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What is causing my files to become corrupted?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by dr_eyehead, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    Since I joined this site I've not been very active, but I've taken about 40,000 photographs with my Nikon D5200 and some of them were quite good.

    I have everything backed up at least three times, but I keep finding corrupt jpeg files on my drives. I can't get to the bottom of what's causing it!

    Looks like some rgb layers are missing some data. It's always on the horizontal regardless of the orientation of the photo.

    Bit worried about this, I'd hate to lose all my work!


  2. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    It seems to only affect recently taken photos, within the past year. I got a new computer so maybe that. Maybe a failing hard drive. Maybe failing SD card? It's hard to pin point what is actually causing this!
  3. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Does it only happen on the back up copies or to the originals on the computers hard disk.
    You need to work out when and where this is happening.
  4. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    That's what I'm trying to do, but I've got several external hard drives and two computers.

    Sometimes, I've noticed when I copy an uncorrupted file over to where the file is corrupted, and it ends up corrupted in the same way.

    I'm going to try and figure this out, but I'm away from my new computer at the moment. I just wondered if anyone had any idea what might be causing this?

    I thought it might be caused by the SD card slot on my new computer which has tendency to eject while I'm copying files over. But I think I just ruled that out maybe, and my new computer causing it.

    Might be a failing external hard drive. I don't know. Thankfully it doesn't seem too serious a problem so far.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Odd. Run chkdsk to see if the disk has problems but if there were consistent read/write faults I'd expect something worse than this. Usually if the file is corrupted you cannot read it at all but I have had corrupted raw files that Canon software rejects as "bad" but other software will open to show blocks missing.

    Is this only happening since you changed computer?
    Have you changed SD card ?
    Is this happening with more than one card?
    Are you using cards compatible with the camera?

    I don't know if anyone would write malicious software that would mess with jpgs but do you run an uptodate virus checker?
  6. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    Is this only happening since you changed computer? YES
    Have you changed SD card ? NO
    Is this happening with more than one card? UNSURE. I USE TWO 16GB Sandisk
    Are you using cards compatible with the camera? YES

    Will chkdsk find any problems with my drives? What does it actually do?

    I've got ESET but I've not updated the suscription fee, and to be honest I need to sort that out. Lack of funds... I could install it on my new computer under a different email address and get 1 month free trial again and maybe use that to run a check there and on some of my drives.

    I think ESET is still running in the background and offering protection, just not up to date with the virus database.
  7. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    Have you formatted your memory cards in the camera after downloading/copying your images?
  8. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    Just a thought. If you look at the close up where the difference in colour balance is there there is also a discontinuity in the photo, ie. it's like it is from two photos. So I was thinking, I take a lot of HDR so maybe this is problem that is isolated to HDR, something to do with that. Otherwise there shouldn't be a discontinuity there...
  9. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    spinno- I tend to fill up the cards with photos and delete them all after they get full, after several photoshoots. So I format the cards regularly in the camera, but not all of the time.
  10. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    HDR uses a number of images (3 in some cases, some cameras use more) so if the camera cannot write to the card then you will have a problem and this may be the cause of the problem.
  11. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    It can't be that because it's a problem that is spuriously affecting files that previously have been OK. I've also found corrupt illustrator files in my folders that have nothing to do with photography.
  12. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    What are you using to view the images? And see the fault?
  13. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    IMO, the above suggests that the drive receiving the uncorrupted file, has problems. If you want to maintain a viable multiple back-up system, I think a new drive is needed.

    If you want to test this theory before committing the money, try copying the same file to another drive (e.g. USB stick). If the copied file on the USB is not corrupted, then the original 'receiving' drive is showing signs of failure.
  14. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    I'll try that. Good idea.

    Viewing files in Windows Photo Viewer in Win7 and the equivalent program in Win10. Can also see in the thumbnails in Windows Explorer.

    I think they show up as corrupt in PS as well.
  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Chkdsk will find problems with your drive. By default it will just report problems. You have to run it from the command line.

    It is a false economy not to run a virus checker with uptodate library. Windows 10 does have its own safeguards but I would double up. I am not sure that you can tell windows defender to check a specific file for example.
  16. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    Is a normal Chkdsk run sufficient or do I need to run the two option - Automatically fix file errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors?

    The quick run threw up some errors, but I don't understand what they were or how serious they were. The long version is taking too long and seemed to hang on me at about 20% so I cancelled it, will have to look into this later.
  17. saxacat

    saxacat Well-Known Member

    If you know the make of hard drive in your computer it may be worth going to the manufacture's site for some Hard Drive diagnostic tools. I know Western Digital have them I would expect other manufacturers to also have them.
  18. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    I'll look into that, thanks. Will try to get to the bottom of this and hope it's not affecting too much of my work and I don't lose anything...
  19. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    First off you soon notice if the files were corrupted on the camera from the rear screen.

    So we remove that as source of problem.

    Now you say you backup 3 times, explain please?

    Do you use external drives for backup? Do you burn DVDs?

    Memory card readers can cause problem with data transfer. I now use the camera to pull data off the memory card working on the logical that if the camera can display the image correct on rear screen it can read files ok.

    This can of course be slower than using a built in reader. But I have had problems in this area. So I stick with the camera via USB.

    I never format my cameras card until I have reviewed the data on the computer systems. Once I happy it got onto the desktop machine it is then dumped via network to another standalone machine and then onto a flashdrive. External HD are too questionable.

    I then ask the standalone machine to burn a back DVD. Then I can work on the files knowing there 3 copies already and a DVD in the works. LOL

    Once the DVD done and verified I can then wipe the SD card. :)

    From my personal experience of flash chips they can hold data for at least a 10 years without power.

    I have had at least one external HD die under 5 years, but I have DVD backups :)

    So try copying using the camera connected to USB not the internal SD.

    But if you say non photography files are also be affected then it does suggest some kind of HD corruption possibly in it's file tracking system.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  20. dr_eyehead

    dr_eyehead Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm still looking in to this but I'm very busy, not least with running around like an obsessed maniac taking photos of a local river I now live near to.

    I have been finding more corrupt files but seem to have enough back ups to fix the problem, and thus far they all seem to be isolated I think to more recent photos.

    I think I have eliminated my new Lenovo computer as the cause. I now suspect the culprit may be a failing/dodgy SD card which I haven't used for some time. One of the two 16GB cards I bought with it have been suriously disagreeing with my camera for some time. Since I now only use one of them, the other one I have no experienced any issues there for a while.

    All this said, corrupt files are now the least of my problems owing to an unfortunate accident I had the other day while I was taking photos of a local river and thought I was standing on firm ground at the edge but it turned out to be grass growing through thin ice and my leg went straight in, followed by me and my camera, which is now dead.

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