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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> NEED HELP! Randomly corrupted photo files
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09/28/2006 03:28:21 PM · #1
I just hope someone knows what the heck is going on here...

Within the last month, I have started having photos show up corrupted. They are NOT corrupt when downloaded from the compact flash card. They are on SEVERAL hard drives, not all on one, and it is happening on all drives. Some of the images have been on the drives for years, some have just been downloaded. I can look at files in a folder, and they are fine, then come back to the folder later, and there are corrupt files there. There seems to be no pattern - different drives, different times, different corruption.

Some of the corrupt files will have part of the image all white or all black, or some other color. Some will have severe color banding in different spots, some will have weird colors as if whacked out in curves, and some will have a large part of the image show up as a grey and color pattern. Also: this occurs in both JPEGs and CR2s.

Has anyone experienced anything like this???? HELP!!

(PS: Not long after it started this, we moved all the files to an external hard drive, then reformatted the local drives on the computer, and installed 2 new ones in addition to the two that were there. I have copied the files from the external back to a local drive, and it started happening again. I have also downloaded to the two new drives, and it occurs there as well.)

Examples:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/2553/thumb/402849.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/2553/thumb/402849.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/2553/thumb/402848.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/2553/thumb/402848.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

09/28/2006 03:30:32 PM · #2
I have no idea but... good luck!!!
09/28/2006 03:34:15 PM · #3
have you run a comprehensive virus check ?
09/28/2006 03:40:38 PM · #4
are you suffering from program crashes as well (more than usuall ?)

i had random failures (programs& images) last month - finally ended when i was able test the machines memory ...

presuming you have a PC
for a first test - download Prime95 (free) & run the stress test -
if that fails (after a few min to several hours ) you have a problem

next test is geta copy of memtest86 (free) which is a bootable Floppy or cd & run it which will also point out problems ...

good luck
09/28/2006 03:41:00 PM · #5
Virus scans done - Yes, definitely!

Message edited by author 2006-09-28 15:41:33.
09/28/2006 03:42:35 PM · #6
Originally posted by ralph:

are you suffering from program crashes as well (more than usuall ?)

i had random failures (programs& images) last month - finally ended when i was able test the machines memory ...

presuming you have a PC
for a first test - download Prime95 (free) & run the stress test -
if that fails (after a few min to several hours ) you have a problem

next test is geta copy of memtest86 (free) which is a bootable Floppy or cd & run it which will also point out problems ...

good luck


Yes, PC; and yes, I would say more program crashes than normal. I will try what you suggest!

Thanks!
10/18/2006 04:16:15 AM · #7
I have been having the same problem for about a year. There seems to be no pattern to isolate the cause. It has happened to photos I've imported and to those I've taken myself from 2 different cameras. Infrequent and random is the best I can say. It began when I switched machines and operating systems. I have never had the hint of a problem before. My current setup is a Dell P3 running Win2000 - not cutting edge but not obsolete. I thought my graphics program had become unstable and just upgraded to PaintShop Pro 8. That was not a cure. I read on another site a suggestion - changing the file extension from jpeg to jpg (or vice versa). I have not tried it.
10/19/2006 06:27:45 PM · #8
I'm glad to hear that someone else has experienced something like this! Sorry to hear it though, because it's nerve-wracking.

We download from 3 different cameras, onto 3 different drives, and it is happening randomly on all 3 drives. The photos do not seem to download corrupted - it seems to happen after they are downloaded. I download using a SanDisk reader, not straight from the cameras. We have been unable to narrow the problem down to any one thing.

I ran Prime95, and everything looked fine, so don't know what is going on at this point.

Program crashes have been fixed - it was a problem caused by the video card, but I have not had any system crashes at all since fixing that particular issue. The corrupt files do not seem to be related to the video card issue either.

Anyway, thanks for letting me know I'm not crazy!
10/20/2006 08:30:10 PM · #9
How old is the disk? An old disk could be starting to fail. Try running a tool to check it's SMART status, and run a surface check..

Could also be a result of minor bit errors occuring occasionally in memory. Run memtest86 for 24 hours and see if anything shows up.

As a last step to help preserve your images, copy them with a tool that verifies the copy(although I think standard windows drag-and-drop copy verifies as it goes, I'm not positive though). Then add error recovery data using something like PAR/PAR2. This will take up additional space, but could be the difference between a trashed and usable image. I've personally been thinking about doing that when I burn to dvd for archiving.

