14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2012 1:22 PM by abderite
abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

I think there was a thread on this before, but as Nikon can't deal with it, I thought it worth trying you guys as I think it was a computer error that caused the problem.

 

I downloaded a batch of 189 files from my Nikon D7000 camera via USB cable to MacBookPro auto-set to start Nikon Transfer, in exactly the same way as I have done for years. Of these, 1 was fine, 1 was garbled but opens in some software, .jpg extract attached showing degenration at the bottom. This file also crashes Nikon Capture NX 2.3.2, tho OK with DxO optics.

 

A few of the others will convert to .raw using Graphic Converter, but apart from seeing a preview, this does not make them accessible.

 

The 2 types of rescue software don't seem applicable (a) I was away at the time and had Nikon Transfer set to delete after download,then reformateted the card to keep going. So not much use trying rescue from card (b) using 'lost/deleted' file on Mac - the files are all there on the hard drive and show with NEF logo, but won't open in Nikon Capture, DxO, iPhoto, Adobe DNG converter (yes I am desperate!), GraphicConverter or Gimp. All say 'unsupported file type' or similar.

 

It seems to need analysis of .nef files and replacing the damaged header/map or whatever with a sound one? I think in previous thread that was said to be impossible?

 

Anyway if anyone wants a challenge I am attaching a .jpg of file and there are 3 files on my webspace

http://www.evendine.eclipse.co.uk/images/_dsc4933__.nef 

_dsc4938__.nef 

_dsc5180__.nef

The 1st is OK, the 2nd damaged producing attachment _DSC4938_ nx2.jpg

The 3rd I can't do anything with

 


Macbook pro 15, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 4GB RAM 2.4GHz
  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,460 points)

    I had no issue opening 4933 and 5180 in Photoshop CS5.5's Camera Raw 6.7. 4938 opens, but does produce the garbage at the bottom as you show. That's in indication that the file is damaged beyond the good image area. With no other file to go back to, there's nothing you can do about it other than crop it off.

  • abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Hi and thanks Kurt

     

    unfortunately 5180 was a mistake, just a perfectly normal .nef

     

    the example of damaged should have been

    http://www.evendine.eclipse.co.uk/images/_dsc4951__.nef

  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,460 points)

    Sorry to say, 4951 is hosed.

     

    By "reformatting the card", do you mean you just formatted it in the camera? If so, have you filled the chip up again since then? If not, you can use recovery software on the camera's chip (such as Data Rescue or FileSalvage) to retrieve information that has not yet been overwritten. You may be able to get the original off again that way.

  • abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    thank you Kurt

     

    Since the episode I have stopped 'delete after transfer' thus the Card has been upto 75% full quite often and re-formatted in camera maybe 20 times. I suppose I should have got a card reader as soon as I first encountered th eproblem.

     

    Think I had better give up, but thanks anyway

  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,460 points)

    Yup, I always use a card reader. No need to worry about the camera running out of battery power during a transfer (a really good way to lose data). You have to get out a USB a FireWire cable anyway for the camera; pulling the chip and putting it in reader doesn't take any more appreciable time.

  • abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I gave my last card reader away with my D80! But will get another.

     

    I think the problem actually lay with the computer/software rather than the camera. I have never run the camera out of battery, you probably need to be doing a lot of flash or video or 'live view' to do that. But apple have made it so near impossible to completey crash the system, it becomes necessary to be alert to when it is on the brink and Nikon Capture NX2 especially crawls rather than runs. I usually get bored during a long downlaod and do something else, but on the fatal occasion it was so slow I couldn't.

  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,460 points)

    I think the problem actually lay with the computer/software rather than the camera.

    Yes, assuming you have enough space on the computer's hard drive, it shouldn't be that slow. You may want to consider a few maintenance steps.

     

    1) If you have a bootable install of Snow Leopard on another hard drive, boot to that and use Disk Utility to do both a Repair Disk and a Repair Permissions to the main drive. If the Repair Disk fails, run it until it reports no errors. If after two or three trys it still does report errors, you'll need to use something better, such as DiskWarrior.

     

    2) If you don't have SL installed on a separate drive or partition, then boot to the installation DVD. At the first chance you get (I think it's after choosing a language), go to the menu bar and run Disk Utility there.

     

    3) Remove and reinstall Capture NX2.

     

    These are some of simpler steps before going through a reinstall of the OS.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    You might try by-passing the Nikon software and importing/opening with one of the applications mentioned here;

    http://www.fileinfo.com/extension/nef

     

    I'd suggest drag & dropping them from the card and then opening them with any of the above, but it may be labour-intensive if there's  a lot of pics.

  • abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    thank you Kurt

     

    I use Super-duper to back up the computer regualrly and this repairs disk permissions as part of the ritual & also makes ext HD bootable. Only thing I am away from home at present, so don't have it, nor system disk, nor much of a broadband connection.

     

    Most of the time everything is fine & there is 200GB spare on th einetrnal drive should anything be trying to use it as virtual ram or cache.

     

    Nikon CNX2.3 & ViewNX2.3 (64bit) share a cache, which is no longer accessible for just hand clearing. GraphicConverter is always trying to ineffectually grab the camera (Nikon Transfer designated) when connected & Thorsten doesn't seem to get on top of that one.

     

    Looking at Disk utility now, there seem to be ghosts of installers of View NX2 & Filesalvage and a RWDVD that is not in the drive. Will try repair permissions & disk first aid & report back in a few days time.

  • abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Summary:

     

    "Photo recovery guru" ($30/£25) recovered 350± .nef files from 8GB card potentially holding about 450. The files go back over about 1500 images taken and are fully functional. So had I done this immediately following the problem, there would have been a chance of near full recovery. The more expensive brother "File recovery guru", on free trial recovered about 20 more files and would no doubt also be useful for general recovery. I chose PRG over several other similar ones as it does show a very small preview in Trial version so gives a fair idea of what is recoverable. None would do a single actual recovery of files over 10MB, therefore no chance with .nef from a modern camera.

     

    The in-camera Format is more of a re-set than an erase.

     

    Cleaning up the computer as suggested and re-installing progs that mal-function regularly will minimise risk. The problem remains a one-off, but once was too many!

     

    Thanks again Kurt.

  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,460 points)

    None would do a single actual recovery of files over 10MB, therefore no chance with .nef from a modern camera.

    Hmm, unless a trial version was intentionally limiting the size of a file you can recover, there should be no restriction.

    The in-camera Format is more of a re-set than an erase.

    Correct. It just wipes the file table. The contents are still on the chip, there's just no longer a reference to them. That's where recovery software comes in, as I mentioned above:

     

    By "reformatting the card", do you mean you just formatted it in the camera? If so, have you filled the chip up again since then? If not, you can use recovery software on the camera's chip (such as Data Rescue or FileSalvage) to retrieve information that has not yet been overwritten. You may be able to get the original off again that way.

     

    It's after you fill the chip again that there's essentially no chance of recovering the previous photos. New data has replaced the previous.

  • abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Yes, trial versions, but as I have seen others comment, what is the use of a trial if doesn't show anything useful?

    The PRG scored over others in giving a snaphot of how the camera does use/allocate blocks as you see a recognisable preview of all recoverable files even in demo. But you would need controlled tests of full versions to get a definitive 'best'.

     

    The damaged batch are 3500-4000 images back & though I have never filled the card in one go, the camera no doubt uses the easiest blocks to get at when using rapid fire mode as it takes several seconds to catch up.

  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,460 points)

    Yes, trial versions, but as I have seen others comment, what is the use of a trial if doesn't show anything useful?

    The bane of a UNIX system. It's meant to be a secure system, which in turn means it's not supposed to be easy to recover deleted items.

     

    When you delete anything in Windows, its file table entry is simply tagged as deleted. So to unerase them, the tag is removed, which immediately makes the file (or folder) live data again. That's why it works to quickly and easily (assuming you haven't already overwritten the data to be recovered).

     

    When you delete items in OS X, their file table entries are erased. So what FileSalvage and Data Rescue have to do is scour the hard drive for BOF (Beginning Of FIle) markers that the file table entry originally pointed to, which doesn't have a matching starting block to anything that is in the current file table. Once it finds one, it reads the file to its EOF (End Of File) marker and saves it to the target drive. The file name the item had is usually stored in the file header, which it what it uses to give the recovered file the correct name.

     

    Anyway, this all means that the software has to save everything it finds since you can't pick and choose beforehand. The nice part of FileSalvage though is that you can limit what types of files it saves. You can exclude images for example. So when it finds a file that was a TIFF, it knows to skip it. You can exclude a lot of stuff with the various filters the program provides.

     

    Which comes to your issue. The programs are designed to find common file types. FileSalvage has a default entry for Nikon, so it would likely recognize .nef files. For types it doesn't recognize, you can drag and drop custom entries into its interface under the Expert mode. So I could make it recognize .nef files if I wanted to. Not sure off the top of my head if you can do that with Data Rescue.

  • abderite Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thank you Kurt, but you are getting a bit technical for me.

     

    The main thing is you have got me using a card reader (instead of the USB lead) and having a useful bit of photography orientated software to hand in case I have another glitch day and knowing its capability (including .nef in the default list; am not likely to lose anything else)