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How to Repair DSLR .MOV on Corrupted SD Card

Posted on 1/24/2012 2:51:00 AM

It is miserable for any professional videographer dealing with corrupted memory cards of lost footage. We experienced the same this week with some lost wedding footage. If this happens to you, read on!

We filmed wedding footage with Canon 7D and T3i/600D DSLR. One of the SD cards from the last wedding prompted a "Format before Use" error message. While panicking, here's what we did to recover the files.

The corrupted media was Sandisk Extrrem HD 16 Class 6 memory card. Sandisk has replaced this card with the Sandisk Extreme 16GB Class 10 version.

We tried the following data recovery programs.

Recuva
Recuva by Piriform is a free data recovery program. We have successfully recovered audio files on SD card in the past. Unfortunately, since the SD card won't be mounted with a drive letter, Recuva refuses to carry any scanning. No luck!

RescuePro
RescuePro by LC-Technology is a professional data recovery program. The standard version can be obtained free for a one-year license when purchasing any Sandisk Extreme series memory card. We are able to recover 22 .MOV files. However, none of the recovered .mov files are playable.

Sandisk tech support refered us to LC-Technology for further troubleshooting. After talking LC-Tech support, it was determined the H.264 .MOV files cannot be recovered with RescuePro Standard version. Only the Deluxe version ($69.95) "might" be able to restore HD .MOV files. On top of that, they offers a mail-in media service program to have data recovery performed in their facility. For a 16GB memory card, the standard cost is $225.

Active@ File Recovery
Active@ File Recovery ($34.95) by LSoft Technologies Inc. successfully recovers 25 .MOV files from the same memory card. However, they were all not playable too.

BadCopy Pro
BadCopy Pro ($39.95) by Jufsoft successfully restores 31 .MOV files. But still, none of the file is playable.

EaseUS
EaseUS ($69.95) comes with a free trial allowing recover up to 1GB of data. We tried to recover one .MOV files but the file is yet also not playable.

Changing Recovery Strategy

Since we are very confident the movie content on the SD card were not overwritten, we started to think the issue is not the corrupted SD card. It might be the lost of the complex H.264 file structure that was needed to be recovered.

With a bit of google search, we found two DSLR MOV repair tools, one for Mac and one for PC.

Remo Repair MOV by Remo Software for Mac

HD Video Repair Utility ($128 US) by Grau GbR for PC

We tried HD Video Repair Utility. The demo version offers restoring half the length of the video file. A reference playable .MOV file is needed (or any .MOV file recorded by the same camera) in the process so it knows how to reconstruct the corrupted MOV files structure. BAM! It successfully recovers the wedding footage.

$128 is bit deep. However, it's priceless to restore valuable footage that cannot be reproduced.

Reading from other blog posts, earlier version 1.5 was actually a freeware/donateware. If you want to save some money, you can search really hard on the Internet to find any Ver 1.5 floating around. There is a trick in doubling the file size so restoring half actually means restoring the entire video.

Lesson Learned

It was a mistake we made at the beginning that we "move" the .mov files from SD card instead of copying. We should have locked the Write Protect tab on the card before all footages were successfully transferred.

Sandisk provides a lifetime warranty on their Extreme series media. We called Sandisk to arrange for a new replacement card.
 

 


Comments

Posted by DEvans on 1/24/2012 4:13:00 AM Thanks for posting that - invaluable help when a crisis may strike. Appreciated.

Replied by LA Color Pros Thanks for your comment. I hope our experience can help some poor sole out there saving the day =)
Posted by Dave on 1/24/2012 4:42:00 AM Thanks so much for taking the time, Taky.

Please explain the difference between "move" and "copy." Thanks.

Replied by LA Color Pros Dave, "Copy" means both the source and destination hold the same content. "Move" will copy the content from source to destination, then delete the files in the source.

It is best to first copy all content of memory card to computer. After making sure all files successfully transferred, then can reformat the memory card for best performance.

The mistake we made was we "move" the files instead of "copy". During the move process, computer updates the File Allocation Table (FAT) of the memory card. For some reason, an error occurred causing the disk becomes unreadable. Sadly, files were not all transferred yet at that point.
Posted by Dave on 1/24/2012 5:23:00 AM Ah, I see. That must be a Windows thing. I'm not aware of a "move" option for the Mac OS.
Posted by Elias on 1/24/2012 7:30:00 AM HD Video Repair Utility is for Mac also I tried on some old corrupted files and the demo worked. Remo did not!

