A CF card is employed for storing and transferring files on some small portable devices. Like other SD cards, it is prone to corruption. Is corrupted CF card recovery possible? The answer is definitely yes. This MiniTool post will guide you through the process of recovering files from a corrupted CF card and repairing the card itself.

CF cards are extensively utilized by many professional cameras due to their large storage capacity, reliability, high file transfer speed, and other advantages.  Therefore, it is quite frustrating when finding a CF card gets corrupted. This passage elaborates on the process of conducting a corrupted CF card recovery.

CF Card Overview

Most of you must be familiar with SD cards, the most common memory cards in daily life. CF cards and SD cards both belong to memory cards. Both of them are small in size and suitable for portable devices, like digital cameras. In the following content, I’d like to introduce CF cards to you briefly.

The CompactFlash (CF) card was developed by SanDisk in 1944. It is used by many high-end cameras. Besides, it is also welcome for video recording because of its large data storage capacity, ranging from 8GB to 512GB.

Besides the mass data storage, the CF card also has a higher file transfer speed than other memory cards. It contains no moving parts, which might be wearied out or broken in use; thus, it is highly reliable. The CF card is capable of detecting and correcting errors to reduce its error rate.

If you are interested in comparing CF cards and SD cards, you can go to this post: CF Card vs SD Card: What Is the Difference Between Them?

Why Is a CF Card Corrupted

CF cards might turn into corruption due to various reasons. There are several common reasons listed below.

  • Improper ejection of the CF card: If you eject the CF card when it is transferring files, it might cause the photos and videos to become inaccessible.
  • Virus attack: When you insert the CF card into a virus-infected device, your CF card is exposed to the virus which might lead to corruption.
  • Incompatible file system: Using an unsupported file system of the device will also result in the CF card being inaccessible.
  • Physical damage: If your CF card is destroyed physically, you can try to recover files with specialized data recovery software, like MiniTool Power Data Recovery, provided that the CF card can be recognized by the computer.

How to Recover Files from a Corrupted CF Card

Many methods used to fix the corrupted CF cards might cause secondary damage to the data stored on them. To safeguard data, I heartily recommend you recover files from a corrupted CF card before attempting any fixes. Among the various options for corrupted CF card recovery software, MiniTool Power Data Recovery should be your primary choice.

This free file recovery software is specifically designed to rescue files from various devices, including formatted USB drives, unrecognized external hard drives, unbootable computers, corrupted CF cards, and so on. Additionally, this software supports many file types, like photos, videos, archives, documents, audio files, etc.

Since CF cards are equipped with higher-demanded cameras, numerous photos and videos are stored in these cards. You can make use of the Preview feature to verify the chosen file is exactly the one you want. You can download MiniTool Power Data Recovery to make a corrupted CF card recovery and experience more functional features.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

MiniTool Power Data Recovery provides many editions. You can use the free edition to make a deep scan and recover up to 1GB of files. If you demand a larger data recovery capacity or prefer higher technical supports, you can go to the MiniTool Store to choose a suitable advanced edition.

Step 1: Double-click on the setup package to install MiniTool Power Data Recovery with the on-screen instructions.

Step 2: Connect your CF card to the computer with a card reader. Then, launch the software. You can also click on the Refresh button to display the device if run the software first.

Step 3: If you just want to recover photos or videos from the CF card, you can go to the Scan Settings interface to choose a specific file type, then click OK to save the change and return to This PC interface. This step is based on your requirements. You can skip to the step 4 as well.

set the Scan Settings

Step 3: Select the partition of the CF card and click on the Scan button. You can also turn to the Devices tab and choose the CF card directly.

choose a partition to scan

Step 4: The found files will be displayed on the screen during the scan process, but you are not suggested to interrupt or suspend the process for the best data recovery result. When the scan process is completed, you can expand different paths to find your files.

As mentioned before, there are many functional features for you to locate your wanted files quickly:

  • Filter: You can narrow down the file list by setting conditions like file size, file type, file category, and date modified.
  • Type: You can shift to the Type category list to choose what kind of file type you want to recover, then look through the certain file list.
  • Search: If you remember the full or partial name of the file, you can type it into the search box to locate the specific file quickly.
use features
When using the Preview function to check photos or videos, please remember that this function only supports checking video files smaller than 2GB.

Step 5: Add checkmarks in front of the files you want to recover and click on the Save button.

save files

Step 6: Choose an appropriate path to save files in the prompt window, then click OK to start the recovery process.

