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Author Topic: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!  (Read 11217 times)

Philip Weber

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Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« on: July 07, 2012, 09:54:15 PM »

My computer recently crashed but I have back-ups on two separate external drives. When I copied my master print files back on the hard drive, approx. 100 of the 4,200 were labeled "Corrupted or unsupported" by Lightroom 4.1 (I have both CS5 & CS6 saving the files, on a Windows 7 Ultimate OS).

They were fine before and I copied them on to one and then the other (not from one external to the other) and they're randomly scattered throughout. While I have the originals, I'll never be able to duplicate them exactly, even if I had the time to do so.

I did a Google search and saw in an Adobe forum that the "headers can get mixed up" (how it didn't say) and that one can open the file in a "less picky" application and then do a "save as" and then Photoshop/LR can read them.

I'm praying this is true but do not know what to open them in. Secondly, even if I dodge this bullet, WHY or HOW can this happen and what can I do to prevent it in the future? I'll gladly rename the 100 images in an effort to save them but don't want to repeat it again!

I try to follow Michael's DAM techniques and it's disheartening to think I'm doing it right only to have some crazy thing like this screw with 100 of my images.

I'd be most grateful if anyone has suggestions and thanks!
Phil
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jonathan.lipkin

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 01:12:40 AM »

Phil, not sure how to recover your images - hopefully someone else can chime in - but files do get corrupted when copying. I always copy files using Chronosync's verify function after I lost about 17,000 images a few years ago. Luckily I had good backups to restore from.

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PierreVandevenne

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 08:35:47 AM »

It's a bit hard to offer specific advice without knowing the details of what happened.

When you say "my computer crashed", there can be many, many reasons starting with a flaky power supply, logical file system corruption, dying hard drive etc...

If the hard drive died (or reported SMART failures, or made strange noises, etc...) you can definitely have unrecoverable data loss/corruption on those files. In that case, recovering from a known good backup is always the best option. There could be some loss still if the problem was unnoticed for a while and some corrupt files were backed up.

If there was a "logical" (as opposed to the "physical" problem described above) - for example after a power supply glitch and an OS crash - backups are still the best option, but data recovery might help. Note that it is likely to take a relatively long time to examine a full hard drive completely, much longer than a more simple "unerase" application.

I don't quite get what you did after that? Did you try to copy files from the old drive to the new computer? If that is the case, I would recommend again restoring cleanly from your backup.

If the problem occurred while restoring from one of the backup drive, and if you are experiencing the same issue on different files from the other backup drive, the issue could be a flaky USB/Firewire connection. I would at least check the cables and eventually try other ports if that is how you recovered your backup.

And yes, it is a good idea to check a few of those apparently damaged TIFFs with something like Irfanview, which is more tolerant to minor file format inconsistencies than Photoshop. Photoshop will complain loudly if files are too long, even if they are perfectly valid. Files that are too long are frequent after data-recovery or disk scans and fixes because files sizes are often rounded to the next allocation unit (example: a file whose size is 16386 bytes can be stored in three 8192 bytes allocation units, with the last one containing only 2 bytes: Irfanview and many other viewers will accept 24576 bytes as a file length and simply ignore the extra data, Photoshop will reject the file). If that works, you can probably script that over your 100 files for minimal time loss.

Note: in some important data-recovery cases, fixing a single files can take several hours, if possible at all. Make that days to reverse engineer the addressing scheme of some flash chips and/or SSD drives. I know this is a world of instant satisfaction and where everyone expects that everything works instantly and perfectly every time, but those crash/backup/restore/raid rebuilds/corrupted files situations are never one click instant things. We tend to forget that, just as we complain when a call placed from Argentina with an 80 grams trinket costing $29 doesn't go through to Hong Kong in 10 seconds...
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Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 03:09:30 PM »

Thanks for your reply.

The reason for the crash is unknown. I have two, 750 gig hard drives in a RAID 0 on a Quad Core Alienware laptop with 32 gigs of RAM. Out of the blue, Windows wouldn't load and reformatting was the only option I was given by Dell. The computer went in for a complete diagnostic and overhaul but all the only hardware that was replaced was the motherboard and fan.

The files that can't be read are from a approx. one year ago and were backed up (twice) then. When I copied them back onto the hard drive, they couldn't be read. Some in that folder were fine, others were not. They were all fine on the computer before the crash.

I'll check the Irfanview and any other suggestions are most welcome.

Thank you,
Phil

Update - I tried Irfanview and it says it can't read the header.  :(
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 03:16:48 PM by Philip Weber »
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digitaldog

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 05:03:17 PM »

I did a Google search and saw in an Adobe forum that the "headers can get mixed up" (how it didn't say) and that one can open the file in a "less picky" application and then do a "save as" and then Photoshop/LR can read them.

Years ago I saw this when Photoshop would not open such a document but Graphic Converter could. Save As fixed the issue. I’ve kept a copy of GC around since then. So yes, try other applications which might save the day.
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Andrew Rodney
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Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 06:51:57 PM »

Graphic Converter doesn't work for PC. Are there any others you (or anyone!) can recommend?