Replied by LA Color Pros Thanks for pointing that out. Yes HD Video Repair works for Mac too.
Posted by darryl bradford on 1/24/2012 9:47:00 AM wow what a scary time that was...glad you were able to solve the problem

great advice

God Bless!
Posted by Shakewell Studios on 1/24/2012 11:33:00 AM i've had multiple cards fail. If you can't get the card to connect to your computer, reformat it, then use Data Rescue Pro to recover all the files. Usually the last clip isn't playable so I send it to this guy: http://aeroquartet.com/movierepair/repair

and he has repaired 100% of all my corrupt files.

He once recovered 4 or 5 files which were speeches at the reception for about $60.

Replied by LA Color Pros Thanks for sharing your info. We have came across this site offering repair service too. However, it seems paying a one time fee for HD Video Repair Utility is more cost effective if there're multiple card failures.
Posted by Marc Lehman on 1/24/2012 1:47:00 PM You Rock!

Thanks for taking the time to share this with everyone - very helpful! I am very impressed with you guys, your company and your products, I am singing your praises to anyone who has a need.

All the best,
Marc Lehman
Ashley Video Productions
Newport Beach, CA 92663
http://ashleyvideo.com

Replied by LA Color Pros Thank you for your kind comment.
Posted by Maria on 1/25/2012 11:27:00 AM Something similar happened to me a few weeks ago, but with a HD, which actually lost the format, so no reading of the files was possible. But, luckly the data was still there. I found very useful a software called R-studio from R-Tools.
It would also work for SDs and it costs less.

The clue to use it is, try to look only for the video formats, not for all kind of files.

Hope this helps someone else, as I was completely scared!!

Replied by LA Color Pros Maria, thanks for sharing your experience.
Posted by Burak Soysal on 2/8/2012 1:12:00 PM Very useful information, thaks a lot Taky!
Posted by Alan Lee on 4/15/2012 5:43:00 PM Taky, I am a band parent of our local High school band. I was asked to record a movie for one of the studen's Senior Flute Recital. I have a Nikon D3100 and was using a Sandisk Extreme Class 10 16 Gig SD card. It froze during the last piece of the performance. I purchased online recovery software to "recover" the files (mov files) but they are not playable. I assument that they are corrupt. I have downloaded the demo version of "HD Video Repair Utility" and have been only able to recover the 1/2 of each video file.

You mention that there is a way of "doubling the file size so restoring half actually means restoring the entire video". Can you explain how?

I am very desparate. I did not charge this student nor her parents for recording the recital, but I feel terrible for not being able to presnt her with anything complete.

Any help will be great.

Replied by LA Color Pros Hi Alan Lee, thanks for your comment. I will send you a separate email regarding the method. Good luck.
Posted by Shannon on 4/25/2012 7:53:00 PM Hi there,

I am wondering the same about the "doubling file size" to restore the video. I just have a 5 second clip of doves flying at a wedding that I need to grab. But of course, its at the 2nd half of the file. I had 3 other cameras running for the ceremony, so I'm not sure finding one dove clip is worth buying the program! Could you send me your method as well?

Thanks a bunch!
Posted by Benoit Joossen on 5/10/2012 9:47:00 AM There's also a new approach to video repair: a web-based app called http://mp4repair.org

Advantage: no need to install software, everything happens in your browser.
Posted by Bill Peerson on 5/30/2012 3:42:00 PM LA Color,

My son's first at-bat in little league was lost when i pulled out the memory card from my canon camera before the file had finalized. Would you be able to tell me how to double the file size? I cannot afford at all the software right now and this video is special to us. thank you for your time,