When the software notifies you that the recovery process is finished, you can go to the determined path to check these files.

You are suggested to back up files to avoid unexpected situations. MiniTool ShadowMaker, a free backup software, contains practical features, such as differential and incremental backups, scheduled backups, automatic backups, and so on. You can download and install MiniTool ShadowMaker for file backup.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

How to Fix a Corrupted CF Card

When you recover files from a corrupted CF card successfully, you can try the following methods to fix your CF card.

Basically, you should make the CF card accessible on your computer. If you connect the CF card by using a card reader and the CF card is not recognized by the computer, you can change a different port to try again. Turn to this passage to find more solutions on how to fix CF cards not recognized/showing up.

After that, practice these methods to fix the corrupted CF card.

Fix 1: Assign a Drive Letter

Your Window system will prevent you from accessing a drive without a drive letter. If your CF card doesn’t obtain a drive letter after connecting, it will become inaccessible. You can assign a drive letter to your CF card if required with the next steps.

Step 1: Press Win + X and select Disk Management from the WinX menu.

Step 2: Locate the target disk and right-click on it to choose Change Drive Letter and Path from the context menu.

Step 3: Select Add in the popup window.

Step 4: Choose a drive letter from the drop-down list and click OK to save the change.

assign a drive letter

Go to check whether you can use the CF card normally.

Fix 2: Run CHKDSK Command

Another possible cause for your CF card corruption is the file system failure. You detect and fix the file system errors by running the CHKDSK command. This command line can verify the logical integrity of the file system and check and fix disk errors. In this case, you can try this method to fix a corrupted CF card.

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run window.

Step 2: Type cmd into the text box and press Shift + Ctrl + Enter to run the Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 3: Type CHKDSK x: /f and hit Enter to execute this command line. You should replace x with the drive letter of your corrupted CF card.

run the CHKDSK command
Files Get Lost After CHKDSK? Now Recover Them in Three Ways
Files Get Lost After CHKDSK? Now Recover Them in Three Ways

Does your files get lost after CHKDSK? Here are ways to help your recover CHKDSK deleted files in few steps.

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Fix 3: Format a Corrupted CF Card

Formatting is the last choice for you to fix a corrupted CF card because it will erase all your data on it. Therefore, before you perform the operation, recover files from the card with MiniTool Power Data Recovery first.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

There are three ways to format the corrupted CF card. You can choose one suits you best.

Way 1: Format with Disk Management

Step 1: Press Win + S and type Disk Management into the search box.

Step 2: Double-click on the best-matched option to open it.

Step 3: Right-click on the target disk and choose Format from the context menu.

Step 4: Set the Volume label and select File system based on your demands.

Step 5: Click OK to start formatting.

Way 2: Format Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

If you are a computer green hand, I suggest you use MiniTool Partition Wizard instead of Disk Management. MiniTool Partition Wizard is an all-in-one partition management software. You can use it to format partitions, covert file systems, rebuild MBR, and so on.

Compared with Disk Management, MiniTool Partition Wizard has a great advantage in that you can preview the result after making changes and is able to undo the operation if it is wrong. This software provides one more chance to avoid making irreversible damage to your computer.

Step 1: Download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2:  Connect the CF card and run the software.

Step 3: Select the target disk and choose Format Partition on the left pane.

format the CF card

Step 4: Assign a partition label and set file system on the following window, then click OK to save changes.

Step 5: Select Undo if you have set any information wrong. If you confirm the information, click Apply to fully run the suspending process.

apply the changes

Way 3: Format Using Command Prompt

If you prefer to use Command Prompt, run the diskpart commands is also a good choice. The diskpart command can manage partitions of hard disks, USB drives, and other devices. You can use the commands under the guidance of the following content.

Step 1: Press Win + S and type Command Prompt into the search box.

Step 2: Choose Run as administrator from the right pane.

Step 3: Type the following commands and hit Enter respectively.

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk x (Replace x with the number of the target disk. You can check the number in Disk Management)
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • format fs=* (Replace * with the file system you want to set to the CF card)
  • assign letter=X (Replace X with the drive letter you want to assign to)
  • exit
run the diskpart command

You can choose to recover files after formatting as well. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is powerful in restoring files from the formatted CF card.

Final Words

Your CF card might get corrupted due to various reasons. Fortunately, this post provides several methods to address the issue of a corrupted CF card and guides you through the process of performing a corrupted CF card recovery using MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

When you happen to have problems using MiniTool software, please send an email to [email protected]. We will help you to rectify problems.

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