Thanks for keeping my hopes alive Andrew.

Phil
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PierreVandevenne

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 09:39:47 AM »

Short of writing your own file parser from scratch or based on libtiff, this is the tool professional archivist use

http://hul.harvard.edu/jhove/

but that isn't without its own set of issues - structure is validated, but content is not. Actually, there is no easy way to detect damaged data when it happens to pass any weak internal validation mechanism or when the specification of the file format says "skip bad block"

http://wiki.opf-labs.org/display/SPR/Malformed+TIFF+images

TIFF is really complex, and you can very easily have documents that have a valid structure and an invalid data payload or invalid structure and valid data payload. The latter means that form the photographer's point of view recovery might be possible, but it is at least as time consuming as reprocessing the original file.

An ideal validator would keep an eye on the structure of the file and on the data payload itself. But the second part requires relatively advanced artificial vision system, statistical coherency models, etc... and 1) the market is too small for this 2) there will be time consuming false positives and false negatives for the end user.
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Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 12:56:59 PM »

Thanks Pierre but I'm afraid all of that is waaaay over my head. I don't mind spending time recovering them as I'll never be able to redo them the way they were but without some type of software program to do the work, I'm sunk. I can operate a mouse but don't understand most of what I looked at via the links you provided.

I do very much appreciate your time in trying to assist me however!

Best regards,
Phil

 
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TerryWedd

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 12:02:45 AM »

Phillip,

Here are a couple of suggestions.

Change the file type from .tiff to .bmp, then open with Paint or some other simple Application. This worked under XP for jpegs, should work for tiffs.

If you have access to a Mac, try opening with Preview. Preview will open almost anything with or without a file type marker.

Cheers,

Terry
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schrodingerscat

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 01:06:26 PM »

Were your backup drives internal or external. If external, were they 'live' when the crash occurred? A mobo failure can take out a drive network, as Seth Resnick described in the DAM tutorial with Michael. Always wise to keep an offline backup in addition to any others. If using plug-and-play external drives, keep multiple copies of the same unit. The control board accesses proprietary files placed on the HDD by the manufacturer, and if the board goes south you can't access the files on the drive even if you pull it and put in another(unlike) enclosure.

Did you do a quick QC check of the files at the time they were copied to the backups?
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Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 06:11:51 PM »

They were off line externals. I didn't check them for errors but it appears I need too! I can't fathom how #0001 was good and #0002 & 3 were bad then #0004 was good again but I don't know much about this stuff.

Do you have any suggestions for a PC based program?

Thanks,
Phil
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Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 06:13:47 PM »

I'll try changing them however I'm not sure how to do that if I can't open them to begin with.

Thanks,
Phil
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TerryWedd

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 09:27:54 PM »

Phil,

Change the extension name in Windows Explorer.

My theory about this is that the extension header is either lost or corrupted and that a .bmp, being a jurassic file type doesn't have one.

If this works, I have no idea what it does for profile issues, but it may at least allow you to get them open.

Cheers,

Terry
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xpatUSA

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2012, 10:13:29 AM »

Change the extension name in Windows Explorer.
Probably too late, but it might be a good idea to copy those bad files (via Windows Explorer) to a separate folder and then change their extension from .tif or .tiff, whichever, to .bmp which is easy enough to do, just like re-naming a file.

Paretologic.com has some file recovery apps and there must tons more on the web.

Ted
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best regards,

Ted

Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 11:37:08 AM »

Ted, Terry - Thanks so much for your suggestions and I'll give it a try...nothing to lose at this point!

Best regards,
Phil
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Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2012, 07:06:17 PM »

FYI, I changed the file extension (in a separate folder) to bmp and got the same unable to read notice. It appears that unless there's a software app that can work some magic, I'm SOL.

Any other suggestions???

Phil
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Les Sparks

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2012, 09:08:55 PM »

Here are some programs to try. I haven't used them but they all claim to allow recovery of corrupted image files. I found this using BING with the search term recover corrupted tiff files

[url=http://www.tiffrecovery.com/fix-tiff-files.php]http://www.tiffrecovery.com/fix-tiff-files.php

http://www.officerecovery.com/pixrecovery/
http://www.my-data-recovery.com/file-repair/software-4.html
http://www.photosrecovery.org/tiff-recovery.php
Les
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Philip Weber

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2012, 01:21:01 PM »

Thanks much Les. I tried three of them and no luck. It may be that there is nothing left to recover.

I'll be doing more research as time allows (time being the issue, which is one reason why I've asked for assistance here) and maybe it's something that a company that specializes in data recovery could do, although it may be cost prohibitive even if it's possible.

Thanks again,
Phil
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darlingm

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Re: Corrupted TIFF Files - HELP!
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2012, 03:15:14 PM »

You have a private message.
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Mike • Westland Printworks
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