Bill

Replied by LA Color Pros Email sent
Posted by Chris Bonds on 6/1/2012 8:54:00 PM Hi bill im very interested in knowing how to double the file size cause i cant afford the full software!! Thanks and i will be looking forward to hearing from you
Posted by Tim Bradley on 6/1/2012 9:00:00 PM Hey i really appreciate you guys for this vital information!! I shot a wedding and while i was editing I made a mistake and erased the footage of the whole first half of the wedding!! Thanks to you guys i have hope that i didnt ruin my clients wedding! Im just still lost on how to duplicate my video so I can get the full clip? Please help!! Thanks in advance
Posted by Rodolfo Cesatti on 6/4/2012 10:57:00 AM Hi, I´m sorry to ask the same thing, but I would like to know how to double the file size you´ve mentioned on your post. Thanks in advance.
Rodolfo
Posted by dape on 6/5/2012 6:07:00 AM Hello, could xou pls tell a bit more about doubling the file size? Thanks!
Posted by Marcio on 6/5/2012 9:41:00 AM Hey I'm having the same problem with my sd card I filmed a wedding and when I tryed to put the footage on my computer I got an error. Then all the footage got lost and corrupted. What the best way to get all my hd video back by the way it was a 32 gb transcend sd card.
Posted by Rich on 6/11/2012 9:54:00 PM I am also sorry to ask the same thing, but I would like to know how to double the file size you´ve mentioned on your post. Thanks.

Rich
Posted by Max Andres on 6/14/2012 12:48:00 AM Rich, in order to double the file (under Windows) go to Command Prompt (CMD), access the folder where the target file resides, and use the COPY /B command.
Example, supposing folder lies on the Desktop, and you want to double file named "file001.mov" and name it "file002.mov":

c:
cd (SPACE) (BACKSLASH)users(BACKSLASH)rich(BACKSLASH)desktop
copy /b file001.mov + file001.mov file002.mov

I am doing this trick for nothing less than 270 files. I built a batch (.bat) file, using some CMD (DOS) tricks (like DIR > FILE.TXT) and some Excel editing. It works!
Posted by Michael on 7/29/2012 1:14:00 PM I have a 1.6GB h264 movie file that is corrupted. I am not certain how long the entire movie SHOULD be if it were uncorrupted.

I downloaded the HD Video Repair Utility, and repaired the .dat file (example: MVI_5000.dat). Once it was repaired, I changed the extension to .mov. I was then able to open that .mov file in VLC player. The video was 2:55 long, 0.8GB in file size, and looked great.

I then went through the above copy /b command in CMD, and output a 1.6GB mov file, which meant it doubled successfully. However, the new movie is still the same 2:55 in length. Did I do something wrong? I was expecting the new file would be 5:50 in length, but I may be wrong...any feedback is appreciated!
Posted by Michael on 7/29/2012 1:40:00 PM I will add, though, that I am VERY glad to have at least the 2:55 back - thank you so much for the detailed instructions on how to do that!

Replied by LA Color Pros Glad we can help. :)
Posted by Giorgio Chiodi on 9/5/2012 4:04:00 PM It's a miracle. We got most of our footage back with Disk Drill. The remaining files (ironically, some of the most important ones) we repaired with HD Video Repair Utility from Grau.

Thanks for your guide, it was really useful for a bunch of broke film students!
Posted by Thiago Cursino on 1/8/2013 11:39:00 AM Hello. I have a .mov video of 9 minutesthatis not playable. I tried HD Video repair and it worked. But i really need the entire video. Pleeweeeeeeaaaaaaase send me the trick so I can recover the full file. I've been keeping this video for 2 years waiting for a free software to do this.

thiago-cursino@hotmail.com

Replied by LA Color Pros Please read the response posted above. Someone already stated the instructions.
Posted by thiago cursino on 1/8/2013 1:23:00 PM Yeah. I saw it after i had posted. Tried to post again but the net went down. Nice method. I could see the part was missing finally. But the audio was bad. By the way i'm happy with the results, thanks to this sie. And it's strange that even in 2012 there are so few ways to do something that should be so simple.
Posted by Rob Gabriel on 1/20/2013 7:45:00 AM Hello,

I've doubled the corrupted .mov with a length of 10 minutes but only the first 4 minutes were repaired.
It's better than nothing but i would be glad to get the whole movie back.
I had filmed my first paragliding flight.
P.S. mp4repair.org did'nt the job either.
Any ideas would be very appreciated.
Posted by Maxx on 4/17/2013 4:06:00 AM Hello, I'm trying the double the file trick and I just can't seem to get it to work. I get all the way up to "copy /b file001.mov + file001.mov file002.mov" and it gives me back a "The system cannot find the file specified." I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong? I have put the file I need doubled on my desktop and even named it file001. If anyone could tell me what I'm doing wrong I would greatly appreciate it!
Posted by Elio on 6/7/2013 3:35:00 PM Hi,

Same question on the file size doubling as many others, tried the command prompt trick, works for it produces a file of double the size, but HD Video Repair (v1.9.0.0) detects it, and produces two product files, which are identical and corresponding to the first halves of both copies of the movie in the new, bigger file (e.g., file of 1GB, recovered 0.5GB, bigger file of 2GB, recovered two files, each one 0.5GB, identical, and corresponding only to the first half of my movie in fact). Any help (also via mail)?

