The worse of photographer's nightmares happened.
Friday night I was about to do a backup of the last two events I did during the week and something went wrong somewhere: the SD card didn't fit smoothly on the card reader. I inspected the card and it was physically damaged at the top, by the contact terminal... I tried with a different card reader and I this time the card mount on the computer. I start doing a backup and the process stopped at 1/3 of the first event. I couldn't read that folder anymore.
The folder with the second event was OK.
After secure the second event, I tried to read the card from the camera, but it was impossible to fit the card into the camera (the A99 or the NEX7) so I try a third card reader, but access to the damaged folder was impossible. Next step was the real mistake: I asked Windows to "fix" the card: the damaged folder disappeared!
Time for a software solution. Sandisk and Sony have recovery software for their cards. In this case, it was a Sony SD card, so I downloaded (http://www.sony.net/Products/memorycard ... index.html
) and installed it. GB card took more than a couple of hours to get scanned and to recover all the files: 2000+ RAW images found, but the 200 that I was expecting didn't shown up.
Now I was in trouble. This situation never happened to me before. But I remember reading on the old Minolta group Forum in Yahoo of a software (free!) able to recover Minolta raw .MRW files. "Smart Recovery" from the German editor PC Inspector (http://www.pcinspector.de/SmartRecovery ... language=1
) This is an old software, for WIN NT, XP and 2000, I installed it on my WIN 8 PC and after a couple of crashes, I asked Windows to run it as WIN XP. It worked.
Since you are supposed to search for file types, and the Sony ARW raw files was not in the list, I searched for TIF files. It worked! I start recovering files and soon, the missing files appeared. Slowly, the nightmare was over. The TIF files were perfect, no corruption at all, and Lightroom read them without problem, all the metadata was there.
I hope it will never happen to you, but just in case, get a copy of Smart Recovery -I'm not getting paid for this. Wait, I got blessed by them and I need to declare my gratitude