10/27/2006 03:13:33 AM · #10
One of the other changes that immediately predates my problem is, along with a machine and os upgrade, I switched from FAT32 to NTFS. NTFS is suppossed to be more reliable, however, and the problem has happened to pix uploaded since that change and not just files that were imported from the old machine.
There has to be something in common with all machines exhibiting this vulnerability. I experiences no crashes and my hard drive is relatively new and still has plenty of space.
Very irritating.
Keep me posted.
10/27/2006 05:19:47 PM · #11
Yep I'm with ya. Changed hard drives and video card before the file corruptions. Can't tell if there is a corrolation or not
10/27/2006 05:24:57 PM · #12
ive had similar problems with a dozen or so files, and the problem was that the hard drive was beginning to fail

replaced it, and ive never had the problem since
10/30/2006 06:10:37 PM · #13
I've pretty much narrowed it down to the hard drive. I think rather than it going bad (mine is quite new) the problem is tiny specks of foreign matter getting blown around in there. I have run periodic scans and no bad sectors are showing up. My HD is an 80 gb Western Digital. It is a slave to a 20 gb Western Digital on which I have seen no problems.
11/22/2006 07:46:00 PM · #14
I'm still hunting desperately for a solution to this issue!

It's definitely NOT the hard drive(s). This is happening on 3 separate hard drives, randomly. 1 primary drive (new), 1 external drive, and a RAID 1 drive.

Has anyone heard of video cards being responsible for this type of corruption?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

Linda

11/22/2006 07:58:28 PM · #15
Can you clarify:

1) is it a permanent corruption of the file, or is it just transient (when you view the file, it loads corrupted?

2) Is it damaging files a few at a time?

3) If you back up files to CD, can you load the CD backup ok?

4) Are there any other file types getting corrupted?

5) What if you take a corrupted file to another PC. Is it still corrupted?

6) If you plug your external drive into another PC, are you still having problems with those files?

You say you've eliminated the hard drives as a source of the problem. But something is then writing to the files when you're not looking. What if you set the write protect flag for your existing files. See if they still become corrupt.

7) Do you have any disc utilities scheduled to run at night, like windows defrag or another defrag like Norton Speeddisk?


11/22/2006 08:07:37 PM · #16
Originally posted by nshapiro:

Can you clarify:

1) is it a permanent corruption of the file, or is it just transient (when you view the file, it loads corrupted?

Permanent.

2) Is it damaging files a few at a time?

Yes, a few at a time. Find one minute (or one day), corrupt the next. It might damage one file in a folder or 2 in another folder, etc.

3) If you back up files to CD, can you load the CD backup ok?

Yes, if I have a backup of the original (uncorrupted) files, they load just fine.

4) Are there any other file types getting corrupted?

JPEG & RAW only, that I know of. We have not run into any other file type corrupt.

5) What if you take a corrupted file to another PC. Is it still corrupted?

Yes.

6) If you plug your external drive into another PC, are you still having problems with those files?

Yes.

You say you've eliminated the hard drives as a source of the problem. But something is then writing to the files when you're not looking. What if you set the write protect flag for your existing files. See if they still become corrupt.

I hadn't thought of this, and I will try it.

7) Do you have any disc utilities scheduled to run at night, like windows defrag or another defrag like Norton Speeddisk?

No.
12/04/2006 12:06:19 PM · #17
I am having the same problem while trying to move all photos to new drive. It didn't happen when I moved only one folder at time. Have you solve the problem yet? I'm checking RAM tonight. Someone told me that may be the cause.
12/04/2006 12:34:11 PM · #18
I doubt very much that the drives are at fault. I've been having the same problems (and I know of others who had) with OS X on, at least, three different Macs, one of which had two internal, one external FW drive.

I believe the cards (or card/camera communication) are the culprit. I say this, because these have proven somewhat unreliable altogether (general corruption issues), particularly Lexar Professional. ?

Message edited by author 2006-12-04 12:34:32.
12/04/2006 04:43:13 PM · #19
i got this problem last night on my new machine - i'm thinking its the dodgy VIA chipset that the motherboard is using as i'm getting all kinds of other trouble with the hardware as well - i've got an Intel chipset Motherboard arriving tomorrow to replace it so we'll see..

oh using USB2 because my firewire card won't work in the new motherboard - BSoD - another reason why i'm changing the motherboard..

