xD Card Data Recovery: How to Recover Files From xD Card in 2021

Written by
Yevgeniy Tolkunov
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xD Card Data Recovery

We all rely on our cameras to capture precious memories. Storage devices like xD cards help us to achieve this. While we generally aim to keep our files safe, sometimes life happens and we may lose some or even all of the files on a device such as an xD card.

However, all hope is not lost if you lose files on an xD card due to something like accidental deletion. Here, we will explore xD data card recovery so that you will have the tools necessary to recover data from your xD card.

If you need to recover files from an xD card, please stop using it right now! Read this article first to see what you need to do in order to recover your files. Using your xD card will result in the files that you want to recover being overwritten.

Quick Navigation

I have accidentally deleted important photos from my xD cardUsing Data Recovery Software to Recover Files From xD Card
I have formatted my xD card by mistake and I need my data backUsing Data Recovery Software to Recover Files From xD Card
My xD card is corrupted, I get error messages like “memory card error” or “corrupt memory card”Run a chkdsk
Files on my xD card are missing but I didn’t delete themSoftware Errors
My xD card is not recognized by my PCRun a chkdsk
I think my xD card was attacked by a virusViruses and Malware
I guess my xD card is dead/damagedPhysical Damage
My camera malfunctioned and I lost my pictures. Can I get them back?Using Data Recovery Software to Recover Files From xD Card

xD Card Data Recovery Overview

Here, we will focus mainly on logically damaged xD cards. We will look at resolving these logical issues and at recovery options if your xD memory card is physically damaged. We also have some advice on how to deal with this later in the article. If this advice doesn’t work, then you will need to get help from a professional data recovery service.

Difference Between an xD Card and an SD Card

There are a few important differences between xD and SD cards we will touch on below so that there is no confusion. While these two device types are similar to each other, there are differences between them.

⬛ Shape

xD cards and SD cards have different shapes. xD cards have a more rounded appearance.

xD card appearance

On the other hand, SD cards have an appearance that is typically more rectangular and angular.

SD card appearance

💪 Capacity

xD cards can theoretically have capacities of up to 8GB. However, the maximum available size is usually around 2GB. SD cards on the other hand often come in capacities of at least 4GB. In fact, newer versions of SD cards may even come in sizes of up to 2TB.

⚡ Speed

In addition to their size advantage, SD cards also have a speed advantage over xD cards. The fastest SD cards out there can write at speeds of up to 312MB/s while xD cards can write at speeds of up to just under 4 MB/s.

In terms of size, xD cards take up a little less space than standard SD cards. However, the difference isn’t significant. In addition, SD cards also come in the smaller microSD format.

💰 Cost

Another difference between these two storage types is that xD cards are surprisingly usually more expensive than SD cards. This is because they are proprietary and were only offered by Fujifilm and Olympus. Even though they aren’t as powerful as xD cards, this drives their cost up.

👵 Lifespan

xD cards also tend not to last as long as SD cards. This is because xD cards tend not to have the same protection mechanisms in place as SD cards. SD cards implement what is known as wear levelling which helps to slow down memory wear by writing files to areas on the SD card with the least amount of wear.

Where They Are Similar

With that being said, there is no denying that SD cards are very similar to xD cards. They may also experience data loss issues and SD card data recovery software can help with this too.

Troubleshooting: Is My xD Card Damaged/Corrupted?

The simplest case of file recovery is if files were simply deleted in error. If this is the case, then you can immediately start off working with data recovery software to try to recover your data. However, there is a possibility that your xD card might be damaged. This may have then resulted in you losing data. Here, we’ll cover how to figure out what the issue with your card is. Regardless of the type of damage, it may be stopping your xD card from being read/written to.

Physical Damage

Besides the most obvious physical damage where your device might be physically broken, physical damage might not be immediately noticeable. In any case, you’ll have to seek out the expertise of a professional data recovery service if your xD memory card is physically damaged.

If you aren’t able to read your device after inserting it into a memory card reader, this doesn’t necessarily indicate a physical problem. To see if this is the case, consider the following:

  • Try using software such as Easeus Partition Master, which can detect drives that have errors that cause them to not be readable under normal circumstances.
  • If you are able to view the drive, then you will be able to carry out repairs. In this case, you’re probably experiencing a repairable logical error.

Logical Damage

Logical damage refers to damage that isn’t a result of physical issues with a storage device. This type of damage may happen for a number of reasons. We will discuss these below.

  • Accidental File/Folder Deletion: When a file is deleted, it isn’t immediately erased from a storage device. It is just earmarked for deletion. This means that unless you write to a storage device after accidentally deleting a file, you will have a good chance of recovering it.
  • File System Formatting: This can be an issue if a user formats their storage device unintentionally. This could be the case or they might have forgotten to back up some files before formatting their device. In any case, this will lead to files being initially inaccessible. Again, if the storage device isn’t written to before attempting recovery with recovery software, then there is a strong possibility of data being recovered.
  • File System Damage: File system damage may happen because of something like a power outage or a software crash. If this happens, then you won’t be able to access the files on your storage device. You can repair this type of damage with data recovery software.
  • Software Errors: Some software errors can lead to file deletion. Data recovery software is thankfully effective in such a scenario too.
  • Viruses and Malware: Viruses and malware can lead to the accidental deletion of files from a storage device too, unfortunately. You can recover the deleted files with recovery software. However, after doing this, you should ensure that you carry out thorough virus and malware scans to ensure you clear out any infections so that the problem doesn’t occur again.

