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Recover Photos from Formatted Memory Sticks

Sumona Chatterjee  | Updated on February 11, 2021 | Photo Recovery   | 10 Comments   | 3 min read

Summary: This article describes the importance of memory sticks and lists possible data loss scenarios from them. After that, it suggests using Stellar Photo Recovery to recover photos from formatted memory sticks.

Recover Photos from Formatted Memory Sticks Recover Photos from Formatted Memory Sticks

Memory sticks or removable flash memory cards were pioneered by Sony in 1998. They are tiny storage devices used mainly in digital cameras,  camcorders and are popular for their amazing data transfer speeds. Memory sticks are available in 3 major varieties depending upon their storage capacities – original (128 MB), PRO series (32 GB), and XC series (2 TB).

Popular memory sticks by Sony include Memory Stick PRO (great storage capacity and faster file transfer speed), Memory Stick Duo (small-form-factor version of PRO), Memory Stick Micro M2 (even smaller than Duo), and Memory Stick PRO-HG (high speed variant of the PRO to be used in high-definition video and still cameras)

Sandisk and Lexar are among few third party Memory Stick producers. Although they are proprietary storage devices manufactured by a trustworthy brand, memory sticks are pieces of hardware at the end of the day, and thus, they’re also prone to the same threats as other storage devices. However, before we get to know how to recover photos from formatted memory sticks, let’s understand what memory sticks are:

How Memory Sticks make our lives easier

Memory sticks are used as storage media for portable devices such as digital cameras and camcorders and can easily be accessed by a personal computer. Thus, they make data storage, transfer and sharing extremely simple. From field experts to beginners, today, everyone that uses a digital camera understands what a memory stick is and how it can be used. People can use memory sticks as their portable photo library, music, and video library, or a simple data storage medium.

Photo Loss Scenarios from Memory Sticks

While memory sticks offer many advantages on the one hand, on the other, they can lead to despair. Come any disaster and all the photos and other media stored on memory sticks can get lost in an instant leading to professional as well as personal despair. Here are some situations wherein Photo loss can strike memory sticks:

  • Accidental formatting of the stick without saving the photos on it
  • Physical damage to the memory stick
  • Virus / Malware infection to the stick
  • File system incompatibilities from using on different cameras and computers leading to corruption of the stick

An indication that your memory stick has been damaged or corrupted is the appearing of the error “card not formatted” or “This disk in drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?” on trying to access the stick. If you see this error on connecting the stick to your computer, do not follow the instructions and format the card. Instead, download Stellar Photo Recovery software to recover photos from formatted memory sticks.

Steps to Recover Photos from Formatted Memory Sticks

Stellar Photo Recovery software allows you to recover photos from the formatted memory stick as well as damaged / corrupt sticks. This competent tool allows image recovery from digital cameras, memory cards, external storage, USB sticks, and even from hard drives. It supports FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS file systems and reinstates deleted pictures with their original date-time shipping, camera model/name and file names.

Photo Recovery photo recovery mac

  1. Download, install and launch Stellar Photo Recovery
  2. Select the drive or storage media to scan and recover from and click Scan.
  3. You can choose to customize the recovery process through Advanced Settings icon on top. You can select a specific file type, add new file type or edit Header to scan for exact results.
  4. A dialog box of ‘Scanning Completed Successfully!’ appears. In the left-pane of main window, all the found files and folders are listed. The bottom-right pane lists the files stored in the selected folder. Select a file and preview in the right pane.
  5. If the required photos are not in the list, opt for Deep Scan at the bottom
  6. Select the desired files and choose Recover.
  7. In the dialog box, specify the location to save the media files and click Save


Fend off data loss from memory stick in an effective way with Stellar Photo Recovery. The software will serve as your one-stop solution to recover photos from formatted memory sticks and help you preserve your fond memories.

  1. Jenna Mcleod August 19, 2019
    • Sumona Chatterjee August 22, 2019
  2. Alex Daniels April 3, 2019
    • Sumona Chatterjee April 23, 2019
  3. Jerus_pres February 27, 2017
    • Sumona Chatterjee February 27, 2017
  4. Jiva February 10, 2017
    • Sumona Chatterjee February 14, 2017
  5. Lucid January 6, 2017
    • Sumona Chatterjee January 9, 2017

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