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I have videos and music on the SD card inside my Android Moto G5 phone. I wanted to watch some of those videos on my Android Lenovo A10-70F tablet. So, I turned off my phone, removed the SD card, and placed it into my tablet.

The tablet asked if I wanted to have the SD card only work on the tablet, or use it as portable storage. I selected the portable storage option, and the file browser immediately popped up. I was horrified to find that the SD card was reporting itself as only being 1% full, and the only data inside was in LOST.DIR and a single album in /music (which is the first album alphabetically in my collection).

Moving the SD card back to my phone hasn't changed anything. Have I really lost all my media?

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Yes, probably the SD card was formatted. Try to plug your SD Card to a PC with an adapter and browse the folders to see if files are still there. I suggest you to configure Windows to show hidden files; it can be done from Folder Options.

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If nothing shows up, they were deleted from the SD. By the way, if they have not been overwritten yet, it's pretty easy to recover them. Just use a data recover software such as Recuva

If you want to try with Recuva follow those steps after downloading and installing it from the official website.

  1. From the Recuva wizard window, select All Files then Next> Recuva first step
  2. Select "In a specific location", then Browse, then select your SD Card from the list (usually F:) Recuva second step
  3. Check the "Enable Deep Scan" box then click on Start Recuva third step

The process may take a long time, depending on the PC's characteristics and the R/W speed of the SD card. At the end of the process, you will be able to view and eventually recover files previously deleted from the SD Card.

edit: I suggest you to try both scanning modes as, in some cases, normal scan mode finds some files that are not detected in deep scan mode and vice versa

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  • Thanks, that looks like a good set of steps to perform. It's ridiculous that my data would be formatted - I'm hardly computer illiterate, and there was absolutely no warning that it would happen. – Ben Watson Sep 20 '17 at 21:54

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