We often heard about the stories about how some business is losing money because of a failed hard drive or how a relationship has gone sour because of accidental deletion of some files. The conclusion we could always draw from those incidents is simple, always backup or keep another copy of the files that are important.

As a tech-savvy guy who is into tech & gadgets journalism, I practise a relatively good habit of keeping my files backed up to either Google Drive or my home NAS. While Google Photos has been amazing in backing up photos the moment you took it, other files, however, may not share the same benefit because Google Drive’s storage capacity is limited. That goes without saying, I’m still reliant to a physical storage medium.

What Went Wrong?

How I Recovered My Files from a Faulty MicroSD Card 1

In this case, it was the microSD card I have been using for years alongside my phone. Back then when I was using the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, which is then upgraded to ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1. Even if the internal storage capacity of 64GB is pretty generous, sometimes I just hope I could easily transfer the files between the phone and a PC without hooking up with the cable. You see, sometimes PC would just outright reject phone connections for whatever reason. The worst scenario was trying to access an Android phone’s content through a Mac computer.

As time goes by, even the most durable device would degrade. That applies the same to the microSD card which I have been using for over 2 years non-stop. It happened so suddenly that one day the phone would just report the card being faulty and not loading any of its contents. In the microSD card is where I kept my music, entertainment related multimedia contents as well as documents that I need to transfer in between devices. While I don’t really care about multimedia files, not that I would say the same to the documents and files that are not backed up to the cloud.


How I Recovered My Files from a Faulty MicroSD Card 3

Plugging the microSD card to a PC and it turns out the files are indeed corrupted. I was lucky since we had quite a number of file recovery utility for this kind of situation. So I whip up ReClaiMe File Recovery application and begin the scanning process. Now, here’s the most painful process – scanning. It might take more than a few hours just to complete the scan. If you’re lucky enough, the scanner would found the file you’re looking for before it completes the whole storage scan.

How I Recovered My Files from a Faulty MicroSD Card 5

In my case, the image I’m trying to recover is relatively new, thus the recovery application was able to trace them in a short period of time. Since the recovery application allows the user to pause the scan and proceed with the file inspection, that actually improves the recovery process if you happen to remember the file name. On top of that, with the help of the recovery file preview, I was able to selectively retrieve the files through visual confirmation which ultimately shortens the recovery process.

At the end of the day, it didn’t take long for me to be able to recover the file that I wanted from the microSD card. Imagine if I ignore the warning message and continue using the memory card, the outcome would never be the same as the microSD card suffers more damage to a point of no rescue. Besides, the type of recovery software would affect the result as well because some utility doesn’t cut to the job.

The key takeaway for my experience is to always, always, and always backup your important files. Be it physically or to the cloud. Keep an eye on the operating system’s alert on your storage devices, for instance, SMART disk checking on PCs. When the thing goes south, hopefully, the damage is not too serious and use a reliable file recovery application for salvaging as much data as possible.


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