Sony makes excellent storage solutions for all kinds of devices. However, it is most popular with photographers, who love the robustness of Sony’s SD cards. They have incredible read/write speeds, helping with high-speed photography. 
sony sd card recovery

Unfortunately, SD cards are devices highly prone to damage from fire or water. Even voltage fluctuations can reduce the lifespan of your SD card and corrupt data. While such situations are avoidable using backups, are you stuck with no backups? Fortunately, Sony SD Card recovery is a possibility.

Why Do Sony SD Cards Lose Data?

Data loss is unsurprisingly common in SD cards, and Sony is no exception. There are many reasons you might need to recover data, but it is best to find out what might have caused the loss. This will help you understand whether you can retrieve the data.

Here are some common causes of data loss in Sony SD cards:

  1. ❓ Formatting: You might have accidentally formatted your Sony SD card. While checking an SD card’s properties, unintentionally clicking the format button is a frequent occurrence.
    Sony sd card format
  2. 👤 Accidental Deletion: Did you accidentally hit delete on your files? Deleted files are quite often in the Recycle Bin so that you can recover them quickly. However, permanently deleted files are tougher to retrieve.

  3. 💡 Virus infection: If you are using a Sony SD card in a camera, the chances of being infected by a virus are low. However, if you often connect it to a computer with an internet connection, you might be downloading malware or viruses onto the SD Card.

  4. 💥 Corrupted SD card: Sony SD cards can be corrupted due to voltage fluctuations, water or fire damage, mechanical damage, or software problems. In such cases, your files can go missing.
    corrupted sony sd card

  5. 💾 Filesystem problems: If you suddenly change file systems, you might not be able to open any of your files. In this case, your files aren’t lost. Instead, your computer merely needs to know how to read them.

If you are fretting over deleted files on a Sony Memory Card, here’s a great place to get started.

Sony SD Card Recovery: Situations & Solutions

Many situations can lead to data loss from Sony SD cards. However, for each of them, there are different solutions.

Situation #1: Your Sony SD card is empty, but you have a backup.

Solution: Use the backup to retrieve your data.

Data backups are the absolute best way to recover lost files. If you rely on storage devices for any data, whether photos, videos, or documents, you must always have a backup.
windows backup

Therefore, our top suggestion to recover photos from your Sony SD card is to use a backup of your data.

Situation #2: The computer recognizes your Sony SD card, but there are no photos

Solution: Check for hidden files.

In some cases, your SD card might appear empty even though it has files. If this happens, try to see if the files are hidden. Here’s how:

  1. Open File Explorer and locate the problematic Sony SD card
  2. Click on the View tab on the Menu bar
  3. Make sure that the Show hidden box is checked
  4. Your files should now be visible on the Sony SD card.
    sony sd card hidden files

Situation #3: Your Sony SD card is corrupted.

Solution: Try out some of our suggestions to fix the corrupted card.

Sony SD card corruption, as we described above, can happen for many reasons. If you suspect your card is corrupted, try to:

  • Try a different device to access the card. This will ensure that the card is faulty, not your device.
  • Check the authenticity of the SD card. You can use free tools such as FakeFlashTest.
    fakeflashtest screenshot
  • Check whether the drivers for your SD card reader are updated.
    update sd card driver
  • Change the Drive Letter of the SD card from Disk Management in Windows.
    change drive letter
  • Fix File System Errors using the CHKDSK command in Windows. 

Here’s how you can recover deleted files even from a CF (Compact Flash) Card.

Using Data Recovery Software

If none of those steps worked for you, you could try to use data recovery software. There are several available, such as EaseUS, Recuva, Stellar, and our favorite, Disk Drill. All these software have similar steps to data recovery. 

Sony SD Card Recovery using Data Recovery Software:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill SD Card recovery software with administrator privileges. Then, launch Disk Drill.
    disk drill setup
  2. Connect your Sony SD card to your computer with either a card reader or attach the device that contains it.
    sd card reader
  3. Choose the SD card and recovery method 
    Select your Sony SD card from the disk list presented in Disk Drill’s interface. After making your selection, you can choose the type of recovery method you want to use.

    selecting sd card in disk drill

    If you are looking for recently deleted files, you may want to try a quick scan. Harder to find files can often be recovered with a deep scan to reconstruct files from fragments and file signatures.