Thanks in advance!
Posted by Steven on 7/30/2013 7:41:00 AM Hi,
I have an identical problem with the same type of card that you describe, can you please email me with a description of doubling the file size for mac computers please? Your help is much appreciated.
Thank you.
Posted by Kelko on 12/13/2013 7:07:00 PM I just found this topic and man... can say how much i thank you, this literally saved my ass :) ! THANKS!
Posted by Byron on 12/19/2013 2:39:00 AM Hey guys found this on another site, for mac users, IT WORKED for ME!!

Updated 7/30/13:

So I just discovered the most awesome thing ever. A couple months ago I had a really bad crash that damaged my GoPro and corrupted the video file of the flight with the crash. I put the SD card in a card reader and pulled off a video of an earlier flight, but left it otherwise alone thinking that if I got my GoPro repaired or got a new one, I could use its SOS mode to repair it. Recently Scott (Scotttu (http://fpvlab.com/forums/member.php?1970-Scotttu)) was able to fix my GoPro and I got it back today, but when I put that memory card back in for some reason it didn't go into SOS mode, so I was left in the same situation as before with a corrupted MP4 file on my hands.

In a last ditch measure I started Googling methods of repairing corrupted MP4 files, and amazingly enough I found one that worked. I thought I'd post it here for reference for my fellow chronic crashers. :) I can personally verify this works on files from a GoPro, and the repair utility's website lists a number of other cameras it should work with as well.

WINDOWS INSTRUCTIONS

1. Download HD Video Repair Utility: Unzip it to a folder on your PC (no installation required) and run the file gs.exe.

Note: The latest version of the utility has been patched to prevent using this trick. You will therefore have to use an old version of the utility. Here is a link to download the old version 1.8.0.0: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?cg2li2nhawa7407

Fortunately you don't have to install the program to run it. Just run the app gs.exe from the folder.

However to get it to work, you will have to run it with your computer disconnected from the internet.

If I try to run the old version while my computer is online, it gives me a message saying "There was an important program fix after your download. Please go to www.grauonline.de (http://www.grauonline.de) to download a more recent version!", then the program closes and it opens their webpage in your browser. But If you disconnect from the internet before running it, that message doesn't appear, so it should work fine. Alternatively, you can just block the Grauonline website by adding "127.0.0.1 grauonline.de" to your hosts file.

2. Normally the utility will only repair 50% of the file for free (you have to pay an outrageous 29 EUR for a mere 5 repairs, or 99 EUR for unlimited repairs--probably more than you want to spend just to repair a stinking video file). Fortunately, there is a way to trick the demo version into repairing the full video. It calculates how much it will repair by file size. So....double the file size of the source video, and it will repair the whole thing!

To do this:
a. Make a copy of your corrupted video file and put it in the same directory as the original. Rename the two files something simple like "video1.mp4" and "video2.mp4."

b. Open the Windows command line (run>cmd) and navigate to the folder with the video files using the cd command.

c. Type "copy/b video1.mp4+video2.mp4" (without the quotes) and hit enter. It will now merge video2 into video1, so video1 will have doubled in file size.
3. Go back to the repair utility and select the "repair" action. Click the "Choose movie" button and select your merged video file (video1.mp4 in my example). Then click the "Choose reference movie" button and select any other properly functioning raw video file from the same camera to serve as a reference file.

4. Click the "Scan" button and wait for the utility to repair the file. You should then be able to find the full repaired video in a newly created sub-directory of the source folder called "repaired."

5. Your video file should now be repaired and will play smoothly up to the moment when your camera quit recording (GoPros will apparently loose the last 30 seconds before a crash).

