Restore Images from CF Card on Mac

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.x and above (including Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion & Mavericks)

Memory cards are electronic flash storage media used in various portable electronic devices like professional digital camera, gaming consoles, mobile phones, camcorders, digital audio players etc. There are different types of memory cards available based on different storage capacities and sizes such as CF card (Compact Flash card), MMC (Multi Media Card), SD card (Secure Digital card), Smart Media card, etc. Sony, Lexar, SanDisk, Kingston, HP, Transcend and so on are some well-known brands of memory cards. Compact Flash (CF) cards have replaced floppy disks because of their storage capacity, size etc. which can be used in smaller handheld electronic devices. The storage structure of CF card is similar to that of hard drives i.e. CF cards also contains file directory, file allocation table, files and folders which are organized with the help of file system. The information and the image files stored on the CF cards can be accessed with the help of card reader. Though CF cards have no moving parts but, they are still susceptible to data loss. There are several reasons due to which you might lose pictures from CF cards such as accidental deletion of image files, virus attack, memory card corruption and so on. So in order to recover photos from CF card on Mac OS X you need to make use of reliable Mac Undelete software.

CF cards supports FAT32 (File Allocation Table) file system and are primarily used for storing media files like songs, photos, videos, etc along with text files. As these Compact Flash cards are non-volatile and solid-state chips hence, they do not have any moving parts and are less prone to physical failures.

Common scenarios that leads to loss of images are mentioned below:

  • Formatting the CF card: Unintentionally formatting the CF card on your Mac computer erases entire files stored on CF card and leads to loss of photos.
  • Accidental Deletion: You might have accidentally deleted few essential photos from your CF card when it was connected to your Mac. Later when you realised that you have deleted essential photos, you checked the Trash but you were shocked to see that the Trash does not have any of the photos that you have recently deleted. What actually happens is, when you delete the photos or any files from any external storage device like CF card, the photos does not move to Trash instead it bypass the Mac Trash bin resulting in loss of photos.
  • Human Carelessness: The image file loss can be a common problem due to human negligence. This is the common problem amongst all. There can be a situation when you are trying to transfer some essential photos from your CF card to computer, you may abruptly remove the CF card connected to your Mac even when the transfer process is still in progress. When you again connect your CF card to view pictures, you were unable to access the photos from CF card resulting in error messages that inturn leads to data loss. The image files can also be lost or deleted due to virus attack, which leaves the CF card inaccessible.

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.x and above (including Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion & Mavericks)

Taking regular backup is an effective way to reduce data loss. If you do not possess up to the back up of your image files then in such circumstances you can make use of specialized Mac recovery software to get back all your lost or deleted pictures.

Mac Undelete software is an effective recovery tool, which helps you to recover lost or deleted media files from different types of memory cards like SD, XD, CF, and MMC memory cards. This software can recover pictures from digital camera and can restore RAW image file formats like JPEG, JPG, TIFF, TIF, PNG, BMP, GIF, PSD etc. It also supports recovery of songs and videos files lost or deleted from the memory card. It can even execute file recovery from FireWire drives along with other external drives like USB drives, iPods, etc.

This is an user friendly tool, so that even a nontechnical user can retrieve deleted Word documents on Mac without much effort. You can even download the free demo version of this software and evaluate the recovery results. You can also preview the recovered result and if you are pleased with recovered result then you can save the result by purchasing the full version of the software. It can be used in different version of Mac operating systems.

Step to Recover Pictures from CF cards:

Step 1: Download and install the free trial version of the software. Launch the software application by double clicking the desktop shortcut icon. A main window appears as shown in Figure 1. Select Recover Photos option from the main window.

Figure 1 : Main Screen

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.x and above (including Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion & Mavericks)

Step 2: After you select retrieve photos a new window appears from which you need to select the "Recover Lost Photos" option in order to restore deleted and lost files as shown in Figure 2

Figure 2: Select restore Lost Photos

Step 3: You need to select the physical drive i.e., CF card from which the files are lost or deleted and then click on "Next" option as shown in Figure 3.

Physical Drive Selection Screenshot

Figure 3: Select Logical Drive

Step 4: After you click on Next the software starts scanning. After completion of scanning process you are able to preview the restored result with the help of "File Types View" as shown in the Figure 4

Recovered Files - Screenshot

Figure 4: restored Files


For Leopard (10.5) and
Snow Leopard (10.6) Users

For Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8),
Mavericks and Yosemite (10.10) Users