can my sd card be recovered?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by edwardjulio, May 6, 2015.

  1. edwardjulio macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2014
    I have been saving lots of important and private data on my sd card (on my macbook pro), today I decided to buy a new sd card with a bigger capacity. I want to throw away my old sd card. So i decided to destroy the sd card physically. I take a hammer and destroy the card. The sd card is become 4 pieces now. My question is, can somebody recover some part of the data in those 4 pieces? or once it is broken the data is impossible to be recovered even a few part of the data? just my personal curiosity.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well with flash storage

    Thats probably not the best way to go about it. You should have done a secure erase first. Because the memory chips could just be remounted and the data recovered not to difficult for a computer engineer or even an enthusiastic amatuer.

    I would say do you not have all your external storage encrypted??? An SD card is a terrible place to keep sensitive and personal data. They are small easily lost or stolen and can be used in almost any device.

    Also why did you not just do a secure erase and keep it as a backup storage?? Seems excessive to destroy a perfectly good SD card...
  3. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2014
    Hamburg, NY
    you can smash it up more... You shouldve done a format before destroying it if you were super concerned though.
  4. edwardjulio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2014
    I started to encrypt all my external storage weeks ago..I did not encrypt my sd card because I always store it in a very safe place..I mean in a very2 safe place..after reading your post.. I took my sd card in the rubbish..burn it with my stove..and I cut it into a small pieces.. I guess no one can recover it now. Dont you think so? It may be excessive..but for my peace of mind..


    Just know I pick it up in the rubbish. I took a candle..and I burnt using my candle and my stove and I cut it into pieces...should be safe now? sounds excessive..but for my peace of mind..
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    It's in several pieces?

    Dispose of the individual pieces in different locations.

    Then.... don't worry about it.
  6. edwardjulio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2014
    Hi..thanks for responding, thats actually my question.. can the small pieces of a sd card be recovered? I mean, I dont really know how a sd card works, does a small piece of sd card contain data? So that if an expert found the small pieces of the sd card, the expert can recover a part of the data?
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Are you some kind of government official or someone high up in a Fortune 500 company or something of the sort? A celebrity maybe?

    No offense, but unless you are one of those, you are likely neither important nor interesting enough to warrant someone going through your trash to recover data from a SD card that was cut up(assuming anyone's going through your trash in the first place).

    I think you're being paranoid.
  8. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    Throw one of the pieces in a public dumpster, the second in the sea at least 20 miles away, the third on a set of train tracks, and the last in the chemical disposal unit of a hospital.

    Also, wear rubber gloves while doing all of this, so no one can lift off fingerprints and trace the pieces back to you.

    That should do it.
  9. scaredpoet, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Sometimes that doesn't matter. It's still removable media, and if you're concerned about your data enough that you feel the need to burn/smash/destroy the card to prevent someone grabbing your data, then you should be encrypting it... so that you don't end up worrying about it the next time you have to upgrade SD cards.

    At this point, it would take someone really dedicated, and maybe with thousands of dollars and a few weeks of time, to even attempt to recover the data. And there's still no guarantee their efforts would work, but the possibility though slim, might still be there.

    Would someone be willing and able to go through all that trouble to get your data? I don't know, because I have no idea what you were storing (and I don't wanna know). That's something you'll have to figure out for yourself.

    Next time, encrypt. Then, if and when you need to wipe the card clean, use SD Formatter to low level format the card and wipe it completely clean. One pass should be fine since this is NAND flash, but if you plan on disposing of the card completely and never using it again, feel free to frag the sucker it with this program as many times as you like until you're content that the data is destroyed. Then, that's it. Though if you still want to cut, burn or physically mangle it, go right ahead.

    This is better than burning/smashing/cutting, because you're explicitly told the SD card controller to systematically destroy the data on the card. Physically cutting or damaging the card is hit or miss... maybe you destroyed enough of the storage media... or maybe not.

    What I do know is that the big selling point for solid state media, like SD cards, is they can handle physical extremes way better than hard drives and other storage. So I would prefer my solution - encrypting, wiping, and maybe wiping again to be sure - over physical stuff.

Share This Page