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Windows 7: Backed up corrupted files from failing disc

22 Oct 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
Backed up corrupted files from failing disc

I am using Rebit backup software on a Windows 7 Professional 64 bit machine which monitors file changes and backs them up immediately. The PC has two internal hard drives. Drive C which is for Windows only and Drive D which is only for my data. The Rebit backup drive is an external drive. Rebit is running with no issues and making daily Recovery Points.

A few weeks ago the D drive with all of my data failed. I installed a new drive and did a Rebit recovery - the recovery process went well with no problems. I am a photographer and I have many Jpeg image files on the D drive. When I try to open some of the Jpeg image files I get a message from Adobe Photoshop "Could not complete your request because an unknown or invalid JPEG marker type is found" and the image does not open. This message usually means that the JPEG file is corrupted and I have not found any method to repair and open the file if it gives this message.

I have tried to restore several files from the Rebit backup/s and I still get the "corruption" message. I think this tells me that before the D drive actually failed, Rebit probably was backing up the files that were corrupted as caused by the drive going bad.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions how I can recover good un-corrupted files? I still have the bad D drive.

I have always trusted the "backup process" but obviously if the backed up files are damaged the backup will be bad. I don't know how I would know this in advance to take pro-active measures.

Thanks for your help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I empathize, but I have no sure-fire solution. I've always worried about something like that because, as you say, if your originals are unknowingly corrupted, any backup of them will also be corrupted---and you likely have no way of knowing the originals are corrupted if they aren't opened periodically.

Only ideas I can think of:

Have you tried to open the files in several different photo editors, other than Photoshop?

There may be some type of sophisticated JPG editor that can show you the internal makeup of the files and may reveal the point of corruption, which could then be corrected--by hand if necessary. I know this is sometimes possible with audio files and assume there is a similar method for images. I have no idea how complicated or time-consuming that might be.

You may get somewhere with ordinary file recovery programs like Recuva working on either the D drive or the Rebit backup drive. You'd just have to experiment.

I'd probably try to make an image of D and the Rebit drives in their current state in case any of your recovery attempts further foul the files. You'd at least be able to revert to the current status quo if necessary.

This has undoubtedly happened thousands of times to other serious photographers, so I suspect there are forums on the net that have some excellent recommendations. I'm not a photographer any more and can't point you to them. I'd suggest you pound on Google with some well-chosen search terms.

A recommendation for the future if you ever get these recovered: make an ordinary drag and drop copy (NOT using Rebit or any other software) of all pictures to a known good hard drive and then put that drive in the closet and don't overwrite new backups to it.

I think there is something called "bit rot" which eventually affects files on drives that are unused in longer term storage. I don't know the details of it, but it would be a concern if you tried to archive pictures by putting them on a drive that then sat in a closet for a long time, unused. You could of course recopy the files to make a new archive once a year or so, but you'd always face the possibility that any new archive would only be replacing good files with corrupted files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

Thanks very much for your thoughts. I really appreciate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Oct 2014   #4

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Long shots:
1) see if a non Adobe program like faststone can read the jpgs (I use the portable as my favorite viewer)
FastStone Image Viewer - Powerful and Intuitive Photo Viewer, Editor and Batch Converter

2) It's non clear how the old drive failed but you could try reattaching it and trying recuva as suggested above (but on the "failed" drive). Also try photorec which bypasses a possibly corrupt file system.
PhotoRec - CGSecurity
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Backed up corrupted files from failing disc

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