your pictures to a safe storage (move them away from the card as soon as possible). Are you sure that you "deeply" formatted it? You could try to run a scan-disk utility (chkdsk) to report on the integrity of the card after the formatting.

Given the risk of losing data, and the relative cheapness of cards, I would recommend in any case not relying on this card for anything remotely important.


As you have written, you may unintentionally delete your new photos. please stop using it again and apply a recovery tool to help you recover them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.