How long will my Compact Flash card last?

Have you ever wondered how long a picture will stay on that memory card in your camera?

PetaPixel.com posted an article today about a camera that had been accidentally dropped off the Santa Cruz wharf four years ago by its owner. The camera was found by a Good Samaritan walking on the beach who decided to see if he could find any pictures or possibly the owner.

Even after 4 years at the bottom of the ocean the Good Samaritan was able to recover pictures from the internal memory card. With about 30 minutes of work he was able to clean the card, insert it into his computer and recover over 100 photos taken back in 2007.

“I simply split the card with an XActo knife and cleaned the circuit board with some isopropyl alcohol to make sure there was no salt bridging the pins. Once you’ve cleaned it, put it back in the carrier and put the two halves together. Then simply insert the card in the SD slot of the reader. That’s all I did.”

The Good Samaritan took the recovery a step further by posting the pictures online in hopes of identifying the original owner. In what appears to be less than a week the owner was found and the pictures returned.

We’ve given tips before on how to save a cell phone that was dropped in water but recovering pictures from a camera that sat in salt water for 4 years was beyond what we thought likely.  Nicely done Good Samaritan and good information to know for those needing data recovery.

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