I have an SD card that suddenly cannot be read. There are several sentimental photos on there. I tried the recovery tools from the manufacturer's website as well as several 3rd party tools. None of that worked. Now, it needs to go to a data recovery firm.

What criteria should I look for in choosing a firm? What kind of success rate can I expect (percentage-wise) of recovering anything from a failed card?


  • I'm open to this question being reopened with the rewording, but note that in the past questions about SD card recovery have attracted mountains of spam. – Please Read My Profile Apr 13 '18 at 11:13
  • That's exactly why I wanted to ask here, because Google shows over 9000 links of pretty much just spam and scams. – Pittsburgh DBA Apr 13 '18 at 14:14

Drive Savers. From everything I've read, they're one of the best.

They talk a bit about their approach here:


but to make a long story short, they unsolder the chips from the circuit board and connect them to their own controller, read off the blocks, and then reassemble your image files like a giant jigsaw puzzle. :-)

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  • Thank you for this information. I tried most of the software-based methods, while keeping the card in read-only mode, and nothing worked. I will wait a bit to see if we get other answers, but I will not forget to mark this as "the answer" if not! – Pittsburgh DBA Apr 9 '18 at 17:55
  • No prob. They're one of the companies that one of my well-known former employers used for recovering data from hard drives, and they've been doing data recovery for almost as long as I've been alive. They're expensive, but good. There are probably a number of other firms that can do the job, too; I just don't know who they are. – dgatwood Apr 9 '18 at 17:58
  • That's terrific! I called and spoke to them, and they do sound top-notch. I would rather an expensive potential solution than a cheap guaranteed failure! – Pittsburgh DBA Apr 9 '18 at 18:06

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