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Corrupt SD Card
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Author Topic: Corrupt SD Card  (Read 17968 times)
frankgindc
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« on: May 07, 2008, 10:12:56 PM »

Hi,
I have about 60 images on an SD card, 55 or so of which seem to be unreadable.  I viewed them on my snapshot camera (a Canon 870is) and they looked fine.  I shut camera off and then removed card to import to LR.  LR gave me a message that the SD card might be corrupt and it was only giving me limited function with the images.  The images all imported at full file sizes (+/- 3 mb each) but the images themselves are SUPER blocky.  Outside LR, say using the Preview function (Mac) the images look...well...all messed up:  portions of the image are missing, or replaced with blocks of color, or there will be blocks of the image that are now colored (like green monotone) and shifted up or down in related to the orginal photo.  Also, of the 5 or so that seem to be okay, they are interspered among the 60 or show shots.   When I put the SD card back into the camera, the bad photos now show tiny thumbnails rather than the nice looking (LCD anyway) image that it showed before.

So, it seems like the card got corrupted between my reviewing on the camera and my importing to LR less than 5 mins later. 

I have not idea what kind of error this is., or how to recover.    I haven't taken any new pictures or deleted anything yet.  I've tried using Photo Rescue and it doesn't bring back any of the problem images.

Any ideas at all?  I'm on a MAC.  Would a PC be able to "fix" the SD card?  I mention that because I think that's how it was formatted (many imports ago) and one of the error messages from LR said something about the card not being fixable on this computer, or something to that effect.

This is not a life or death emergency -- and no monetary loss here -- but it was a great batch of images from a rather nice weekend -- some of which would have been great for Mothers Day. Embarrassed

Any ideas??

Frank
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David Burren
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 12:47:31 AM »

I've always found PhotoRescue does wonders for dodgy cards.


BTW, with an SD card it will have a built-in "read only" switch on the side.  Be aware that whenever you plug a card into a Mac it will write some files onto the card: .Trashes, .fseventsd (if you're using Leopard), and when Spotlight notices the card's there it will create index files.  Windows machines will update the filesystem as well, but with much less impact.
So you should switch the card to read-only ASAP while you investigate the problems.

I wish more card readers had hardware read-only switches so we could keep our CF cards safer during import!
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David
frankgindc
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 07:09:45 AM »

Thanks David.   Any tips on using Photo Rescue for this type of thing?  I've had great success with recovery of accidentally deleted cards but I don't know how to make the "export" mode here focus on the right things.

Also, i was thinking that the card might benefit from a 'disk repair' type operation.  Bad idea?

Frank
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2008, 08:02:22 AM »

After my last month - had to replace my car after a Mac-using anaesthetist drove into it while it was parked, 4 weeks of no ADSL signal (now only at 160kbs), washing machine stopped working, then the satellite system goes kaput - I'm loathe to say that I've been lucky so far with flash cards and have never yet needed to recover images from one. So I must defer to others' experience, but my first call would be any utility provided by the card's manufacturer - I know Lexar supply one.

You do mention that the card has been formatted in a PC. It may be received wisdom, but I'd only ever format a card in the camera, never on a computer of either OS.

Can you leave the card in the camera and then connect the camera via the USB port? Does that help?

Best of luck

John
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frankgindc
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2008, 09:27:56 AM »

Thanks, John.  Yeah this is my first experience with a corrupt card and it's a real drag -- it is the week link of a good DAM backup system, I guess, because the failure is before the images escape the card.

I think I might have mispoken about the formatting (I think I was confusing that with a jump drive that I had to do that with, I think) but I need to doublecheck.   

I would have thought the connection via the camera would be a good strategy but when I loaded it back into the camera it's clear that the camera doesn't like the images now either.  I'll try it anyway.  And also try the card read on a PC at work.

I'll check out options that might be available through the manufacturer (ProMaster) and possibly try Photorescue again.   Looks like I'm dead in the water without that. 

Just very weird that most but not all of the images are corrupted and that it seems to have happened (or was first apparent) during the import itself.

Thanks again,
Frank

p.s. I checked the ProMaster website and am now headed (optimistically mind you) to my local ProMaster dealer where I bought the card.   BTW, here's what ProMaster has to say about formatting of cards (not something that I've been doing):

"Preventing Corruption:
First and foremost, FORMAT the card everytime you put it back into the camera. Use the format menu option (consult the camera manual) You can format the card in Windows via the card reader and in most cases this will be fine, but to be sure, format the card again in the camera.

If you do not format the card each time, you risk file and image corruption everytime you take a picture.
It isn't foolproof, corruption can still happen, but it does lessen the chances of file or image corruption.
Next, be aware of the causes (see list above) and avoid them!"

« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 09:34:36 AM by frankgindc » Logged
David Burren
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2008, 04:45:18 PM »

PhotoRescue has a demo mode, so you can try before you buy.  Just fire it up and see what files it says it can recover.  If it looks like a useful list, go ahead and buy it (the "Expert" mode has always been enough for me).  I'd just tell it to recover as much as it can into a temporary area on disk, and then trawl through that and see if you like the results.

Of course while software like that is good at finding files which have been "deleted" (it goes through the disk looking for things that seem to be image files) if the data in the files has been corrupted somehow there won't be much it can do.  But for US$30 it's a small investment for the future so it can't hurt to try, right?

This is a "disk repair" operation: just one that has the advantage of knowing it's looking at image files.
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frankgindc
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 05:06:32 PM »

I tried the PhotoRescue demo and came up empty -- actually, I came up with all of the photos that I had deleted from the card months ago, which didn't help.   Wink

Anyway, I dropped the card off at the camera store and they're going to take a look at it--they have an in house whiz who has three  programs that he uses.  It'll be free if they can't help, but $40 if they recover the corrupted files.  Steep, I know, but worth it.  The thought of losing any pictures kills me...

Frank
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frankgindc
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2008, 08:31:48 AM »

Just following up on the effort:
In short, the camera shop used several programs but was not able to recover any of the corrupted files.   Very strange as the full file sizes were on the disc, with thumbnails intact (and some images displayed normally, in parts, with odd streaking or color panels in some sections).   Don't know if it was the card, LR, USB cord, or user error.  Not a huge huge loss, but a reminder to reformat to freshen the SD cards after download (and backup).

Thanks all,
Frank
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2008, 07:25:42 PM »

Frank,
That kind of stuff (streaks of color in files) has been associated with bad connections, and thus corrupted transfer.

I assume the files looked strange when viewed on the back of the camera as well.

The real lesson is to make sure to visually examine the download before formatting cards, and, for high-value shoots, to make sure you have  a good download before saying "that's a wrap".
Peter
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