Retrieving a lost video file
April 28, 2010 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: Large video file accidentally deleted from SD card. File has been retrieved, but somehow corrupted.

This is her explanation, provided to me via email:

Whilst at the Leverage Convention, I took approximately 3.5G of video on a 4G SD Card, along with some photos. While looking at the photos, I accidentally deleted the video. I realized immediately what I'd done and stopped using the card so I wouldn't make it worse. When I returned home, I used 'Recuva' to recover the file off the card. The file size is still the same, but it only plays about 30 seconds of the video, rather than the ~30 minutes it actually was.

Any suggestions for how I can un-corrupt or save this file? If I can't, I can't and I know that's a big possibility. On the other hand, I'm guessing someone smarter than me may have done the same thing and come up with a fix.

I've searched MetaFilter and the Recuva help site trying to find a way to do this, but I'm not sure it's even possible. If the card has not been used at all since this happened, is it likely the video file is still intact on the card?
posted by Telpethoron to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know very little about video, but she might try making a copy of the file (saving the original, of course) and loading it into VLC. They have a "repair video" function that I've had some success with in the past.
posted by nevercalm at 9:01 PM on April 28, 2010

VirtualDub has some more intensive diagnostics and repair techniques, plus Auto Gordian Knot for more in-depth statistics to put your mind at ease.
posted by rhizome at 9:39 PM on April 28, 2010

The How-To Geek had an article on recovering files deleted from external media, I don't know how she would uncorrupt the restored file she already has, but maybe following his instructions would restore a working version?
posted by ellieBOA at 12:53 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's been my experience that not all file recovery software is created equal.

Depending on her computer platform there are at least several free software tools available, and I would try them all on the card.

I've also found that it's worth running recovery software more than one time. I've had an experience where the app I was using (can't remember which one) failed on the first try but worked on the second.
posted by imjustsaying at 5:08 AM on April 29, 2010

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