Data recovery on a Lexar 16GB CF Compact Flash card – January 2016


Our client, a professional wedding photographer from Cape Town, had some extremely bad luck. One of the main cards she shoots with failed after only a few weeks of use, resulting in her losing data from it. Luckily the photos on that particular card were not too important. The supplier replaced the CF card under warranty and she started snapping away again. A few weeks later, disaster struck again. She had photographed a wedding and, at the end of the shoot, the camera refused to detect the CF card. This time the data was of vital importance so she needed to find a solution.

She contacted us and explained her position. Upon receiving the CF card at our Cape Town lab, we established that the card was completely non responsive and would need professional data recovery service. A CF card is made up of a controller along with an array of NAND flash storage chips. In this case, the controller had failed. In order to recover the data from this device we had to remove the NAND chips from the PCB, read each one individually, and then recompile the data so that it became good, readable data again. Below you can see the inner workings of the CF card, NAND flash chips removed and ready to be read.

Photo 2016-04-06, 3 44 35 PM


Once we had full data dumps from the storage chips, with a bit of time recompiling the data, we were able to give the client her valuable photos (blurred below for privacy purposes). Both she and her customer were very relieved.












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