Nikon RAW (NEF) corrupted.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ceottaki, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Dear all,
    I have a Nikon D40, and my computer has the software that came with it installed: Nikon PictureProject 1.7.
    A friend of mine was visiting and he has a Nikon D5000. We used my software to download his RAW files from his camera, and I have the "Rotate image automatically" option on.
    Now all the photos that were in portrait orientation have been somewhat corrupted and no software I have opens them, I've tried PictureProject, Photoshop CS4, Lightroom 2, Windows Photo Gallery, Picasa... The photo info seems to be there but I can't retrieve it.
    Any ideas?
    If needed I can send the NEF file.
  2. you'll have to rotate them back on the card. When you opened them the auto rotate rotated the pics and saved them like that to the card, and now they read error. They'll need to be rotated back and saved that way on the card. Probably the best thing is to open them in the same software and turn off auto rotate. You'll then have to manually rotate each of the portrait pics back to landscape so that it saves that way on the card.
    That happened to me a while back with my Nikon point and shoot, and they were JPEG files.
  3. Wait, you said Picture Project still won't open them? Are they reading error on his camera also when he pulls up the picture review or is it just happening on your computer and hard drive?
  4. Why use 'software' to download files from camera?
    better and quicker to copy from card using card reader. Don't delete from card until file integrity on the computer is confirmed, and ideally do your backu-up before working on them.
    In other words, try to avoid having only one copy of the image, and definitely avoid working on the sole copy!
  5. Picture Project opens the file and shows it correctly, although when it is displaying the image it shows a message under it saying "Unknown Error". The option to rotate the image is enabled, I can rotate it in Picture Project but still I can't open it anywhere else.
    Also, these files are not in the camera or SD card anymore, they have been downloaded to my computer and deleted from the SD card.
  6. William,
    Thanks for your reply, and downloading and backing up, then deleting is my normal practice, but it wasn't what was done this time, unfortunately. The file has been downloaded from the SD card using Nikon's software, and deleted from the card.
    I have obviously learned from this episode and won't be doing that anymore, but I would still like to recover these files, if possible.
  7. This may be a long shot - copy the image that won't open (or all of them) back onto an SD card and try viewing them on another computer.
  8. The solution seems simple.
    1. Uninstall Nikon software from your computer.
    2. Re-Install the Nikon software that came with your camera, and worked well for you.
    3. Next time, watch what your friend is doing on your computer, or better yet, YOU do the picture transfers for him, possibly just using Windows Explorer.
  9. First, do not reuse the card. Get one of the recovery programs and recover the deleted files from the card.
  10. Brooks is right. If files are deleted from a card the "deletion" should only be a flag raised in the directory that the file is "deleted". Nothing else is changed and the file should actually be still in its original place on the card. Just the operating system does not show its presence since it is flagged as deleted.
    So if you continue using the card the operating system will use this "free" space and may overwrite this space.
    If this does not happen it is a simple task for a recovery program to just remove the "flag" and the file will show up again.
    Your card may have come with a utility software to recover files in such circumstances.
  11. Thanks for all the replies. This whole thing actually happened a while ago so the card has long being reused. It would
    be a matter of really working with the files we have now...
  12. Try opening the NEFs using Irfanview. Free download from
    Download both the base program and the add-on file. Install the add-ons after installing the base program.
    It reads NEF files routinely, using a different graphics engine than most other programs, so it might work.
    - Leigh
  13. Unfortunately this is a known issue - the version of Nikon Transfer included with Picture Project corrupts files from recent cameras in some circumstances, e.g.:
    One fix that apparently works on a few (not all) files corrupted in this way is to convert to DNG and use a non-Nikon raw converter like ACR to handle the files. You might try contacting Bill Claff, who has written utilities for fixing some forms of NEF file corruption in the past:
    Because of this sort of issue, I always copy files from media cards using the OS rather than Nikon's software. But if you do need a Nikon utility that's compatible with all their cameras, see:
  14. Hello all.
    Thank you very much for all the replies, I have now solved the issue. Unfortunately I could not convert the files to DNG, that was one of the first things I tried, but after investigating the file itself for a while I found out that the problem lays on its metadata, as I first suspected, since only the auto-rotated portrait photos had a problem.
    Removing all metadata from a RAW file is an error, the file still can't be opened that way because some metadata is necessary to interpret how the photo was taken by the camera. I also could not pinpoint what exact item of metadata had the problem, because it seemed to be one of Nikon's specific ones with binary information.
    What actually worked was to take another portrait-oriented photo with the D5000, of a white wall (or of a gray card), save the original metadata of the problem file to an XMP file, overwrite all metadata of the problem file with the gray card photo, then restore only the non-Nikon-specific metadata to the problem file. That saved my files.
    I have written a script that uses exiftool to do all this, so let me know if anybody needs that and I will send it.
    The interesting thing was that I contacted Nikon about the problem and I told them what I did to solve the problem, but I still asked them what was the metadata that caused the problem so I could perhaps write another script that was more specific to the problem, but they were not able to (or wouldn't) tell me. Anyways, my photos have all been corrected now.
    Thanks again for your help.
    Kind regards,
  15. Congratulations on an ingenious solution! I guess this way you lose minor things like the 'as shot' white balance and some lens data that are stored (and AFAIR encrypted) in the MakerNote, but that's a very small price to pay for rescuing your images. It would be worth documenting this somewhere public - did you do this in Perl or just make a batch file of exiftool commands?
  16. Hello, Richard. Thanks for your compliment.
    I have published the whole story, including a link to the batch file I created, here:
    I hope this helps other people with the same problem. I would like to thank you all for giving it a shot and also Phil Harvey for his wonderful ExifTool.
  17. I had a problem much like yours. I could not open certain photos I had taken on vacation. I originally had a D-40, moved up to a D80, that got stolen right after I bought it and now have a D90. I never downloaded the Nikon program to view my pictures. I normally use Photo Shop. Well I downloaded a Nikon program but still could not print the photos. I could however view them I ended up taking my memory card to a photo shop and they recovered the photos. What caused the problem was me changing the settings to Raw/Nef. The shop converted the photos to JPEG.
    What I found out later is the Nikon program for D-40 or D80 does not work with my D90. I can now open the photos shot in raw on my PC and print them.
  18. Dear Mike,
    The problem of how your photo shop recovered the photos is that you lost all the goodness of the RAW format, while the method I used, although more complicated, kept the files as RAW and allowed me to process them later on.
    We all need to be really careful when using the Nikon software to open other camera's files and make sure the cameras are supported.
    Anyways, thanks for the response.

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