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I had a minor photo related mishap yesterday, I deleted files from the SD card on my Canon 550D without importing them onto my PC first. I've connected the camera up and pointed PhotoRec and some other recovery software at it but the card isn't shown as a drive on either.

Windows seems to only let me access files on the card through explorer by clicking the camera icon, then the card. I've also tried assigning a drive letter in computer management but the camera doesn't show up there. Windows can obviously read this device as a disk, is there any way for me to assign it a drive letter or mount it as a regular disk without purchasing an SD card reader?

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The device isn't being seen as a disk, it's being seen as a camera with the storage contents managed via the Picture Transfer Protocol.

What you need to do is either mount the SD card into a PC reader or reconfigure the camera to present itself as a USB Mass Storage Device rather than an Image device.

This seems to be common with Canon SLRs: Reference

However...

What Canon SLRs are not, are 'USB mass storage devices'. This means that whilst the computer can read the card, download files and delete files on the card, it doesn't get treated like a full removable disk. You can't put files onto the card, rename files or create folders, etc. For that you need a card reader to make the SD card appear to your computer as a proper USB mass storage device.

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