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Old 16th of October 2007 (Tue)   #1
Johnny V
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Default PhotoRescue saved my butt!

I can kick myself right in the butt as I didn’t take my own advice and reformat before a paying shoot and ran it deep trouble with a corrupt card/image files. Spent about 8 hours trying to recover the files.

At first I tried my favorite image recovery software, RescuePro, as it has never let me down with helping others recover image files. Well this time it did let me down! What it recovered on my corrupted RiData 8GB CF card were two files for each raw file - one .CR2 and one .jpeg. The recovered jpeg was just the imbedded jpeg used in the camera preview. The confusing part was the jpg file size indicated 8.4 MB so my hopes were up at first but it was a false size. I could open the jpeg but it was only thumbnail size probably no more than 100 pixels across. The CR2 size was indicated at 80 KB. So I just thought RescuePro became confused and just switched extensions...so I changed the extensions and still could not open the CR2 in Lightroom, Camera Raw or Canon’s DPP.

I also opened healthy and corrupted CR2 files with the text editor BBEdit (Mac) to compare the file/header structures and tried to figure out if I could copy and paste or repair the missing file/header information in the corrupted CR2. I tried every conceivable way and still no luck. Yes some file/header info was missing or screwed-up in the corrupt CR2 files.

How did the card become corrupt? Well I have a few theories. There were a couple times during the shoot that I changed lens without turning off the camera. But I have done that before with no problems. Also I shot until the card was full and I think (not sure) turned off the camera (XTi/400D) while it was still writing to the card but I think writing just continues with the camera off. My most likely reason is before the shoot I imported a number of images to my computer using Lightroom and it displayed a warning mentioning there was a duplicate file so I did a Save As thinking it would write the CR2 to the folder I was downloading to. What Save As does is just write a text file of the duplicated file title. Also my assumption was wrong about writing to the download folder...Lightroom wrote back to the card and I believe that is the reason the card became corrupted.

Actually when I first began the Lightroom import Lightroom found the card fine and began downloading...I then went for dinner. Came back to find that Lightroom could not import the 300+ files as the warning mentioned they were the wrong format or corrupt. An interesting behavior happened when I ejected the card and tried to have Lightroom import again it did could not see the card. The card’s icon was up on the desktop but it read “EOW_DIGITAL”. I could open the icon but just had some strange symbols. Why could Lightroom see the card the first time but not after is my question?!

Thinking I could download from the camera I tried but the camera indicated there were no images on the card.

Also during the shoot I was checking images and all seemed OK.

So...

After seven hours I was just about to give up and decided to search for a different file recovery program - as all this time I was thinking if RescuePro could not recover the card then nothing would. Some recommended PhotoRescue so I’d figured I'd give it a try. I tried the new demo version that was just released Oct. 1st. The demo seemed to recover all the CR2 files (no jpegs) but wasn’t totally sure as it was a demo. The demo builds a disk image of the recovered files so if you decide to buy just save the disk image for the full version to recover. To make a longer story short PhotoRescue did recover all CR2 files. I was up to about 3 AM but could at least sleep well.

I'm no way affiliated with PhotoRescue...just a very satisfied customer and hope this info will help others!

http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/index.htm

Last edited by Johnny V : 4th of September 2009 (Fri) at 09:47.
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Old 17th of October 2007 (Wed)   #2
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

Thank you, really. It is always better to learn from other people's mistakes...
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Old 18th of October 2007 (Thu)   #3
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

You are welcome.

I have a couple friends that have lost whole shooting jobs - weddings and fashion - because they did not format before a shoot. Usually by mistake they will copy files from a desktop window to their CF card window. Try copying a few layered tiff files to a CF card and shoot with it. Camera will not like it...downloading would be a problem most likely.
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Old 18th of October 2007 (Thu)   #4
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

So the general recommendation is format your card before every shoot? This is new to me, and certainly makes sense...
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Old 18th of October 2007 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by klynam View Post
So the general recommendation is format your card before every shoot?
Yep.

I've never had a corrupt card until this job and prior, about five years now, have always formated before shooting. This was the first time I didn't format before a shoot. The Ridata card is an 8 GB card and I just got lazy as it had tons of space left and the card was so reliable in the past that I assumed everything would be fine. What a surprise!!!
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Old 18th of October 2007 (Thu)   #6
Johnny V
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

I should make it clear when I mention "reformat" I mean reformat after downloading images to your computer or storage device and backing-up the files...then reformat in the camera.

