recover corrupt JPG's after downloaded from CF card ?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by RS, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. RS

    RS Guest

    I was travelling in India and downloading / backing up my Nikon's CF cards
    (a Sandisk Regular; Sandisk Ultra; a Lexar 12X) ... by means of a
    Microsolutions "RoadStore". It worked fine last year ... and it worked fine
    this year ... except for one time !

    I don't know which card it was, but when I look at that one directory of
    pics, I see normal size "JPG" files ... but I cannot open them in anything.
    Well, if I force them to open, I see "colored snow". Interestingly, if I
    preview them with Photoshop Elements, I can see thumbnails of the "lost"
    files. I can see the pics that I cannot open !!

    I talked to the Microsolutions tech people and they said to try a certain
    data recover program that I could download a trial version of, from a
    certain site. I did that, but it didn't work on my files. I phoned the maker
    of the recovery program and the tech told me that it only worked IF THE

    Once they were copied off onto a CDR and the CF card re-formatted ... the
    recovery program could not do its magic. The tech also said that it was
    probably due to a defective CF card ... also that it was NOT a good idea to
    delete files in the camera ... that this could upset the apple cart of a
    "questionable" CF card ... that it was better to just leave them on the CF
    card and delete them after backup/downloading was done.

    Question: Has anyone had any experience with salvaging corrupt JPGs that
    are on a CDR ?

    Thanks !

    RS, Apr 10, 2005
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  2. RS

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi RS...

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Couple of suggestions, if I may?

    How about copying the entire cd in one swell foop to a directory
    on your hard drive? Perhaps you'll be able to see some or all
    of them that way.

    Then again, perhaps the copy will continue only so far and hang.
    If so, you'll probably get at least some of your pics.

    If that doesn't work for you then if the pics are sufficiently
    important to you, you might want to try loading the whole
    thing into a hex editor. Search out jpeg headers and footers,
    and copy each and every one into a new file with a unique name.

    Good luck.

    Ken Weitzel, Apr 10, 2005
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  3. RS

    -RS- Guest

    Thanks, but the error happened fairly early in a 5 week travel and shoot
    trip ... i.e., the card was totally re-written on several times since
    then. All the data I have from the card is on several CDR's.

    -RS-, Apr 10, 2005
  4. RS

    -RS- Guest

    Thanks, I will download and try the Zero product ... however from what I
    read on the "about" page, it looks like it is also meant to work with
    original media itself ... and sadly, this had been totally re-written on
    several times since the bad batch of images. The CF card itself must be
    "marginal" and seems to work fine unless one deletes a pic or two in
    the camera (as the tech I mentioned in my original post, said).

    So it comes down to "JPG file recovery" rather than "digital camera file

    -RS-, Apr 10, 2005
  5. RS

    -RS- Guest

    Yes, I was doing a folder-by-folder copy from the CDR onto the hard disk
    when it first complained that it could not copy certain files. What
    would be a good way to do a one-fell-swoop copy of the CDR to the hard
    drive? "X-copy" ? I have not used that for some time, but I must have a
    DOS reference book somewhere ... to help me get the parameters right :).

    The Hex editor idea would probably be the best idea I've heard so far
    .... if I was familiar with such editors. I didn't quite follow your
    suggestion about the headers and footers: Are they the part that is
    likely to be damaged? Do I want to keep them ... or the stuff that is
    between the header & footer ?? Perhaps I can find a true geek
    (programmer who does machine-level programming) to help me ! Yes, the
    images are important: a very fancy wedding in the Punjab, India that I
    was invited to take photos at.

    -RS-, Apr 10, 2005
  6. wrote in
    Yes, that is a totally different issue. Once the data is wrongly copied to
    another media, there is no practical way of fixing it. The key thing to
    understand here is that if a picture made of 4 blocks A B C D is wrongly
    copied as A B D, and if C is missing or even wrongly copied to another
    picture as C E F G H there is no way to correct the situation.

    Even very minor, single byte corruptions might be hard to fix. One has to
    determine which byte is wrong, and then discriminate among all the possible
    fixes which picture would be aesthetically correct.

    While I can see ways to address the last problem, just as I can see ways to
    improve on the auto defragmentation we use, these solutions would require
    _a lot_ of computing power, resources and patience, several orders of
    magnitude bigger than what the average user now has.

    Pierre Vandevennne, Apr 10, 2005
  7. RS

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Good, making progress. We now know that it's the media
    itself that's at fault. You either bought a flawed blank CD,
    or the burner wasn't up to par, or finally that it somehow
    was damaged a bit in storage/transportation.

    I'd humbly suggest that were it mine, I'd try reading it again.
    Each time the "retry" option came up I'd click it over and over
    again. Keep at it until your clicking finger gets sore :)
    I've seen success finally after a dozen tries.

    Should that not work, I'd next try enlisting neighbors, friends,
    and family. Visit for a coffee, and see if their reader won't
    read it. Try for a mix of qualities if you can find them;
    from the latest and greatest 52x combo dvd/cd reader to the
    oldest slowest available. There is a possibility that the
    one in India may have been just a bit different from ours.
    Worth trying.

    If still no luck, examine the cd carefully in bright sunlight.
    Fingerprints? A stuck speck of dust? A tiny scratch?
    Remember that the most sensitive surface is not the one you'd
    expect - the "label" side is far and away the most critical.
    If you find marks, I'd recommend cleaning it by washing hands
    thoroughly. Then with a gentle flow of lukewarm body temp
    water wetting the cd - both sides. Touch a bar of hand soap
    with the tip of your finger, and *gently* wipe the cd. Wipe
    from the center outwards to the rim. Both sides. Then rinse
    well with gently tepid water. *Pat* dry with a lint free cloth.
    Don't rub.

    Then repeat the your reader; other readers thing.

    If still nothing, then a hex editor is quite simple to use.
    I'd recommend winhex, though there are others. They'll give
    you a free demo to try, though it will be crippled (won't save)
    It will show you what it will do once paid for while crippled.

    A jpeg header is an essential part of the file; it includes
    information about how the file is compressed. Every jpeg
    begins with (hex) FFD8, and ends with FFD9.

    One final thought, another fellow here has (or hopefully had)
    a sorta similar problem (though hd based) He appeared to be
    dedicated and skilled, and may be willing to share what he's
    learned with you. He used a "no-spam" kind of address, but
    if you write another message with the subject PING: PlainBill
    he may notice it and offer to help you out.

    Hopefully others too will offer suggestions.

    Take care.

    Ken Weitzel, Apr 10, 2005
  8. RS

    mort Guest


    When I recently purchased several SanDisk Extreme CF cards, they came with a 3"
    CD-R containing a program called RescuePro, which is supposed to rescue
    problematic card images. If you have no luck with other programs, then contact
    me at:

    and I'll be glad to snailmail you a copy of the RescuePro disc to your mailing

    Good luck.

    mort, Apr 19, 2005
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