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mInDtrIP Feb 11, 2009 9:48 AM

New problem with my S5... half way through our last trip (unkown to me at the time) the pictures I was taking refuse to open into any photo program. I get errors like unable to open file, or unkown something or other. I've tried microsofts priveiw thingy, ACDsee, The Gimp, etc, none will open the file. The only thing that will play the files is the camera itself were there seems to be no problem. I've tried them on my work computer, my laptop, etc. The files appear nromal and the correct size. I am using a 16GB SDHC thats got 4.2GB on it right now. The last ~30 pics and video clips will not open. Please I hope someone has some advice for me...


mInDtrIP Feb 15, 2009 10:34 AM


JimC Feb 16, 2009 7:44 AM

Are you using a card reader to transfer the files to your PC before trying to open them? If so, are you sure the reader is SDHC compatible?

The most likely problem is a corrupted FAT (File Allocation Table).

I'd suggest that you download and install this software for the operating system you're using (Windows, Mac, Linux). It's free, and it ignores the underlying file system entirely. You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the main page. Then, just click on the desired operating system to download it.

Use a card reader if possible, and select your memory card from the list of media it finds (hard drives, memory cards, etc.), and give it a place to save the photos to on your hard disk when you are asked "Where to Save Recovered Files" (it defaults to saving recovered files in subfolders under Photorec, where the software is installed on your hard drive, but you can change it to something else if desired). Note that this product does not retain the original file names (but, you may not care about that), since it ignores the file allocation table entirely.

Don't worry about changing any of the other options. Just leave everything else at the defaults (Partition type of Intel, file types to recover, etc.) and it will try to recover any files that haven't been overwritten yet (and don't try to do anything like take more photos or you may overwrite some of them).

Here's a page showing you how to use this software:

There are some other free programs around that do a pretty good job in most cases, too. Here's one example, and it also has a nice Graphical User Interface. I usually prefer photorec. But, if you're not comfortable with a text based interface, you may want to try this one first instead.

After you recover your images (and make sure you can see the larger images, not just the thumbnails), I'd make sure you format the card again before using it, using the camera's menu choice for format (not your PC).

I do that every time I reuse a card (format it again using the camera's menu choice for format). That way, the card always starts out with a fresh FAT (File Allocation Table), just the way the camera expects it, since the camera is performing the format.

mInDtrIP Feb 18, 2009 2:15 AM

Thanks for the info Jim. As far as card reader I was just using the one built into the laptop... it works for all pictures up to a certain one, i forget exactly, like picture 2,000 and some, then none will open. I think I also tried transfering via usb cable but now i dont remember for sure. I will try the software download next time I can get my laptop on the internet (dont have internet at home so its kinda tough).

mInDtrIP Feb 19, 2009 4:44 AM

Jim, I think you might have been on to something about the card reader not being SDHC... I figured since it would read the disk then it was. But now I feel dumb after using the usb cable I could transfer an open the file just fine. For some reason the built in SD reader in the laptop will open all the files up to a certain point.

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