How to Recover Deleted Files from xD-Picture Card

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xD-Picture Card

Even though xD-Picture Cards, commonly referred to simply as xD cards, are no longer used in any camera that’s currently in production, many people still rely on them every single day. If you’re among them and have accidentally deleted important files from your xD card, you can follow the step-by-step xD card recovery instructions in this article to get your files back in no time. 

What Is an xD-Picture Card?

xD-Picture Card Olympus

Today, SD cards dominate the global memory card market, being used in all kinds of electronic devices, from cameras to smartphones to smart home products. However, that wasn’t always the case. 

During the early 2000s, SmartMedia had the biggest percentage share (40%) of worldwide digital camera storage, but it also had its fair share of limitations. To start with, SmartMedia cards were very large, and their capacity topped at just 128 MB. 

It was clear to most leading digital camera manufacturers at the time that a new memory card standard needed to be created. Fujifilm and Olympus took this difficult task upon themselves and, in July 2002, revealed the xD-Picture Card.

This new memory card standard was created specifically for digital cameras, and it was significantly smaller than SmartMedia (20 mm x 25 mm x 1.7 mm versus 45.0 mm × 37.0 mm × 0.76 mm). xD cards for cameras also promised a storage capacity of up to 8 GB, delivered superior read/write speeds, and was designed to use minimal power, among other things. 

There are many reasons why SD memory cards—not xD memory cards—have eventually become the dominant type of memory cards. One reason is that the xD-Picture Card format was proprietary to Fujifilm and Olympus, which other camera manufacturers didn’t like. What’s more, xD cards were unable to keep up with emerging memory cards standards in terms of speed and capacity, so most consumers naturally lost interest in them. 

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Is It Difficult to Recover Data from xD Cards?

xD Card in a Card-reader

xD cards are flash-based memory cards just like SD cards, CF cards, or MMC cards. When a file is deleted from a flash-based memory card, it remains physically present on the drive until it becomes overwritten by new data. 

That’s great news for anyone who needs to recover deleted files from an xD card because it means that it’s possible to use readily available data recovery software to get the job done from home and with minimal effort. 

Since xD cards are used almost exclusively in older digital cameras, it’s important to select a data recovery software solution capable of recovering all current and older image and video file formats, including the following:

  • AVI
  • BMP (Bitmap)
  • JP2 (JPEG2000 image)
  • JPG (JPEG image)
  • JPX (JPEG2000 image)
  • MKV (Matroska Video)
  • MP4 (MPEG-4 video)
  • MPA (MPEG-2 Audio File)
  • MPG (MPEG video)
  • OGM (Oog Media)
  • ORF (Olympus camera RAW image)
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphic)
  • RAF (Fujifilm RAW image data)
  • RM (RealMedia)
  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
  • TS (Video Transport Stream File)

One such data recovery software solution is Disk Drill, and we explain how to use it to undelete xD cards in the next section. 

How to Recover Files from XD Card

Are you ready to recover data from your xD card? If so, here’s what you need to do:

Connect the xD Card to Your Computer

First, remove the xD card from your digital camera and connect it to your computer using an xD card reader. We highly recommend you use an xD card reader that hasn’t given you any issues in the past because you want the xD recovery process to go as smoothly as possible.
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Wait for Your Computer to Recognize the xD Card

It shouldn’t take more than just a couple of seconds for your computer to recognize the xD card and automatically mount it. If your computer doesn’t recognize the card at all or asks you to format it, you need to skip to the last section of this article and learn how to repair xD card errors. Once the error is fixed, go back here and continue from the next step.
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Download and Install Disk Drill

To recover deleted images and videos from an xD card, you need a capable data recovery software solution. We recommend Disk Drill because it can recognize and undelete over 400 file formats with just a few simple clicks. You can download Disk Drill for free directly from its website and install it just like you would any other application.
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Launch Disk Drill and Scan Your xD Card

With Disk Drill installed and your xD card mounted, you can go ahead and scan it. To do that, launch Disk Drill and select your xD card from the list of available storage devices. Next, click the Search for lost data button and wait for the scan to finish. Since most xD cards are relatively small, scanning shouldn’t take more than just a couple of minutes.
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Recover Your Files

Finally, you need to select the files you want to recover from your xD card. Disk Drill makes this easy because it lets you preview all recoverable images and videos while they are still technically deleted. Once you have selected all the files you want to recover, all you need to do is click the Recover button and tell Disk Drill where it should save them. You can recover them to any storage device besides the xD card itself.
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free data recovery software Disk Drill for Windows & macOS Free Download

How to Repair Common xD Card Errors?

Sometimes, attempts to recover deleted files from xD cards become unsuccessful due to common xD card errors. Here’s how you can fix them. 

xD Card Not Recognized

Symptom: You insert the xD card into your xD card reader, wait, but nothing happens. 

Solution: First of all, you need to verify that both the xD card and your xD card reader are actually working. If you can, insert the xD card into a digital camera and see if you can access it (be careful because you don’t want to format it!). To verify that your xD card reader is working correctly, insert a different xD card into it. 

If your xD card and xD card reader seem to be in good working order, there might be a problem with your operating system and/or drivers. The simplest solution is to use a different computer to recover your files, but you can also attempt to reinstall the relevant drivers. This article explains how. 

xD Card Needs to Be Formatted

Symptom: You insert the xD card into your xD card reader, and your computer displays the “You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it” or a similar message. 

Solution: While you can fix this error by formatting the xD card, doing so would make it considerably more difficult for you to recover all lost images and videos. Instead, we recommend you scan the xD card for errors using CHKDSK in Windows or First Aid in macOS

xD Card Data Transfer Error

Symptom: You start scanning your xD card using data recovery software, but the scan suddenly stops, and the software displays a data transfer error message. 

Solution: In most cases, xD card data transfer errors are caused by a faulty xD card reader or damaged connection pins on the xD card itself. You should also check if the cable connecting your xD card reader to your computer is in top shape and replace it if it isn’t. 

David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche, covering everything from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry application.
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12 years experience in software development, database administration and hardware repair.