I know there is an answer that covers recovering photos from sd card and plenty of links online but I need one that can cover RAW files (specifically sony raw files in my case. arw). Is there one that can do that?
Although the interface isn't particularly slick, the underlying functionality is the same as any proprietary program, and I'd be surprised if any of the more expensive options can recover anything this can't. Of course, if this fails, you can always try one of the demos of the commercial software to see if it can do any better. But I don't think they actually have any extra magic sauce — in fact, I've seen anecdotal reports that PhotoRec is more thorough.
Any general file recovery tool will do. For image-centric ones, there are also plenty available. The most popular ones are Image Rescue and Photo Rescue. They each offer a free-trial which shows you thumbnails and guarantee that anything that shows a thumbnail will be recovered once you pay. I can vouch that both of these work and I have seen them recover RAW files from several brands of cameras, although I have not tried with Sony RAW ones.
If the card is actually full formatted, then you will be out of luck. If it was quick-formatted then you'll likely be ok with any normal data recovery tool that supports SD cards.
The reason that file recovery normally works for deleted files is that there are two parts to a file. There is the data itself and a record of where the file is on the drive/disk/card. When you delete a file or quick format, the record of where files are is wiped out, but the file data itself remains in place. A file recovery tool looks for these fragments and tries to put them back together for you. A full format however will write 0s to the entire drive rendering any previous files destroyed.
protected by mattdm May 7 '13 at 10:31
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