I don't mean you have to reformat every time you have a new shooting situation. If the card is not removed from the camera then I think the card is fairly safe from corruption...it's when the card is removed where strange things can happen to the card. Though I'd recommend if a card is downloaded from the camera directly than reformat to play it safe.
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Old 18th of October 2007 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

None of your reasons for corruption sound right to me. Format before shooting is a good rule, I format all my cards the night before a wedding. Throw the 8GB card away and get a decent brand like Sandisk.
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #8
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

I'm a digital photo tech working in NYC...trust me...Sandisk and Lexar cards corrupt also. Seems the majority of the corrupted cards I have seen have been mistakenly written to (tiffs, word docs, txt files) from the computer then placed back in the camera for shooting. These non-native camera files seem to confuse the camera and how it writes and/or organizes data on the card.

Also corruption can occur formating in one model camera and shooting in a different model. I was working for fashion photographer and one card kept on corrupting. Turns out he would shoot with his 20D for a little while then pull the card out and install in his 5D. Of course he was on the roof and I was inside so I didn't see the card exchange from camera to camera.

> I format all my cards the night before a wedding.

Amen!
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #9
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

The other week, I pulled out the CF card from a 30D, stuck it into a 40D and the .CR2 files came out fine. Also done the same with a CF card taken out of the 30D and put into a 400D n jpegs.

Perhaps I've just been lucky.
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #10
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Default Forensics update!

Forensics update!

Tonight a photographer friend of mine wanted to take a look at the corrupt card I have.

My friend used a program called Data Rescue II to open the corrupted 8GB Ridata CF card.

We found some very interesting info on the card!

There were three partially written .dmg files on the card. I have Lightroom convert the CR2 files to .dmg on import...that’s where the .dmg files came from. Please see image below.

UPDATE EDIT: I'm a doofus! I noticed the screen shot below has .dmg, not .dng (digital negative), the format that Lightroom converts on import. .dmg is a Macintosh OS X Disk Copy Disk Image File. I'm going to assume here that Lightroom writes a .dmg file first when converting to .dng so the file integrity can be self-checked...once OK'd the .dmg converts to a .dng file. If not that, I don't know where the heck those three .dmg files came from. Bottom line...format, format and format! END of UPDATE EDIT

I originally wrote above:

“My most likely reason is before the shoot I imported a number of images to my computer using Lightroom and it displayed a warning mentioning there was a duplicate file so I did a Save As thinking it would write the CR2 to the folder I was downloading to. What Save As does is just write a text file of the duplicated file title. Also my assumption was wrong about writing to the download folder...Lightroom wrote back to the card and I believe that is the reason the card became corrupted.”

Well I was wrong about LR just writes a text file during a “Save As”...it DOES generate an image file and yes it did write back to the card. My hypothesis seems to be correct...just not the file type I thought was being written to the card. Doesn’t matter as it did just as much damage.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg corrupt_data.jpg (70.7 KB, 401 views)

Last edited by Johnny V : 19th of October 2007 (Fri) at 21:24.
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #11
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flickserve View Post
The other week, I pulled out the CF card from a 30D, stuck it into a 40D and the .CR2 files came out fine. Also done the same with a CF card taken out of the 30D and put into a 400D n jpegs.

Perhaps I've just been lucky.
Quick...buy lottery tickets NOW!

But seriously to me it's just playing Russian Roulette. You can see by my new post just how touchy these cards are. I would think writing a few little .dng/.dmg files to the card would not be a problem but I'm surprised more and more everyday about this digital stuff!

Last edited by Johnny V : 19th of October 2007 (Fri) at 20:12.
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #12
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

Glad you were able to recover the files at least. Another RiData file corruption here. Coincedent?
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #13
Johnny V
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfcRebel View Post
Coincident?
Yeah...like the original poster I have the XTi and use Sterlingtek batteries too. How much more of a coincidence can it be? :-}

One of the posters in the link - gjman - mentioned he is using the Ridata Pro silver card that's been very reliable. I'm also using the Pro silver card. But I'm going to use this card very little until I feel comfortable with it again.

But the bottom line is this is my first corrupt card in about five + years and also the first time I didn't format after a download or before a shoot. To me that's more than just coincidence!

Last edited by Johnny V : 19th of October 2007 (Fri) at 22:26.
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #14
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny V View Post
Quick...buy lottery tickets NOW!

But seriously to me it's just playing Russian Roulette. You can see by my new post just how touchy these cards are. I would think writing a few little .dng/.dmg files to the card would not be a problem but I'm surprised more and more everyday about this digital stuff!
I did buy the lottery but got very little return.

To be honest, it didn't even occur to me that such a problem might occur by using the same card in different cameras. I'll be more careful next time....err..I mean no next time
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Old 19th of October 2007 (Fri)   #15
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Default Re: PhotoRescue saved my butt!

Good thinkin' flickserve!

Better to be safe than sorry!
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