MAC INSTRUCTIONS

1. First download the video repair utility here : http://www.grauonline.de/cmsimple2_6...ility#download (http://www.grauonline.de/cmsimple2_6/en/?Solutions:HD_Video_Repair_Utility#download) (you may still need to use an old version just like for Windows)

2. Unzip the downloaded file (which might be automatic) and double-click the "gs.app" or "gs" included file.

3. The first time you launch it, you might have a warning message about the app coming from an unidentified developer. This is an OS X security for the first time you launch downloaded applications. To temporarily disable it, go to System Preferences (in the Apple menu), then Security and Confidentiality / General tab.
Clic the locker icon, enter your password, then set authorization for downloaded applications to "from anywhere" (I am actually using it in French, so the English wording might be a bit different).You should now be able to open the gs.app. Once you have done it, put the security setting back to its original setting.

4. Then use the repair tool (you will need one working video with the same settings as the one you want to repair).

5. Since the demo version only repairs 50% of the video, you need to double the file size. Here is how to double the file size on a Mac:

- Open the Terminal app (time Terminal in Spotlight, upper right of your screen)
- Type "cat " without the quotes. The space is important.
- Then drag you video to the terminal window. This will input the path to the file plus a space in the Terminal window,
- Drag the video file to the terminal window a second time.
- Type "> " in the terminal
- Drag the video file to the terminal window a third time.
- Using the left arrow, go before the extension (.MP4 for my GoPro) and type "doubled". This just adds "doubled" to the name of the result file.

The line in Terminal should look like that, where the actual path can be a lot longer:
cat /PATH/GOPR0002.MP4 /PATH/GOPR0002.MP4 > /PATH/GOPR0002doubled.MP4

Press the Return key. If you do not get an error message, you will just have the usual invite in the Terminal after the copy is complete ...and a double-sized file with "doubled" added to its name in the original location :-)


Hope you guys find this useful!
Posted by Vishal on 1/5/2014 10:45:00 PM To the Editor,

Thanks for the wonderful post but you missed out Stellar Phoenix MOV repair for Macs. This software repairs damaged .mov files which might be facing volume corruption,header corruption, slider & video movement corruption. It would be great if you can mention this utility or if you want to review then mail me back.

Regards
Vishal
Posted by julialloyds45 on 2/18/2014 11:16:00 PM To repair DSLR .MOV on Corrupted SD card can only be possible with the help of MOV File Repair Tool. This software is specially designed for recovering lost and deleted MOV video. It helps to repair the damaged or corrupted or broken MOV files which does not able to play by other application by QuickTime that is used to run multimedia files. It easily fixes any type of problems related to MOV such as Movement corruption, sound corruption, duration corruption and header corruption too.
For more review: mov.filerepairtool.net
Posted by Eas on 7/16/2014 11:51:00 AM I am new to this forum, but is there a way to repair corrupted .MTS files. I have been able to download the files from the SD card on to my Windows PC, but am unable to play the same. Any help will be most apprecaited.
Posted by Paul on 8/19/2014 8:07:00 PM Watch out for Remo Repair. I purchased their software, it didn't work and they refused to give me a refund. They are a DigitalRiver company. I've had two bad experiences with them.

Replied by LA Color Pros Have you tried the demo before purchasing the software?
Posted by Arthus on 8/30/2014 10:11:00 PM You're Awesome, I just wanted to thank you, this post helped me to recover valuable data.

Replied by LA Color Pros That's awesome. I'm glad we can help you and glad you recovered your data.
Posted by Joyce on 9/6/2014 10:13:00 AM I just had the worst weekend of my life after realizing that the corporate footage(with Canon 60D) I just shot on my brand new Sandisk 64GB SD card got corrupted when I pop it into my desktop. Same 'please format disk' error. Very glad to find this article, the very least it gave me much hope. I tried the programs that you mentioned above but to no avail. They managed to recover all the files, but the savaged footage came out jerky(visual) with lots of white noise(audio) in between. I thought I had lose hope until I decided to take a chance and REFORMAT the SD card first, and then redo the recovery process. Fortunately, it worked! And the Recuva program was the only one that really helped me recover all my files along with the original file names(other programs recovered my files with random file names)and without the visual jerks and white noise. I can't be more relieved. Thank you everyone for all your kind sharing! And hope everyone find their remedy.
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