Can I Recover Files From SD Cards, Flash Drives, Etc.?

Do Data Recovery Tools Support More Then Just Hard Drives?

Photo of a MicroSD card and adapter
Transcend MicroSD Card. © planet coline (via Flickr)

Will any file recovery program recover files from storage devices other than traditional hard drives, like SD cards, external hard drives, flash drives, or other USB based drives?

The following question is one of many you'll see in my File Recovery FAQ:

"Do any data recovery programs recover files from SD cards, flash drives, external hard drives, or other devices?"

Absolutely yes! A number of data recovery tools, especially the higher-ranking ones in my list, support a wide range of devices.

In addition to your classic internal hard drive, you'll find on most desktop, laptop, and tablet computers, most data recovery tools also support SD cards, external hard drives, flash drives, and some even support iPhones, iPads, and other ultraportable computer devices that store files.

A few data recovery tools even support undeleting files from rewritable optical drive media, like CD, DVD, and BD discs.

Most file recovery programs support any device that you can plug into your computer and display the contents of as a drive. This is pretty common with things like digital cameras, smartphones, etc.

Technically, whether a program supports one storage device over another depends on the file system that the particular file recovery program supports. In other words, it's not the device itself that needs to be supported, but instead the way in which the device stores data.

Data recovery support for network shares is a bit more complicated. See Do File Recovery Tools Support Network Drives? for more on this.