CF Card Undelete for Linux

I hope you never need this. But this worked for me.

I accidentally deleted a bunch of files from the CF card that was in my card reader. I recovered them all perfectly.

First, before you do anything else, unmount the card’s file system. This will stop any additional changes being made to the card.

You’ll need to know:

  1. the device name of the card’s file system. It could be something as simple as /dev/sda1, or it could be something complex, like /dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 (as it is with me).
  2. the names of the files you accidentally deleted. For example, if you deleted dsc_1017.jpg and dsc_1018.jpg in the dcim/100ncd70 directory, you’ll specify these as /dcim/100ncd70/dsc_1017.jpg and /dcim/100ncd70/dsc_1018.jpg.

First, check that the files can be undeleted:

# fsck.vfat -u /dcim/100ncd70/dsc_1017.jpg -u /dcim/100ncd70/dsc_1018.jpg /dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0/part1

If you get the message Warning: did not undelete file ..., that’s a file that has been overwritten, perhaps in your camera. It’s gone; only the name remains. You won’t get it back.

Then, you can actually restore the files:

# fsck.vfat -r -u /dcim/100ncd70/dsc_1017.jpg -u /dcim/100ncd70/dsc_1018.jpg /dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0/part1

If all goes well, your files will be back. Makes backups, and don’t do it again.

simple cheapo CF card adaptor and Linux

As I’m about to go (almost) entirely digital, I’m looking for ways of reading CF cards on my Linux-based ThinkPad. I was in Henry’s clearance store yesterday, and they had PCMCIA CF card readers for $10. I’ve found that it works well, though it took me a while to get it going. Here’s what I did:

You will need to install Card Services for Linux, if you haven’t already. After that’s done, you can check which cards are installed with cardctl ident:

Socket 0:
  product info: "Wireless Network CardBus PC Card", "Global", "", ""
  manfid: 0x0097, 0x8402
Socket 1:
  product info: "LEXAR ATA FLASH CARD     ", "STORM  ", "ST BM"
  manfid: 0x4e01, 0x0200
  function: 4 (fixed disk)

Ignore the Socket 0 output — it’s my wireless network card. The adaptor in socket 1 does contain a Lexar CF card; you’ll get a different message if yours is a different manufacturer.

If you don’t get this, it’s likely that (somehow) your system isn’t preloading the ide-cs module; check the /etc/pcmcia/config file, and read the various pcmcia-cs manual pages.

If you check the output of the kernel messages (with dmesg, or your tool of choice), you should see:


You’ll want to make a mount point for this disk, so mkdir -m777 /mnt/flash. Then you can edit /etc/fstab, and add:

/dev/hde1 /mnt/flash auto noauto,user,rw 0 0

From now on, you can access your camera’s CF card from /mnt/flash. No messing around with USB required!