How do I repair corrupted JPEGs?
June 14, 2011 10:46 PM   Subscribe

How do I repair corrupted JPEGs?

I just found out that some of my travel snaps are busted. Here's what one of them looks like - seems like some of the data has been corrupted, and imaging n00b that I am, I don't know if this image is repairable. Can you recommend any fixes for this kind of problem? Or should I just give them up for lost? (Thankfully only a handful of images were corrupted this way.) Thanks!
posted by micketymoc to Technology (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Mathmatically, if the problem is indeed corruption, they're lost forever but perhaps there is some application that can minimise the damage to the point of being unnoticeable.

To prevent further occurences, I recommend adding redundancy to your long-term storage and backups. The easiest way to do this would be organising your pics into folders, and archiving each folder in a RAR file with a recovery record, but that would add the hurdle of having to access the RAR file each time you want to look at a photo; another way would be using a program like QuickPar, MultiPar or IceECC to store parity data files directly in the folder containing the pics you want to protect, and dvdisaster if you make backups on optical discs.

Having said that, please note that redundancy by itself may not prevent future data loss, eg, not even 150% redundancy would save you from a hard-drive failure if you had no other backups.
posted by Bangaioh at 1:35 AM on June 15, 2011

"VG JPEG-Repair" is freeware and seems to do what you want. Works on Windows. PhotoRescue and PixRecovery are two other options. I haven't tried any of them.
posted by devnull at 3:42 AM on June 15, 2011

Before you do any attempt at recovering those files, do NOT open them and re-save them! Nothing should edit or save those files except a recovery tool. If you do touch those files (as opposed to simply viewing, copying, or moving them), your chances of a successful recovery go way down. I realize this is an unlikely thing for you to do but I just wanted to make sure you don't screw yourself over.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 11:40 AM on June 15, 2011

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