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I had some NEF files in a folder that I didn't do anything with.
When importing them in Lightroom, no previews and a "file unsupported or damaged message"
So I tried with Nikons ViewNX, nothing. Even not in DxO or PhotoMechanic.

I had a look with EXIFTool and the corrupt file prints me only this:

ExifTool Version Number         : 8.39
File Name                       : _DSC5559.NEF
Directory                       : /Users/tunafish/Desktop
File Size                       : 12 MB
File Modification Date/Time     : 2010:11:29 12:46:56+01:00
File Permissions                : rwxrwxrwx
Error                           : File format error

I saw another question on photo.stack Damaged RAW (NEF)-files: ideas? and tried to copy over the makernotes from a good file (_DSC5556.NEF) with

exiftool -tagsfromfile _DSC5556.NEF -makernotes _DSC5559.NEF

but EXIFTool gives me this error

Error: Not a valid TIFF - _DSC5559.NEF
0 image files updated
1 files weren't updated due to errors

I have uploaded 2 NEF's, with _DSC5559.NEF being the corrupt one here:
Corrupt NEF files

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3  
What is the question here? How to fix these files? What went wrong? How to prevent it in the future? –  mattdm Oct 10 '11 at 23:42
    
Are the two zipped NEF's the originals or are they the files you got after copying over the notes? If the latter, please provide the originals. (In order to prevent this in the future, one tip I've heard is to format the card often.) –  anon Oct 11 '11 at 3:53

1 Answer 1

Looking at the two files with a hex editor (HxD), the corrupt one is definitely not a valid NEF file. It is missing the header information (missing or overwritten by something else).

All I can suggest is use a hex editor and open several of your corrupt files and compare the first couple of dozen bytes. See if there is a pattern. Looks like the files have been overwritten with data and you're probably out of luck.

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