  4. Start scanning for lost data
    Click the search for lost data button to initiate Disk Drill’s advanced scanning algorithms. Over 400 different file types are defined in the application’s recovery database and are recognized by the scanning procedures. They include virtually any kind of file you are likely to be using on your Sony SD card, including RAW file formats for photos!

    disk drill scan page

  5. Select the files for recovery
    During the scan, you will see progress as the process executes. You can pause the scan to sift through files or wait for the entire process to terminate. 
    selecting files for recovery in Disk DrillUse “filters” for faster search by selecting the correct file type
    selecting files for recovery on disk drillRecovered files are displayed in folders and categorized by file type to simplify your search for recoverable data. You can choose to look only at Pictures, Video, Audio, Documents, Archives, and other files to narrow the search. 

    Or, you could use the file name to directly search for it.

    Check Reconstruction section
    Reconstructed files are those found through a deep scan. The file fragment did not supply enough metadata to recreate the filename. They are found in the Reconstruction section and will have a generic filename with a valid file extension. You can preview the files and rename them after you perform the recovery.

  6. Recover the deleted data from your SD card
    Click the Recover button once you have identified the files you wish to restore. You will be prompted for a safe location at which to save the recovered files. Don’t save them to the SD card that suffered data loss, or you may cause file corruption during the recovery process. When recovery is complete, you can move the files to the location of your choice.
    data recovery complete messageWe feel you: There are so many different kinds of recovery tools out there. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best of the best.

How Can I Ensure Complete Recovery of My Photos?

Recovering lost data from Sony SD cards has a high chance of failure. However, here are some quick tips to maximize your success rate:

  1. ❌Stop using the SD card the moment you notice data loss. This will help avoid data overwriting.
  2. 🔄Don’t reboot the damaged storage.
  3. 👨‍💻Seek help. If the data you want to recover is essential, seek expert advice instead of experimenting.
  4. 💻If you are using software to recover data, install it on a different device. 
  5. 💿If you don’t take regular backups, ensure that the disk where you store your important data has a lot of free space, at least 20 %. This minimizes the risk of overwriting it.
  6. 📷Do not delete files using the camera’s interface; this increases the chances of the data remaining lost. Many cameras ‘zero out’ space after file deletion. It means that they intentionally wholly overwrite the data to make it irretrievable.   
  7. ☂️Keep the SD card in a dry place at room temperature to prevent physical failures.
  8. ☁️Taking regular backups is essential: And not just that, saving data on cloud storage or an independent storage device is strongly advisable as a precautionary measure.
  9. 🔋Stop using the device on a low battery: Cutting the power off while the device is still using the card is the easiest way to create errors on your SD card. Whether it is a camera or any other device, avoid operating on a low battery. If you want to pull out the card, first turn off the camera or device.  
  10. 💯Use a high-quality card reader: Connecting a device to a computer using a USB cable is relatively inefficient and drains that device’s battery. Additionally, a high-quality reader boosts data transfer speeds. 
  11. 1️⃣Use one SD card per device: Don’t use the same card with multiple devices as different devices have different file formats and can create errors while writing or deleting data.
  12. ✅Format SD cards the right way: Before using a card on any device, it is crucial to format it within that device. This will optimize the card and format it in the device file system, minimizing the chances of getting errors. Also, instead of deleting one by one for emptying the card, copy everything and then format the card.      

Conclusion

Sony SD card recovery is very much possible. If data gets lost from an SD card, it can be recovered by implementing various processes. While there are many possible solutions, the best one is to use intuitive data recovery software. Always make sure you backup your data, keep calm, and follow our steps precisely, and you will have your data back in no time!

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Joshua Solomon

Technology, SaaS, and digital marketing are Joshua's go-to niches. He understands the need for simple and easy-to-read articles on the internet. As technologies grow in complexity, guides and how-to pieces must remain com...

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Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.