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Old May 12, 2008, 1:21 AM   #1
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So I'm taking pictures of my daughter's performance on stage, and I switch over to movie mode to record her singing a song, which is immediately followed by another. I shoot these as a single, continuous movie, with the camera set to 640x480 and 30fps.

About half-way into the second song (about 4-5 minutes of recording), the recording abruptly stops and I am presented with the dreaded Canon "E18" message. This has happened once before, but I didn't really care that time. Thankfully, I can shut the camera down and restart with no other apparant ill-effects.

I try to replay the movie: the camera presents "Unidentified file" (or words to that effect). I download the files off the card to my computer and I've got an AVI file, about 450MB in size, that WMP won't play, either. Neither can Premiere Elements import it.

I would dearly love to be able to recover this file, if only for the first song. Has anyone experienced this before, and are there any tools that may be able to retrieve my movie? Thanks.
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Old May 12, 2008, 7:32 AM   #2
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The FAT (File Allocation Table) on the card may have been corrupted, so you may not be copying all of it if the camera failed before the file was closed.

Your best bet would be to try to copy everything from the memory card again (using a card reader) with a utility designed to ignore file system issues.

I'd suggest that you download and install this software for the operating system you're using (Windows, Mac, Linux). It's free. You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the main page.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Select your memory card from the list of media it finds, and give it a place to save the files 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).

Don't worry about changing any of the other options. Just leave everything else at 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 it:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step

If you have any questions or issues, let me know.

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Old May 12, 2008, 1:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Jim.

I downloaded the program and set it to recover everything on the whole filesystem. It wouldn't touch any of the AVI files, even the ones that work fine. All it deposited into my target directory was the JPEGs.

Any other ideas? Thanks.
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Old May 12, 2008, 1:37 PM   #4
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One of the menu choices you'll see along the way has file type options in it, with boxes checked for the files it's set to recover. I thought it defaulted to all imaging related files. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

Here are the file types it is capable of finding now. I'd just check everything for recovering from a memory card (you're not going to have files you don't want on it anyway, like you might from a problem hard drive with lots of stuff on it).

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/File_...ed_By_PhotoRec

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Old May 12, 2008, 1:44 PM   #5
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If selecting all of the available file types doesn't work, try the latest beta version from the download page. If that one doesn't work, send the author a sample of a good file from your camera and he'll be happy to modify the program for you to recognize them properly. He's been very good about that kind of thing to enhance it's functionality (not to mention publishing the work as open source so that other developers can take advantage of it). So, don't forget to press the donate button you'll find on the web site if it helps you. ;-)

You may also want to try this free program:

http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/smar...htm?language=1

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Old May 12, 2008, 2:27 PM   #6
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OK, went back and checked and... OOPS! The "good" AVI files were there, I just wasn't looking closely enough. I hadn't known what "RIFF" meant when it was identifying the files.

However, it definately did *not* recover the big file I'm concerned about.

I'll try PC Inspector next.
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Old May 13, 2008, 5:14 AM   #7
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I had similar failures also with my Canon S2 IS, try some video repair software, I don't remember which one helped fixing my videos. But if you have corrupted AVI index they usually fix it so you can play your video file, but content may still be damaged beoynd repair.

http://www.repairvideo.com/
http://divfix.maxeline.com/divfix.html
http://divxrepair.sourceforge.net/

If you have experience with Linux this may help also

http://web.njit.edu/all_topics/Prog_...ng.html#fixing
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Old May 13, 2008, 10:52 AM   #8
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OK, Jim, PC Inspector struck out. Quenaelin, the tools you pointed me to are all Divx/Xvid recovery tools, and didn't know what to do with my file.

Using Google, I found a bunch more shareware tools that seem to claim that they will recover RIFF AVI files. I don't know which of these to try, and I've never heard of any of them. To be honest, I try to not install random shareware utilities on my system; too many seem to be loaded with malware. Also, I couldn't find any third-party evaluations of these programs.

Has any reputable source ever done a run-down of this kind of tool? Just to separate the wheat from the chaff. Thanks.
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