Data Recovery Process

The data recovery process is similar regardless of if you are doing it by attaching your xD card directly to your computer using a card reader or if you are attaching the device that uses the SD card to the computer.

Note that we will focus mainly on data recovery in Windows 10 in this section.

Making Your xD Card Accessible Again

Some of the logical errors that we described above may result in your xD card being somewhat inaccessible outside of specialized software. We will need to fix any errors before attempting to recover data. If your card doesn’t have any logical errors then you can skip this section. Below are some options for fixing possible issues so that your xD card will be accessible again.

Run chkdsk

Running chkdsk can help with disk read errors that might sometimes pop up that can prevent you from being able to access your xD card. In order to run chkdsk, do the following:

Open the Command Prompt in Windows 10 as an administrator. You can do this by going to the start menu, typing in Command Prompt, right-clicking on the Command Prompt icon and then selecting Run as administrator. You can then run the chkdsk scan by typing chkdsk <xD card letter>: /f. Hit enter and the scan will run and fix any errors that are found.

Run chkdsk

Reinstalling drivers

You might need to try reinstalling the drivers for your xD card reader. This can be an issue sometimes. To do this, you can go to the device manager and reinstall your driver from there. To reinstall drivers, follow these steps:

  • Type Device Manager into the start menu search bar and then open the device manager after it pops up.
  • You can either use the Update driver option or you can use the Uninstall device option, after which you can then install the driver for your xD card reader again.

The name of your xD card reader in the device manager will vary depending on the model. The image below is just an illustration.

Reinstalling drivers

Reformatting the xD card

Sometimes you have to resort to reformatting the xD card if there is an issue with the file system and you are unable to read your card. As we have learned above, files can still be recovered even after formatting. You can either use Windows 10’s built-in tools to do the reformatting or you can use software such as Easeus Partition Master to format your xD card.

Using Data Recovery Software to Recover Files From xD Card

To recover files from your xD card, you will need to install reliable and effective data recovery software. Here, we will use Disk Drill since it has proven to be one of the most effective options for Windows 10 in our tests. It’s easy to use and has several thorough scan options which ensure that you have the best possible chance of recovering your files.

Connecting Your xD Card to Your Computer

Before we walk through the recovery process, let’s consider the different options that you have for connecting to your xD card and executing the recovery procedure:

  • Connect your xD card to your computer using an internal/external card reader: Even if your computer doesn’t have an internal card reader, you have the option of acquiring an external card reader to read your xD card. You’ll be able to access the xD card and work with it just as if it was a USB thumb drive. Ensure that your card reader supports xD cards.
  • Insert the xD card into the device that you use it with and connect that device to your computer with its USB cable: You also have the option of putting the xD card into the device that you usually use the xD card with and then connecting the device to your computer. This causes your card to appear as a regular USB mass storage device in most cases. You may have to change some settings on your device to ensure that the xD card appears as a mass storage device. Not all devices have a USB mass storage mode. You will need this to be able to access your device from within the data recovery software you’re using. If your device does not support this, you will need to use a card reader to be able to read your device.

Using Disk Drill to Recover Files From Your xD Card

Regardless of the option that you choose, after connecting your card reader/device to your computer, you should be able to view the device in Disk Drill. You can now select your device.

Recover Files From Your xD Card - Step 1

After selecting your device, you can then get started with the recovery process. To do this, first select All recovery methods in the right sidebar of the application’s windows. You can then select Search for lost data.

Recover Files From Your xD Card - Step 2

The search process will then begin. After the search is over, a results page will show up. This will show you the files that you can recover. It will also categorize these files according to their type.

Some files will need to be reconstructed and won’t have file names. You may have to search the Reconstructed category and then try to deduce from there which file is yours based on the size and type of file. In our case, we were searching for an audio file which we were able to locate successfully.

Recover Files From Your xD Card - Step 3

After selecting the Recover option, we can now choose the location to save the file to. You will have to save files that you want to recover to a location that isn’t on the xD card. This is to ensure that if you need to recover more files there won’t be any overwriting taking place.

Recover Files From Your xD Card - Step 4

Select ok and then you’ll be able to enjoy your file(s) once more.


Wrapping UP: Conclusions and Verdict

You can recover data from an xD card as long as the xD card isn’t physically damaged. Physical damage requires attention from a professional. If your xD card has suffered some kind of logical damage, then you will need to resolve that issue first. Luckily, there are several options for doing this as we have learned above in this article. There are also several great data recovery applications available such as PhotoRec, Data Rescue 6, and Disk Drill. This gives users out there aiming to recover files from xD cards lots of options for recovering their data.

William has been fiddling with tech for as long as he remembers. This naturally transitioned into helping friends with their tech problems and then into tech blogging and blogging about data recovery.
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This article has been approved by Yevgeniy Tolkunov, Hardware Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Master's Degree in Physics, Information Technology; 15+ years of experience.