Forgot to format SD card, need to read FAT32 photos ?

Dear all,

I made a mistake of forgetting to format a SD card and now the photos are in a FAT32 format.

They have not been deleted, I see the computer attempting to read them so see some images, but only temporarily.

However they then all become question marked items…

Is there anyone experience enough to provide advise on the best conversion software or methods?

I am currently trying GetDataBack that has an estimation time of 6+ hours, and I am looking looking for some back-up plans!

Would be much appeciated,


  1. SD cards come pre-formatted. You don’t have to do it before using the card.
  2. FAT32 refers to the type of format on the card, not the images you are putting on it. And if your card is between 4GB and 32GB, FAT32 is the correct format.
  3. I don’t know if you can recover the photos or not.

FAT32 is a very good format for USB sticks.  Low overhead and compatible on everything.

For recovering files, which frequently get lost due to owners yanking their USB sticks out of the machine without using Windows Safe Removal utility to close them first, I use Brien Kato’s totally free Restoration app.

As for backup plans, simply copy the files to a pc’s hard drive.

The data in the memory card can get corrupted or damaged due to accidental deletion, frequent disk formats, software virus and many others. When memory card corrupts, data stored inside it becomes completely inaccessible and users cannot search the required result. For this, memory card recovery algorithms should be used.

Those pictures stored in your SD card, were you able to view them before? I think the file got corrupted. What type of file is this by the way? Jpeg or PNG? It might be diferrent too that your computer doesn’t have the sofwatre to read it. 

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did you got your problem solved? I am seeking for solution also.

@tiffany39 wrote:

did you got your problem solved? I am seeking for solution also.

  1. This thread is 1 1/2 years old. The OP hasn’t logged in since.
  2. What problem?
  3. Create a New Message and describe your situation completely. Maybe someone can help you.

My problem was that I’m not able to get photos on my sandisk memory card, it shows memory card not formatted when I try to access the sandisk sd card. anyway, I have got my problem solved. I found this memory card recovery guide which helped me.

Happy to hear you bought an app that fixed your problem tiffany39.  Was it the $69.95 version or the $39.95 version?  Did you try the free app posted previously in this thread?