Message edited by author 2006-12-04 16:44:10.
12/04/2006 06:33:49 PM · #20
I had a similar problem
I used a "standalone storage device" i.e. Archos Gmini 220 20GB external HD (mp3 player) with built in Card reader. It occasionally corrupted a file (only canon RAW .crw .cr2) - permanently - while copying from CF card. I updated the firmware for the unit and after that it completely refuses to copy RAW files from the card so I cannot use it as a field storage unit. Works quite well as a MP3 player
I know that this has no direct link to your problem and does not help you at all, but I felt like sharing :)
Now BTW I use FlashTrax as a field storage unit, which is far more reliable and with more capacity.

As to your problem, I can only think of two things not previously mentioned:
1) is it possible that the program that reads the files is damaged so it re-writes the files and corrupts them? Can you uninstall it and reinstall? Or, if you're using the windows browser, can you set up your system again from scratch?
2) if this is a hardware failure, I'd guess the reader. Try getting another one an see if it works better (a backup reader never hurts anyway). Could it be that is somewhat corrupts the files, which windows tries to correct but they end up as useless?
3) (yeah, just thougth of another possibility) if your MB or memory is faulty they possibly could damage your files if they re-write them onto your HD. do the memory tests suggested.
4) as a last resort- google it!
12/27/2006 06:07:17 AM · #21
Howdy All i as the same as lhll, Know about the Corrupted Images thing ** Just imagine 320GB of company storage being a multimedia company i am thier Tech person Hard Drive corrupted Deffinately due to a OS Drive Failure as its corrupted .doc .xls .jpeg .pdf .psd Just to name a Few as to yet i know of only one program that can repaid the data thats so scrambled *that im not privelaged to know yet as i have seen it work but my colleauge wont tell me the name* but anyways often a good lesson in PHOTOSHOP CS can get you editing your photos in no time and repairling them Quiet well But i do suggest anyone whom has Photographic memories and back them up on a Hard drive Shame on you once its stored to your Hard drive get a blank CD/DVD out Burn it and Archice it in a Folder for easy access incase your house burns down also... Anyways im outta here i woill pop back in within 12 months to let yall know if i managed to find the software that will reblock your corrupted data back together ive recoverd mine using about 200 different programs Caio 4 now
12/27/2006 06:18:30 AM · #22
Originally posted by Rebel_Tyrone_Tech:

Howdy All i as the same as lhll, Know about the Corrupted Images thing ** Just imagine 320GB of company storage being a multimedia company i am thier Tech person Hard Drive corrupted Deffinately due to a OS Drive Failure as its corrupted .doc .xls .jpeg .pdf .psd Just to name a Few as to yet i know of only one program that can repaid the data thats so scrambled *that im not privelaged to know yet as i have seen it work but my colleauge wont tell me the name* but anyways often a good lesson in PHOTOSHOP CS can get you editing your photos in no time and repairling them Quiet well But i do suggest anyone whom has Photographic memories and back them up on a Hard drive Shame on you once its stored to your Hard drive get a blank CD/DVD out Burn it and Archice it in a Folder for easy access incase your house burns down also... Anyways im outta here i woill pop back in within 12 months to let yall know if i managed to find the software that will reblock your corrupted data back together ive recoverd mine using about 200 different programs Caio 4 now


....it looks like you just signed up now to make this post, and I'm having a very hard time understanding it at all.
01/11/2007 08:09:28 PM · #23
I am having this exact same problem! Photos are split and shifted kind of like the first picture on the first post. They also get colorized to one side of the split sometimes.

We got new Sony Vaio's for work last summer and at random times when I copy photos to the hard drive they become corrupted. We formatted the hard drive recently and reinstalled everything. However, photos are still becoming corrupted while they copy to the hard drive from a compact flash. And it's not always the same photo being corrupted nor the same card used nor the same input device used. It is happening during the copy process whether it be in Photomechanic's ingest feature (what we use) or a straight copy from the card. Anyone have any more info on this?????

01/11/2007 09:18:52 PM · #24
Try checking windows event log, often if you are having hardware problems you'll start seeing errors being logged there.

Also does this corrupt other large images that don't come from your camera? (like downloading a large desktop background image from the web)
01/11/2007 10:23:33 PM · #25
No....I've only seen the problem occur after copying those files from a compactflash card to the hard drive.
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