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Data Recovery Services Rescue Panasonic P2 Cards

Too many computer users know the score. Their hard disc drives crashes, but they failed to do a proper backup. The inaccessible data is nearly always valuable, and it will take hours to recreate it.

After trying a few well-known do-it-yourself data recovery programs, the computer owner takes the drive to a repair shop desperate for help.  Usually, the advice is sent it to DriveSavers, the worldwide leader in data recovery services.

Based in Novato, California, DriveSavers handles more dropped, damaged, corrupted and traumatized drives in one day than most data recovery providers do in one month. Their diverse list of customers, who have paid for the pricey data recovery services, include Google, Lucasfilm, the Bank of America, NASA, Harvard University, the Salvation Army and the Rolling Stones.

Now, DriveSavers has announced the capability to successfully recover video data from Panasonic’s P2 flash memory cards. P2 cards, used by videographers around the world, are solid-state memory cards in a PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) format developed specifically for use in video camcorders.

About the size of a credit card, P2 cards contain four high-speed flash memory cards laid out in a RAID array. These solid-state drives are housed in rugged metal shells for use by production crews to store large amounts of digital video data for high-definition productions.

“P2 cards are considered to be one of the most durable video storage mediums available,” said Michael Hall, chief information security officer at DriveSavers. “But, like all removable media, they are inherently susceptible to physical failure and data will inevitably need to be recovered from these devices. We have successfully researched the cards and have the ability to overcome physical and logical failures of these devices.”

Hall said working on P2 cards to recover video is a more complex process than a standard hard drive, though the price for recovery is about the same. Not only do P2 cards have different interfaces than hard drives, but they also contain a pair of chips acting in a RAID configuration. The causes of failure vary, Hall said, but are usually in the logical or physical category.

With a logical failure, the P2 card is still accessible. But the data set is corrupt or it may appear as if the data was erased. With a physical failure, the card is inaccessible. That’s usually caused by an accident or failed electronic component.

If a videographer loses important footage with a P2 card, DriveSavers said the card should be kept protected to prevent further damage. If it has been damaged by water, the card should be shipped to DriveSavers quickly in a zip lock bag. Once corrosion occurs, it makes the recovery much more difficult to achieve. If the card has been physically destroyed, the user should collect all the pieces and send them immediately to DriveSavers. 

If you’re worried about security, DriveSavers adheres to U.S. Government security protocols to ensure that no data is ever compromised during data recovery. The company maintains the most technologically advanced Certified ISO 5 (Class 100) cleanroom in the industry and is authorized to open drives by all major storage device manufacturers without voiding the warranty.

DriveSaver’s P2 services aren’t cheap, but it’s perhaps much lower than reshooting scenes. Prices for recovering data from an 8GB P2 card begin at $1,000. For a free estimate, call (800) 440-1904.

For more information, visit

New Expanded-Capacity P2 Cards from Panasonic

Panasonic now offers new 16GB and 32GB E Series P2 cards that provide high quality recording for an average of five years with normal operation.

Incorporating a newly-developed memory technology, E Series P2 cards transfer recorded content at a faster rate (up to 1.2Gbps) than professional solid-state memory cards offered by other manufacturers, according to Panasonic.

For example, users can transfer a full 16GB E Series card’s content (any format) in less than two minutes. E Series cards offer the same high-quality recording and capacity as standard Panasonic P2 solid-state memory cards, and feature Panasonic’s signature aluminum die cast casing for exceptional durability compared to plastic-based memory card products.

Unlike other disc-based or solid-state recording systems, P2 cards are a high-speed bit bucket, offering high-quality video recording and optimum flexibility, including reliable performance, instant access to content and compatibility with all P2 camcorders, P2 recorders and workflow tools and all major nonlinear editors and servers. P2 cards store content in the complete range of P2-supported frame rates and formats, from high definition to standard definition and from DVCPRO to AVC-Intra 100. P2 cards offer recording of video, audio, and metadata in any environment, even in challenging conditions of extreme temperature.

E Series P2 cards are reusable for up to five years when recorded on once daily, at full capacity (100%); when used at half capacity (50%), the cards can continue to record for up to 10 years. A notification is given (in the camcorder’s LCD/viewfinder or the card reader’s display) as the card approaches the end of its life cycle.

The E Series cards are designed to work with Panasonic’s full line of P2 camcorders, recorders and workflow tools. A free E Series firmware upgrade for P2 equipment is required for optimum performance.* Additional free downloads available via Panasonic’s website include the P2 Driver upgrade (required for operation of cards on Mac or Windows platforms), and the P2 Formatter, a computer software that allows users to display and track the P2 card’s capacity and life.

Panasonic P2 memory cards can be connected instantly to laptop and desktop PCs and are supported by major non-linear editing systems. For connection to laptops with ExpressCard slots or desktop computers, professionals can utilize compatible third-party PC card-to-ExpressCard adapters or the Panasonic’s AJ-PCD35 five-slot P2 solid-state memory card drive.

The new 16GB (model AJ-P2E016X) and 32GB (model AJ-P2E032X) E Series P2 cards cost $420 and $625 respectively.

A 64GB E Series P2 card will be available in August at a suggested list price of $998.

For more information, visit